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Are you tired and emotional?

Are you tired and emotional?

Nicola Hopes

12 October 2021

I had the rare experience a couple of weeks ago of coming close to losing my cool. 


In the same 4-hour period I had an emotional personal blow, an annoying work blow, some (helpful) but very direct feedback that felt like a sucker punch and, finally, a scheduling nightmare (not my creation) on a very important meeting. 


All first world problems.  


None worthy of much energy in the overall scheme of things.  


But they all came together like buses. 


And the most important part – I was already feeling a bit stretched. A bit out of control. Therefore, they were rubbing an already sore wound.  


Frankly, I was already tired and emotional. 


Luckily, I’m good at noticing my state after years of practising so I knew what was going on. I chose not to respond to anything in those few hours because it wouldn’t have been helpful if I had. 


But I’m having similar conversations (for different reasons) with a number of clients right now about how they are feeling. 


This September was intense. For many it felt like ‘back to school’ on acid.  


Maybe we haven’t had the summer break we would normally have – because we’ve not been able to travel for some sun or we felt we couldn’t take much time off? Maybe 2021 into 2022 is such a crucial year for either recovery or getting on with the strategy – there’s pressure to make stuff happen quickly?  


And this is on top of a very difficult year of uncertainty, fear and lack of control – all common anxiety triggers for many people. 


Upshot: Nobody has any energy. Meeting schedules are off the charts. Time is a very precious commodity. 


But it’s in exactly these moments where time is what we need. Time to think. Time to plan. Time to problem solve. 


If this feels all too familiar to you right now, how do you get some real space and distance to give you that valuable time? 

A solution to every problem 

  • If you risk telling them exactly what you think – there’s the old chestnut of write the email / message you want to deliver and save it to drafts. You get the emotion out of your system. Then go back when you’ve had a chance to reflect and write the message that will move you forward.  


  • If you feel like your head is full and you’re worrying more than doing – try mind mapping. I swear by it. You can read more about how I approach that here.  


  • If you’re paralysed with decision-making – you may be suffering decision-fatigue. Get really clear about what decisions you actually need to make. You can read more about that here.  


  • If you need a break – take one! Whether that’s a lunchtime walk, a slot for reflection in your diary or a holiday. You’re no use to anybody burnt out or in stress mode. A long weekend only takes finding two little days where you can nudge a few meetings and suddenly you have a 4-day break from the norm. Rest. Recharge. Get a new perspective. 


And let it never be said that I don’t take my own advice. This time last week I was having a massage and then sipping cocktails over a long leisurely lunch – sadly not on a distant shore but in (rainy) Manchester. Well, a break’s a break! 

As author, thought leader and UN Global Champion Bryant McGill says:  

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges.   

So relax.” 

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