Fixing the Problem - beyond Christmas

When we are feeling highly stressed or anxious we often put our energies into keeping ourselves on track, wrestling with lots of stuff so we can keep going. The post-Christmas period is often the time when find ourselves confronted by the stresses and anxieties that we were able to drive through and ignore for a while.

My husband is a keen mountain biker. For many years he "trundled" across the landscape in the foothills of the Himalayas. He loves, no relishes, the challenge of the uphill, and that really is uphill, as well as the more-or-less controlled exhilaration of dizzying descents. 

I'd love to go with him, but I really do not have the level of interest or desire that would inspire me to be fit enough to enjoy the sensation of a sustained uphill or hurtling down improbable de-clines. 

 I digress. 

 On one of these trips when everyone had been loaded into a Land cruiser of some sort and the bikes had been lovingly loaded into their own luxury transportation, the journey to the first night's stopover commenced. 

The driver fought valiantly with the steering as the vehicle gathered speed up to 30mph. 

He constantly battled with mean-minded mechanical forces to guide the vehicle back to the safe side of the road. He held on tight as the whole vehicle shuddered and rattled onward. 

My husband and the tour guide exchanged alarmed looks. It's one thing being bumped around on a bike, after all that falls into the category of fun, but this.... 

Suddenly, everything became quiet and smooth. The magical speed of 50mph was reached. Joy! 

The whole rigmarole started up again as they slowed down for traffic lights and then took off again. Misery! 

It struck me that this is exactly what happens to us when we get highly stressed or anxious. 

We put our energies into keeping ourselves on track, wrestling with stuff so we can keep going. Feeling shaken and rattled. 

Then we find things go more smoothly as we distract ourselves with loads of things to do. 

As bits and pieces fall away from our load, or we drop them, or we have to slow down to sleep then the rattling and shaking starts up again.

What both that Land cruiser and we have in common is that there is an underlying something that needs to be fixed. Just keeping the speed above 50mph isn't going to fix it. At some point we will slow down and then things catch up with us.

Christmas and the after Christmas lull is a classic time for this. 

The rush and stress often associated with Christmas can keep us running at a metaphorical 50 mph. 

When the rush calms down that’s the time when we are confronted with the rattling and shaking that we were able to ignore while we had to keep the show on the road.

The Land cruiser needed a mechanic. We need the equivalent help. 

If we don't take care of said vehicle then at some point the wheels will come off. 

If we don't take care of Self … then at some point the wheels will come off. 

If you need some space and time to confront underlying anxieties or stresses please contact me and we can explore how I can help.

Go to the profile of Patty Everitt, Psychotherapist

Patty Everitt, Psychotherapist

I am now able to accept appointments to start in February. I am a UKCP accredited neurolinguistic psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist and coach-therapist. I also offer supervision to therapists. My role is to help you find your emotional and psychological Centre of Balance, the safe place in yourself. From our Centre we have choice. Choice about the relationships in our life and choice about the quality of those relationships. We can choose how we want to feel about events or situations or people. Yes! We do have choice about how we feel. When we are Centred then our physiology is better able to repair and heal and grow so we are healthier. When we are at our Centre of Balance then we can be in the world in a way that expresses the richness of who we are and not who we felt we should be. As a therapist I create a safe space where, together, we can explore your experience of reality and the beliefs you hold about yourself, others and the world. Beliefs may be just that, beliefs and not truths.

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