Personally, Shannon has had a rough few months. Of course, he doesn’t want to downplay the trauma that so many people experience on a day to day basis but for a while it seemed that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. From ‘minor’ annoyances, such as dealing with gastro and a broken down car (on his birthday) to multiple very personal and very deep concerns.
Towards the end of this period of unfortunate luck, Shannon decided to set time aside for self-care and go for a hike with friends in Gippsland. He was so looking forward to it. But the weather was wild and the track was steep. Shannon slipped and twisted his ankle and knee, requiring him to hobble 6km, including two deep river crossings, back to the car in the pouring rain.
The cherry on top occurred just last week. He received not one, but two speeding fines, which were given within 30 minutes of each other. They were from the month before, when he had just about reached his limit of strength and had decided to take himself for a walk in Torquay, as a way of processing his thoughts and feelings. (It should be noted that he wasn’t hooning around Torquay. But he does take responsibility for going slightly over the limit and is serious about road safety.)
Over the past few months, the bad luck began to lose its surprise. It was almost expected. But he continued on with his responsibilities - from running the business to supporting his family. So, how did he do this when every day was a struggle and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel?
He prioritised self care. One of the methods he identified as a relief from his stress was by walking his dog around the neighbourhood for 40 minutes each day. The fresh air, the time alone and the exercise helped to calm his body and mind and to give him energy to face the next challenge.
Another strategy for dealing with his stress was by talking to his partner and a friend. By sharing his worries, he shared the weight of these concerns and relieved himself of the mental and emotional burden he was carrying. Talking to others helped him to process his experiences and gain new insights into his circumstances, his options, his plans and his goals. Talking to a friend was particularly helpful, as an objective third party. Shannon would not have hesitated to talk to a professional if he felt that he needed further support, as he knows all too well the life changing power of therapy.
Shannon is passionate about laser therapy - both for the relief of pain but also for the relief of mental health challenges. When injuring his ankle and knee, he immediately started treating himself with laser and noticed a rapid rate of recovery. His physical health was important to his mental health, as his injury was preventing him from engaging in the therapeutic walks that he needed daily. Shannon also utilised the laser therapy to support his overall mental health, by using a systemic treatment and some targeted auricular therapy.
If you are going through a hard time, know that it most likely won’t be forever. Simplify your life by limiting anything unnecessary and focussing on the things that lift your spirits and energy. If everything continues to overwhelm you, reach out for further support, from a friend or a professional. Perhaps even look into laser therapy to see how it could improve your current wellbeing.