Phoebe here! Today’s blog is a bit of a cathartic outpouring from me - I’m not quite sure whether I’ve written it for you or for me, but I hope it helps both of us, even if it’s in some small way.
The thing is - this year I’ve lost some of my mojo. Usually I’m incredibly upbeat and not much could get me down - if there was a hurdle in my way I’d say “I’ve got this!” and tackle it with gusto.
But lately my hurdles seemed to be harder to overcome, and I tended to avoid them rather than fly over them. I’m still doing totally OK, but I’ve lost a bit of the spring in my step.
I’ve got a gut feeling that what is going on in the world right now has played a big role in this, so I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how I’m feeling, and how I can get that mojo back.
How are you doing? Are you feeling it too? If you are I hope my ramblings and musings in this week’s blog post help lift your mood as much as they helped mine xox
So it’s a fact: The world is a bizarre, crazy place right now. There’s a whole lot of stuff we’re all dealing with that only 12 months ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of.
Aside from the worries we’re shouldering about the health and wellbeing of our loved ones (and ourselves), if you’re like me you’re probably also juggling some extra bits and pieces.
We’ve all got our different things we’re dealing with. For me personally I’m feeling like I’ve got my fingers in about a zillion pies right now. Our business is doing well which I’m so incredibly grateful for (really, really, really grateful as not everyone is so lucky at the moment), but I’ve been stretched thin and the stress has been creeping in.
I try to make it look like I’ve got it all together, but (truth time) beneath the surface I’ve been struggling a bit and feeling overloaded. Between working on our 4 wonderful brands, being a loving Mum and wife, and a wannabe triathlete there’s just not enough time in the day.
Something had to give. And it did. And I started feeling about a million times better as soon as I realised I had to start looking after myself more.
My personal health journey
This might be a total overshare, but the funny thing is that I think my body has been trying to tell me to slow down and recuperate for a while now - it just took my brain a long time to catch up with the rest of me.
The first part of me to show visible signs that I was over-doing things was my skin. It was unusually sensitised and often flushed, with more pimples than usual. They weren’t just along my jawline (the hormonal ones!) but on my cheeks, chest and back.
What many people don’t realise is that your skin is one of your body’s ways of flushing out toxins and dealing with other things that are going on. So if you’re experiencing unexplained skin issues, there could be something else happening, beyond skin deep.
I’ve been on my personal health journey for a few years now. I’ve always thought I was a healthy person, but I never felt quite “right”. My hormonal cycles have always been irregular, not to mention my sluggish digestive system (ugh!). I’d done all sorts of diets and tests, but nothing seemed to work.
So I’ve been a bit obsessed with learning about how your gut impacts SO MUCH on your wellbeing, and that got me started working with a nutritionist. Together we’ve been working to try and determine what that feeling of “not quite right” in my body was and a few weeks ago we finally found it. It’s my thyroid.
Your thyroid is a clever little thing that sits in the back of your neck and produces hormones that regulate your body’s metabolic rate, controlling your heart rate, muscular function, and digestion. So it’s a pretty important little fella, and it turns out that mine is being attacked by antibodies that my gut is producing for some reason. It’s a type of auto-immune disease called Hashimoto's Disease. Over time the antibodies that are attacking my thyroid will destroy the tissue to a point where it can’t produce those all-important hormones anymore and I’ll have to rely on taking synthetic hormones every day.
While it’s never really a fabulous thing to be diagnosed with a disease it actually helped me a lot by providing answers to the questions I’d been asking for years. Finally!
I believe that it will be totally possible to live with Hashimoto’s Disease, and as long as I keep up my efforts with having a healthy gut and minimising stress (ahem!) and just generally being kind to myself then I’ll hopefully be able to defer being reliant on taking synthetic hormones every day for the rest of my life.
Where am I going with this? Aside from it feeling really good to outpour all these emotions via my keyboard, my current health (or lack of) has really helped drive home the fact that I need to get on top of what has been stealing my mojo. Because my wellbeing and happiness depends on it!
