Discover more from Transitions
and up the mighty Brumbies!
I love surprises, and despite rushing to write last week’s blog, it was one of my least read, but the most liked post.
I was shocked but the data nerd in me reckons that’s a sign that burnout is on many people’s minds, and that readers appreciate me sharing my struggles.
Even at the best of times, life asks a lot of us, but the added stress from the bushfires and pandemic has left people absolutely wrecked, and out of energy.
Before I retired, a former teammate’s suicide kicked me into gear to learn about mental health and to start preparing for the difficult time of changing careers. And after a bit of research, I naively thought I could avoid feeling shit if I just focused on what makes my brain happy- sleep, good food, and exercise with mates.
So when the pandemic first hit, I doubled down on that belief and thought I was coping well with the added stress of the Dock and schools closing, all while trying to get Alfred off the ground.
But when Omicron arrived 2 years later, all the stress I thought I’d avoided came flooding back, and I felt like I’d been hit by a bus.
My battery was empty.
I could barely get out of bed, and I’m so lucky that I had my incredible wife and parents supporting me, with Dad cutting his European holiday short to come home and help.
We walked every morning with my brothers, and the combination of fresh air, exercise and good company helped me feel better, which made it easier for me to share what was going on inside my head.
After a few walks and hearing my struggles, Dad suggested I get some professional help.
I was hesitant and feared being labelled as weak. But I was out of ideas about how to get better, and the Brumbies put me in touch with renowned Canberra-based psychologist Gayelene Clews.
A retired athlete herself, Gaylene has worked with the Olympic team, plus many Rugby League teams, and she helped me identify all the negative ways of thinking I had (catastrophising, overly self-critical etc).
Ways of thinking that were wasting my precious energy and not helping me get to where I wanted to go.
She also showed me how important having fun is for recharging our batteries.
Something I’d neglected while I tried to get Alfred off the ground and make my career transition a success.
Gayelene also warned me about not setting boundaries with work, as that was the biggest issue she sees, and seeing her is one the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I can’t thank her and the Brumbies enough.
How you think massively impacts how you feel, and if you or anyone you know is really struggling, then please get some professional help.
You’ll never regret it.
Up the Brumbies!
Despite beating the Hurricanes comfortably a month ago, I was pretty nervous heading into last Saturday night’s game. We hadn't won and they hadn’t lost since that match, plus the Kiwis are notorious for turning it on at the right time of year.
And when we went down 14-3 and lost star centre Lenny Ikitau to a dubious red card, I was thinking “tonight’s probably not our night”.
But boy was I wrong, and the way the lads hung in there made me bloody proud and I can’t wait for Saturday night’s match!
Auckland look very beatable despite their record (we should of beat them a few weeks ago) and we’ve had plenty of success at Eden Park. Success Nic White and Scotty Sio where instrumental in (click here to see my favourite moment) and I reckon if it’s close with 20 to go, the pressure of being favourites will get to Auckland, and we’ll advance to another Grand Final.
Brumbies by 2.
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