Joining us in the studio this week was Nik Davis. Nik was a management consultant before she took a career break to focus on her children and recover from PND. In Nik’s words “Ialso discovered grief, discovered what mortality meant and learned about life. Nik is now a writer with a passion to help people ‘show up and own up’
During our conversation Nik talked about the menopause and her own recent experience of what it feels like and how it affects her life. We began the recording with a listener questionwhich was “how do I support my wife and her menopause”? you will have to listen in tohear Nik’s answer.
I’m hearing more and more people talk about the menopause, as a man without a wife I know very little about it, what I’m hearing sounds really awful. I think it is great that we are having these conversations, it has to be the same as mental health, the more we talk about it the less people will feel isolated, the more help is accessed and hopefully the less personal pain people will feel.
We talked about self-care, how this looks to each person and how differently it can be viewed by each person. I may have written about this before, for me I can’t write or talk about this too much.
Self-care has to be the crooks of life, almost always when I’m working with a client, there will come a point when we have the talk about self-care. In therapy I use an exercise called“what’s my oxygen” the title comes from; those occasions when you are on an flight and they do the safety announcement, they always say: “please, if the oxygen mask falls always take your own oxygen first” They say this because if we didn’t, we would probably pass out,leaving us unbale to assist those who need help.
It’s the same in life. In the exercise I ask “how do you take your own oxygen” some peoplehave no idea what the answer is. The exercise is spit into sections, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. I do this because I learned quickly that the daily oxygen is just as important as the weekly or yearly stuff. What I have learned over the years is the daily oxygen is probably the most important as this is quite often the stuff that is ignored.
So, what might we class as daily oxygen? The gym, a bubble bath, reading, walking the dogs, listening to some music. It doesn’t have to be massive; it just has to be yours.
When I have those conversations with people as to why they may struggle to have their own oxygen, I have very similar answers: “I don’t have time, other people need me more, theirneeds are greater than mine, its selfish”. All of these are valid but of course stop us from being as healthy as we can be and when we are looking after someone else, our needs and our health become even more important. So please take care of yourself and work out what your oxygen is.
We also talked a little about spirituality, what it means to Nik and how this also helps hermental health. I often find with spirituality that its very unique and individual. It’s a collection of beliefs that have been formed and taken from all sorts of sources over theyears, I know for me, that’s exactly what I mean by having spiritual beliefs.
We also talked about the human connections Nik made during swimming and dog walking. As humans we are biologically wired to connect to other humans, yet we are probably are the least connected as a race, why? I can only answer from my perspective and beliefs. For me, the amazing digital age has a lot to answer for. I say it’s amazing because it is in so many ways, yet I do feel it has stopped us from connecting, talking, looking at each other in the eyes. Even via our digital way of connecting, there are so many unspoken rules or even, no rules. When did it become polite to not respond to another person, yet it feels okay not to respond, or does it? I sometimes feel myself being drawn into a world where it is okay notto respond, I don’t like it, because I know if someone doesn’t respond to me, I really dislikeit.
We do live in a world where we might be more connected than ever before, but without rules, authenticity and real connection.
Communication is one of our greatest needs, without clear authentic communication we will struggle.
With all of the above in mind what can you do to make your world of communication healthier?
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We are always looking for guests, so if you have a story of experience around mental health then please do get in touch at:
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Have a listen to Nik's story just here
Peace and happiness