This week I’ve been thinking about getting myself back on track. And I came to some realisations. A bit of an action plan if you will :)
Realisation #1 - Reconnect with what you love
What is it in your life that fills up your cup? Is there something that used to make you feel so full but for whatever reason you’re no longer doing it?
For me I realised that I was missing Happy Skincare. I know you’re thinking “hang on - aren’t you telling us you’re stressed from working too much??” and yes, I am. But what I’ve been missing is you, our wonderful Happy Skincare community. I’ve been spending so much time working behind the scenes doing the administration side of our business that I haven’t been filling up my cup with conversations and connections with our amazing customers - the bit that makes me feel so happy and fulfilled.
Whatever your Happy Skincare is - if you can - bring it back!
Realisation #2 - You can change your perspective
One particular day when I was feeling really overwhelmed with the immense list of projects on my plate a very wise friend gently suggested that all this busy-ness could actually be a good thing. I was feeling so much stress that I forgot to look at the big picture. Maybe all this busy-ness is totally OK, because it means Happy Skincare and our other brands are still here. We’re still in business, and we’re still so incredibly privileged to do what we do. Yes, my life is crazy busy, but only because we’re creating something really special here. The craziness won’t be forever and worrying about it is not going to help.
What happens if you frame your thoughts differently? What if you could accept things for what they are and stop fighting the negative thoughts? Changing my mindset like this was massive for me.
Realisation #3 - You can’t do everything on your own
Way back when Happy Skincare first started it was just Aaron and I, and our laundry (oh the memories!). Aaron was our master mixer and I did pretty much everything else. Back then that was OK and I loved getting stuck into every little part of our business. However nearly 10 years later here I am still trying to do it all and only now realising that I can’t.
I’ve had to say to myself “It’s OK to say “no”. You don’t need to be perfect. You’ll never be able to please everyone. It's OK to ask for help”. And each time I remind myself of this I feel a little lighter.
Realisation #4 - Talk it out
Human beings are social animals. We’re not meant to go through life on our own, but it’s so common to push other people away when you’re struggling. I’m guilty as charged.
I reckon I have just about the most fabulous husband in the world and am so lucky to be able to work and live with him, but still I wasn’t reaching out for help because he was busy too after all. I didn’t want to seem like a big complainer so I internalised a lot of emotions.
But when I did open up it helped so much. Bottling up emotions was making me feel tense, impacting my relationship with my family members, and impacting my health. If you’re dealing with some emotions and need to talk but don’t know where to turn, remember there are wonderful organisations like Beyond Blue and Kids Help Line who you can contact.
Realisation #5 - Be present
When we created Happy Skincare, we based it around the idea of not just making your skin happy, but by making you feel happy too. It wasn’t supposed to be just something you slapped on your skin and then went on with your day. Our products have been dreamt up and created in a way that you connect with on a deeper level - by immersing you in uplifting essential oil aromas and experiencing beautiful textures and an overall feeling of wellbeing.
I realised that I had forgotten that. In the rush of the day-to-day I wasn’t pausing to allow those special moments to happen. If you stop to think about it, there might be lots of little opportunities for simple joy sprinkled throughout your day. And by looking for them instead of rushing past them it can be so illuminating.
My yoga class (even the Zzoom ones). Cuddles on the lounge with my family. Rusty the Cavoodle’s contagious excitement to see me again, even if I’ve only stepped out for 5 minutes. A warm towel out of the clothes dryer. A brilliant book. I’ve found so much unexpected energy and positivity by taking a little extra time to be present.
If your joy comes from spending some time alone, there’s no need to feel guilty. By taking time to take care of yourself and show yourself some love you’ll be so much better equipped to be able to handle whatever life throws at you.
I’ve got to admit that writing this blog post and verbalising these ideas has really helped me feel lighter. Please remember that - regardless of what is stealing your mojo - big or small - it’s OK not to be OK. And reaching out and talking to someone can make the WORLD of difference. Hang in there, you've got this xx