— Eloise (June 2019)
I’ve been a full-time Naturopath for nearly fourteen years now (since 2007). And, over this time, I’ve noticed a big change in the work that I do with people here at OOMPH.
Nowadays, I can spend the majority of the appointment listening to, and discussing certain life situations that my clients find themselves in. I am particularly interested in helping them through these trying times, as these dilemmas are clearly a big reason for their exhaustion, and particularly their ongoing stress. (I am very grateful that they feel comfortable enough to share this information with me 🙌)
And, while I’m not a trained mental health worker, I don’t believe that I need to be. These people just need someone who they can trust to ‘open up to’ — and who they respect enough to take some honest advice from.
Note: More on this below.
In some cases, I use a ‘rip’ analogy to get through to my clients who suffer from exhaustion, chronic stress and/or overwhelm. They find it rather helpful, so I thought I would pass this on to you too.
The first part of this blog-post, is essentially letting you know where I got the idea (💡) from. Because, if you follow LISA SAID SO, you’ll know that I’m a bit of a storyteller…
However, if you just want to jump to ‘the guts’ then please click here.
When I was 14 years old, my mother and I took a trip to Queensland to visit our close ‘rellies’ who had recently moved over there. And, as part of the trip, we visited Australia’s fabulous Gold Coast1.
We were staying in a hotel right on the beach, and one early morning I decided I’d take a pleasant stroll along the glorious golden strip. Unfortunately, the walk didn’t quite turn out the way that I planned it — because I walked fair (dinkum) into a rip!
In my defence — not only was I young, but I was brought up in Cambridge. Because of this, I had simply been taught by my parents that the easiest way to prevent drowning was to simply avoid entering into any watery substances. However, should I accidentally fall into the Waikato river, then I wasn’t to try to swim back to where I had fallen in, rather I was to turn and go with the current, and swim to the nearest bank — and just get out that way.2
So, back to me inadvertently walking toward my own doom…
I really didn’t see it coming!
Because, to be fair, I wasn’t expecting it; I was walking alongside the ocean, and not bloody well into it 😩
I just thought that I was about to walk through a wee splash of water on my sandy path.
“Nek minnit” — I was mid-thigh in water, and the ocean seemed quite keen on dragging me back to whenst I came — New Zealand!3.
Thankfully, I was (I am) a strong, and tenacious wee lass and managed to fight my way back out. However, I admit I was pretty panicky, and more than a little confused about the whole weird ‘Bermuda Triangle’ situation. But more than this, I was mortified to think about any Aussies who may have witnessed me try to drown myself, in what really looked to be a large, ankle-deep, puddle of water…😏
It’s just as easy to walk into a ‘virtual rip’, virtually anywhere!
A virtual rip is: where you’re oblivious to there being any obvious problem — because on the surface things seem calm enough — but the underlying feeling, when you’re caught-up-in-it, is that you’re struggling and/or panicking. Here, you’re also not making any head-way, you’re experiencing exhaustion, and you feel helpless to do anything about it all.
You’re too scared to let go of what you’re doing completely, because you feel like you would then be taken too far off course, and then you would struggle even further to find your way back to solid ground — given your ‘current’ level of exhaustion, and stress.
So you just keep ‘at it’ — hoping things will get easier — eventually.
Feeling this way (and acting this way) on an ongoing basis is not good for your health. It also causes you to do other things that are not so good for your health e.g. relying on coffee, sugar, and alcohol to help, well, keep you afloat.
Your virtual rip may occur anywhere (home, work, or school). And it may come in the form of the following situations:
An insurmountable workload
Poor workplace dynamics
Frustrations regarding politics, and policies
People issues e.g that surly cow from accounting 😉
Romantic/friendships/relatives — which have gotten ‘too hard’ e.g. your needs are not being listened to, you’ve grown apart/you want different things, you keep having the same repetitive disagreements over, and over… and over again.
You’re unsure about your next right move.
You’re not sure what you want to do with your life (in general).
You’re having difficulty juggling your life/work commitments.
This is the advice I give:
01—Ideally, avoid virtual rips.
Virtual rips suck as much as real ones do.
They lead to exhaustion, and stress.
