In the section ‘The OpenUp of …’ someone openly tells about his or her life. Topics such as meaning, awareness, doubts and insights all pass by. We basically ask how psychology plays a role in their day-to-day lives? In this episode we ask Leonie, HR business partner at Yondr Group.
Leonie, how are you?
“I’m fine, thanks! Well, I’m better, I should say. I have finally been able to find a better balance in all daily activities like work, children and household activities. That balance had been lost these recent months. During the lockdown period I had trouble keeping all the balls in the air, I felt a constant rush, as if there weren’t enough hours in my day.
“During the lockdown period I had trouble keeping all the balls in the air.”
My husband worked at the office and I worked from home, together with three children that I also had to homeschool. In addition, due to the situation, there were more challenges at work. This combination made me constantly feel rushed and sometimes I even wondered if I could handle it all. Sometimes I literally felt the blood flowing through my veins, I breathed too much from the chest and I had trouble concentrating. That was not ok, it was really a hectic period. Luckily the peace and quiet has returned and I can say that I am doing ok again”.
What did you do to regain the balance?
“I literally stopped myself: ‘till here and no further’. It was necessary to step on the brake, ventilate and find support. When you feel like you’re constantly running, and you don’t know where to start to stop it, it’s necessary to take a step back to get things back on track.
“Let me say this again, mental health is very important! Putting focus on my own mental well being brought back the balance.”
I have seen and guided many burn-outs. I obviously didn’t want to go that way. It’s nice that I was able to talk about this openly at work. It really helped when I could discuss that there were too many balls in the air at home and at work at the same time.
I started talking with a mental coach, so that I could reflect. That helped a lot. A well-deserved vacation certainly also contributed to this: distance from the situation, distance from work. We have a nice corporate culture where we like to achieve goals and work hard together. But we also want to promote that mental health is very important. Let me say this again, mental health is very important! Putting focus on my own mental well being brought back the balance. I know feel like I can breathe again”.
What helps you at times you don’t feel that well?
“Sometimes, when it’s too busy, or a lot is happening I still feel like I’m losing grip – life comes with hectic and unexpected situations. But I am a positive person by nature and always try to put things into perspective.
“How intense is the situation really? Can’t some things wait until tomorrow?”
How intense is the situation really? Can’t some things wait until tomorrow? I walk around for a while, get a glass of water and zoom out. That helps me to be able to zoom out, something which often makes the ‘problem’ a lot less big.
What also helps me a lot is taking the time to do something I really feel like doing at that moment. This differs from watching a series or reading a book to taking a walk outside. Whatever it is, it helps me to do it on my own. With a busy world around me, it’s very nice to be alone every now and then”.
What is your experience with ‘opening up’, or talking to someone?
“Ha, that’s nice. I’m energetic and positive, very active and I like to talk. I’ve always thought that when you talk to a psychologist, you’re helped with solutions to the challenges and problems you’re facing, but that’s not how it works.
“By getting stuff off your chest and reflecting on the things that are on your mind, you’re encouraged to think and get your own insights.”
I have sat across someone with the idea: “I keep on talking, but: do something, say something, reach out to me! But that person would sit quietly, lean back in the chair, and he wouldn’t come up with any answers at all. The beautiful thing is, that that is exactly what you need! It makes you think for yourself. For me, this was an eye-opener: by looking for help, getting stuff off your chest and reflecting on the things that are on your mind, you’re encouraged to think and get your own insights. That was very valuable for me.”
Which life lesson would you like to share?
“I think it is important to try and focus on the bigger picture as much as possible, and not to worry too much about details that don’t really matter. We sometimes get caught up in the stress of small, irrelevant things. At those moments I try to put things into perspective and look at the situation from a helicopter view. Is it really all that bad? It often isn’t.
“I can really enjoy spending time with my loved ones, the people I really care for.”
It also helps to focus on the beautiful things life has to offer. I can really enjoy spending time with my loved ones, the people I really care for. By spending time with them and paying attention to real connections, life gets extra color. I also love adventure, discovering new things and places that give me energy. Especially when I do this with the people I love. Long story short: focus on the positive things!”
Yondr Group works with OpenUp