Throughout my career I have been fortunate to be employed by organisations with values I fully subscribe to; this has been hugely motivating for me to genuinely give everything I can to my role. I love the work that I do but I have struggled mentally, and I want to say to my colleagues and professional networks that it is okay to not be okay.
I will never be ashamed of saying when I have found things hard, even when the experience of living with poor mental health can be incredibly isolating. Despite how I have been feeling, I have continued to work and contribute to as much as I can to an array of projects. The motivation of being a part of the community-owned business movement is what drives me on, and I will forever try my best to represent the interests of this growing network in all that I do.
My employer, Plunkett Foundation does offer a flexible approach to working and it makes me so proud to see how colleagues have benefitted from the policies we, as a Senior Leadership Team, have put in place. I am sorry to say that in the past I have not utilised the policies as fully as I should, and this has been to my detriment. I know that getting the balance is critical because when we are on top form at home, we are more likely to be able to bring the best version of ourselves to work.
Where I had got to was; I was tired from not sleeping, emotional because of my fatigue and frustrated that my mind was stuck on ‘negative’. But I have taken control and redressed my own work-life balance. I am committed to taking my lunch breaks, saying no to tasks that are not a priority at the moment, and being very strict that I leave the office on time for those activities that benefit me and my family. I am pleased to say that, for now at least, it is working.
I am fully aware that my mental health will need further adjustments to be made in future, and I will address these openly when the time is right. For now, on we go!