However, if it’s too late, and like me, you simply walked head-long into one (🤦♀️), then, please keep reading…
02—It's very important to know what you've gotten yourself into
You need to recognise that you’re in a ‘situation’ — that you are indeed struggling, and suffering from exhaustion. That you’re not going nowhere — fast.
Otherwise you won’t realise what’s going on, you’ll just feel panicky, and you’ll try to fight it.
Here, you’ll only end-up making things worse.
The most important thing to do when you’re caught in a rip, is to acknowledge that you’re caught in a rip.
Only then can you reclaim your wits, and make your next right move — not forwards, not backwards, but sideways.
03—Relax, and trust that there is a safe & easy way out
No good can come from continually struggling to do something. It doesn’t make you tougher, it just makes you tired — and, well, daft!
It’s actually more productive, and far easier, to simply relax, and take another approach.
(In most cases, you’re also not thinking straight. Because you’re more worried about what others are doing or thinking about the situation you are in.)
So, depending on you, and the circumstances of your virtual rip, you might decide to try these tactics instead (from the easiest to the hardest solution):
Sidestep the situation
Escape the struggle by trying a different approach e.g change the subject, the focus, or the meaning. Or, you might go for a walk, or involve yourself in another task entirely.
Put your hand up
Ask for help — from your boss, your significant other, a friend, a counsellor, a Naturopath. We can help guide you toward, and help keep you safely between, those good ole red & yellow flags.
Put your hands up
Giving in doesn’t mean giving up.
Life wasn’t meant to be a constant struggle.
You weren’t meant to be suffering from exhaustion.
You weren’t meant to be constantly stressed, and overwhelmed.
Maybe it’s time for a complete rescue & recovery effort?
Here’s a similar blog-post I wrote about stress, anxiety, & overwhelm.
If you’re one of my clients, you’ll know that providing lifestyle and life advice is a BIG part of the work that I do with you. This is because it impacts so dramatically on your health and wellbeing.
In fact, it’s gotten to the point where some of my clients ask if it’s okay if they book in solely to discuss such matters, and to get my ‘take’ on it 🙏🏻
Here, I provide my style of straight-talking advice (based on what they share with me) on how I believe they should approach their ‘virtual rip’.
Note: Giving advice is letting people know what you think is best for them, while counselling is allowing people to explore and decide what is best for them… Clearly, LISA SAID SO gives direct advice 😉
This has lead me to now offer a new service here at OOMPH:
My “Two Cents” sessions.
It’s essentially Lisa’s advice bureau — where I’m available to provide you with my advice on anything you would care to discuss e.g relationships (romantic, sexual, friendship, relatives, colleagues), career, spirituality, general life guidance and more.
Note: You must be an existing client to request this service. You can book this online – it’s under the lifestyle banner. (FYI: I have actually been known to take on a few ‘newbies’ for this sole purpose. However, this is because they are aware of the ‘way I work’, as they have been referred to me by one of their friends/my clients.)
Here’s an example of some of the cool feedback that I get from my clients.
This email is INCREDIBLY overdue (to-the-point-where-you-most-definitely-don’t-even-remember-me-overdue), but I just had to reach out and say a big thank you.
I came to see you in March last year. And besides my exhaustion, sluggishness, irritability, niggly overweight-ness and general under-the-weatherness, we also talked about a bunch of personal stuff that I hadn’t realised was affecting me so much.
Well, I just wanted to let you know that since taking all your advice (both health- and life-related), I’ve got clearer skin than I’ve had in years, I’ve stopped waking up tired, I’ve stopped needing afternoon naps, I’ve stopped feeling like a grumpy mess all the time, and I’ve lost about 15kg!
Needless to say, it’s been a bloody ripper of a year. And it feels like your guidance, honesty, and expertise all came along at the perfect time and just completely radicalised my life.
So, I’ll say it again a little louder for those in the back – thank you SO much!”
— Eloise (June 2019)
It’s kinda ‘my thing’ here at OOMPH, and LISA SAID SO 🤗
Here is wee selection for you:
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath and Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice OOMPH in Grey Lynn (Auckland, New Zealand).
Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 13.5 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.
Book online to see Lisa at OOMPH.