This is Your Captain Speaking…We Have an Emergency!


So I have spent the first few weeks of January 2016 pondering 2016.

(And before I start, yes it really is almost February – how the hell did that happen??)

And wondering about setting some ‘goals’ that I really stick to. Not really resolutions, more real resolve to do something differently that positively affects my wellbeing.

I suffer from chronic insomnia so I’ve been thinking mostly about how I sort that out, as frankly I’m knackered and there’s only so much chamomile tea a girl can drink at 4 in the morning.

This pondering has been going on for a little while actually. Ever since an event I went to a few weeks ago where we heard from a local businesswoman turned life coach.

She started her talk with a slightly surprising question.  And asked everyone to think about the 5 people who were most important in our lives. I sat there for a couple of minutes and thought about my kids, my hubbie, my bestie….all pretty obvious choices, I guess.

top 5

She then asked us how many of us put had ourselves in the Top 5.

Errrr. Hmmmm. Oh bugger, didn’t think of that. At All. Everyone else sort of shuffled in their seats and looked at the floor too.

No one had put themselves in their own Top 5. Out of 100 people. Not. One. Single. Person.

To be absolutely honest about it, it hadn’t even occurred to me – for even a split second – to add myself to the list. I reckon a fair few of you might have felt exactly the same? But I was still quite shocked to see it.

Over the next few minutes she introduced an interesting analogy which has had a profound effect on me.

She talked about the safety briefing on a plane. You know the one that we only half listen to while we’re fiddling with our kids’ seat belts, getting sweets ready for takeoff, wishing we’d gone to the loo earlier, stashing magazines in the seat back in the vain hope we might get 2 minutes quiet time to flick through them?

She specifically talked about the bit where in an emergency, you should put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Before your own kids, even.

And then paused for a bit – really poignantly – and let everyone think about it for a few seconds.

The cogs were turning pretty slowly for me as I was so tired, but even I worked out that if you can’t breathe yourself then how could you even think about saving the people around you that you love.


I see.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to put myself anywhere other than last in my own list of priorities. I suppose it’s always felt a little selfish to do anything else?

Like most of us, I run at full pelt all day every day – juggling the business, coaching, home stuff, making sure the kids have everything they need, packing school bags, organising play dates, dentists appointments, hair cuts, birthday presents, healthy meals, cleaning, holidays, trying desperately to make time for friends and family too.

And don’t even get me started on my social media addiction. Sigh.

middle of the night

I have a very hands on other half, but I know the to do list doesn’t occupy his every thought in the same way it does mine.

But suddenly in that moment, I realised it was very important to take care of myself too. Very very important.

In fact in that moment, I realised it’s probably the most unselfish thing I could think about doing.

Otherwise how can I expect to do the things I want to do for my kids and family and friends and business?

And the more I think about it, the less surprising it is that I struggle to sleep. Running helps. I mean really helps. But my emotional and physical ‘buckets’ are still so overflowing with ‘stuff’, my subconscious goes in to meltdown at the mere thought of trying to process it all overnight. Which wakes me up, and makes me more tired. And so the cycle goes on.

So after a few weeks of over thinking it (and not sleeping) I have decided. To save the money I currently spend on chamomile tea and aromatherapy oil. And start focusing on a couple of practical things that will really help to create some quiet time and headspace in my day.

Because I reckon a teeny bit of time for myself will be good for me – and even better for the people around me.

So it’s going to start this week and this is my plan. With only two things on it to keep it simple.

Number One:

Two runs during the week, in the daytime so I can see water and sky and trees without peering in the darkness – and totally on my own. Not for training, not as part of a group, with no tech. Not even a phone for a selfie. I know, this is serious. Two runs, as head clearing, thinking time.

Number Two:

Meditation. I’m not sure where you stand on this, but meditation hasn’t worked for me in the past as I’m generally rubbish at sitting still and quietly (and I wonder where my kids get it from!).

But I know I need to carve out some quiet, thought free time in my day. So I’m going to give it a go again in the spirit of being 100% committed to creating head space.

Somewhat appropriately I’ve chosen an App called Headspace (I am literally a marketing person’s dream). I trialled it before but when the trial ran out I didn’t get round to signing up. So this time around I’m going to subscribe. Full. On. Commit.

So this is my plan for the next 30 days. And I’m hoping to ditch the middle of the night cups of tea forever. To be able to leap out of bed in the morning instead of dreading the moment when the alarm goes off after so few Zzzzzs. Well maybe not that far but you know what I’m getting at and lets face it my 2 year old will get there before the alarm anyway. Step at a time and all that!

Who’s up for joining me in my #timeforme #headspace mission?

What small (but life changing) change could you make this month that will help you make more time for you? I’d love to hear from you.

Remember…it’s Captains orders!

Happy Running all xx


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