Sometimes life can be suboptimal – mental fitness helps

So my Christmas holidays definitely didn’t follow my original plan. I finished work on December 17 looking forward to a family road trip with my amazing husband and fur-child up to Port Macquarie to see my gorgeous in-laws…

Three days later we were not on said road trip. Our fur-child Buster, who many of you know is our 12 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had stopped eating and could barely move, and so we were now amid a myriad of tests (and many tears from me) at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH). FYI – when a Cavalier stops eating, you know it’s a job for SASH!

Long story short, our poor little man was whipped into surgery on Christmas Eve to remove cancer in his throat and one of his lymph nodes. Aargh!

So needless to say the week leading up to Christmas was an anxious week. Thankfully Buster pulled through the surgery like a trooper. I’m putting it down to his excellent fitness regime that he’s always had to keep his heart as healthy as possible for a Cavalier.

Then just when we thought we had some breathing space, on Boxing Day morning I got a call telling me that my beautiful 98 year old nanna had passed away peacefully in her sleep on Christmas night. My heart sank again. Yep more tears.

Fast forward, Buster fought well but he just couldn’t get ahead of his cancer. We made the heartbreaking decision to lay him to rest while he was still able to wag his tail. We miss him desperately and now adjusting to life without him.

Thankfully I have a high level of mental fitness

Having great mental fitness doesn’t mean everything is great all the time. Nor does it mean that you view every situation as a positive…

So what can these suboptimal times teach us about mental fitness?

1. Don’t wait until the bad times to build mental fitness

I often hear people say that “bad times are when you build resilience”.

Ah no!

Bad times are when you put into practice the mental fitness you have already built to get you through. It’s actually the worst time to build Building mental fitness takes mental energy – mental energy you are unlikely to have when you are dealing with suboptimal situations.

2. Mental fitness helps you find joy in the times when it’s hardest to find

Being able to find joy every day is a key mental fitness tool.

Yes it was a suboptimal start to the year but I was able to find joy in so many things which helped me through. Like the fact that I married my amazing husband in January 2020 before the world went mad, and I am so lucky to have his support not just in good times, but also the suboptimal times.

Also thinking about how my nanna is now again with my granddad helps. And maybe now she’ll become great friends with Betty White too. My nanna always reminded me of Betty White.

The fact that Buster has been so healthy for 12 great years and I have always been grateful for every day with him.

And being grateful for even the little things, like a few good beach days with great friends over the break, contributes to mental fitness

3. One day at a time

After two years of a pandemic with many things not going according to plan, (we now just call Qantas our “trust fund” due to so many cancelled holidays) I think we’ve all become a little better at just taking one day at a time…

Make decisions today with the information you have available today. Make decisions in a week with information you have in a week.

Have goals, be flexible and always look for joy along the way.

If you are looking to build your mental fitness for your or your team this year, why not check out Day 2 of our open workshop series on March 31, 2022 or contact us for a no obligation 45 minute discovery meeting.