A few words on when things feel a little bit off, even if you can’t quite put your finger on what the matter actually is.

Hello and welcome to the spot on the site where we chat about things that may be getting on top of us a bit. About the challenges some of us may be facing, and just a place where we can admit that everything might not be particular okay.

Sometimes in these articles, we tend to cover tangible things. Things that are a bit more defined, where at least there’s some relatively obvious path to get some help and support. But not this time. This is about those moments where it’s not quite apparent what a problem is, just that something doesn’t feel quite right. A niggling feeling at the back of our heads, that sort of thing.

I used to work with a brilliant human, writer and editor by the name of Louisa Mellor, who I miss working alongside tremendously. I remember one day we were having a conversation – and I’ve used this analogy a lot since – about that old cliché (and it’s likely true) that there’s always someone out there somewhere who’s got things worse than you have. But, she argued, just because someone walks into the waiting room with a broken leg, it doesn’t mean your broken toe doesn’t need attention.

I loved that. I’ve obviously badly mangled her words, as I was always wont to do, but hopefully the underlying fundamentals come through. That it’s worth paying attention to the small things. More than that: it’s pretty essential to do so. Even if you don’t quite know what they are.

And that’s where this crosses over with those little niggles for me. The tiny feelings in the side of my brain that something was off. In my younger years, I’d ignore them, or gloss over them, or bury them. It’s just me worrying too much. It’ll be alright really. I’m just making a fuss. That sort of justification was what I’d come up with to push self-care down my priority list.

What I’ve since learned is that it’s worth listening to your instincts, and it’s worth listening to your brain. You don’t have to follow every corner it takes you, and that in itself can obviously be problematic. But just the idea that if there’s an alarm bell going off in your body somewhere, listen to it, no matter how small. Another mantra I’ve tried to increasingly live by is that it’s fine to get help and support when you’re near the start of your tether, and you don’t have to wait until you get to the end of it.

We’re funny things, human beings. We’re increasingly good at ignoring warning signs in ourselves, that we’d be horrified if we knew someone else we cared about was doing.

And that’s what leads me to this article. A jumble of small little imperfect ideas and thoughts, but with an underlying suggestion that, as best as possible, we just look after ourselves a bit better. No perfect answers, but hopefully at least the recognition of a small problem.

As always, thanks so much for reading, and the very best to you all.

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