A Bitter Pill to swallow

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference (Reinhold Niebuhr)

I have had a poor relationship with money for years and because of this I have had anxiety on and off. This is mainly down to my work situation as there is no anxiety when I am in work.

If I am ever out of work, this is when the anxiety kicks in as my mind overthinks what is going to happen in the future.

This week has been a bad week work wise as my current contracting role has been terminated. I thought I had at least 12 months ahead of me but it wasn’t to be. I never thought I would be in a position where I was finished for having asthma but that is my reality.

The Project was a Gas Plant in Oman and it is the Omani Government who has effectively ended my employment. They see over 60s and anyone with underlying lung conditions (i.e. asthma) as vulnerable and will not allow anyone who is vulnerable into their country during the current pandemic. End of project and along with most contractors I know, I’m now looking for work.

If I am being honest, it was a very bitter pill to swallow. A little dark cloud appeared, as I was told the news.

This is the type of situation that got me into self-development in 2018, as I was sick of being worried about money and my work situation.

Thankfully, I don’t get anxiety as often and am not worrying about when I will find work or what our money situation will be like in 6 months.

My new mantra is to focus on what I can do and not focus on things that are out of my hands. This is not always easy but there are things that help me to keep that dark cloud from making regular appearances.

New habits that have helped me

First of all, I get up and start the day with some meditation. There are various apps and I tend to do a mindful meditation for 5 days a week. This will normally be for around 15-20 minutes. What it has done has helped me to be calm in most situations at work and at home. The main benefit though is that it has helped to reduce my anxiety.

I am then looking to stretch. Being quite tall, I was suffering from back pain until a physiotherapist told me to stretch my hamstrings regularly for 30 seconds at a time. Touch wood my back pain has gone now I am doing regular stretching exercises. I will do 15 minutes of exercise like squats or press-ups then I will finish with some stretches.

The next thing to finish my morning routine is to have a cold shower. My body balance therapist (form of physiotherapy – Amatsu UK) put me onto Wim Hoff a few years ago and I have been doing it daily ever since. The main benefits of cold therapy are that it helps your nervous system and reduces inflammation. Mr Hoff also claims that it helps mental health as well. If I am training hard, I also have x1 Ice bath per week to help recovery.

Probably the biggest thing that helps me with anxiety and stress is exercise. I have been training 6 days a week for over 20 years and it helps me mentally and physically. If I don’t get to train because of injury or whatever else, my overall mood goes south very quickly.

It is difficult to be out of work at the best of times and being out of work now is especially hard. There are many contractors who have been out of work for several months and I have got everything crossed that the UK economy makes a speedy recovery and that work picks up.

The contractors who I work with are mostly very capable and are good at adapting to any situation they find themselves in. They will work Onshore, Offshore, anywhere in the UK and even abroad. That is why I am very confident that we will all be ok and find a way out of the current difficulties due to COVID-19.

Stay positive and get busy on Linkedin and any other platform for finding work. Speak to your network and make the most of any opportunities when they present themselves.

I would literally be nowhere without my network. After 2 days of being out of work, a friend of mine (who has helped me on a few occasions and is always trying to help in anyway he can) had put me onto a recruiter and I had an interview lined up for the end of the week.

My interview was with 4 senior members of a project team and the interview took place over Microsoft Team. Hopefully I get the job but if it doesn’t go well, I will be fine, as I know I tried my best.

Leave a Reply