Last night Martyn and I met up with our good friends, Jane and Alex, and, Emma and Peter. We went into town for a few drinks and it was really lovely to be able to have a good catch up minus the children!
But as is typical of lots of parents we spent quite a large part of the night discussing our children! Emma and Jane both have teenage daughters who have just finished doing their GCSE’s. They have both entered into the world of boyfriends and moved away from regular weekends spent with their dad’s.
It seems amazing to think that I met Libby and Lucy (the daughters) when they were about 6 or 7. The conversation then would have been about their favourite toys and how they were doing riding their bikes. Time has flown. Last night the chat was all about their leavers ball, dresses they were wearing, and the boys going with them.
It got me thinking about the massive support that Jane and Emma have given each other as mum’s going through the same stages with their daughters. They have always had each other there to talk thinks through. As a parent all sorts of things worry you. Sometimes it helps just to see that others are having the same worries that you are.
Most of us experience anxiety to some extent in our daily lives. It can be about anything, something minor like whether you feel nice in your outfit. Or something major like a world disaster. When you experience anxiety at a heightened level it is really easy to slip into thinking that your situation is worse than anyone else’s. Actually if you stop and think about it millions of people all over the world will be experiencing anxiety just like yours in the very same moment. Just this thought helps to put your anxiety into perspective and to make you feel more normal.
Next time you are with friends try to notice how they are feeling. Don’t examine them and analyse them but just pay proper attention to them and how they are. Anxiety really is a shared human experience. Once you pick up on others having the same experience it can help to change your relationship with anxiety. Rather than it being something that you are desperate to push away it becomes something that you can accept as normal, something that everyone gets.
So give it a go. Check in with yourself every now and then and notice whether you feel anxious. If you check regularly perhaps you will realise that there are more times than you thought when actually you weren’t really feeling anxious. Amazing.
We all deal with all sorts of emotions everyday. It is part of being human. Learning to recognise our emotions really helps to make sure we are not bottling things up. Come on a Revitalise Day Retreat and see how you can train your brain to keep cool and enjoy life more.
Our day retreats are held in a Beautiful Leicestershire village and they are suitable for everyone. No two are the same so there are always new experiences to be had. The day is a real break from everyday life and a real opportunity to check in with yourself and see how you are doing.