How Brexit Makes Us Take Stock
Since the referendum last year many clients have talked to me about feelings of low mood, distress, anger and helplessness. The uncertainty of status for many of us living in the UK and the overall impact of Brexit on the economy, on lives and careers has a clear impact on people's emotional state and mental wellbeing.
I have experienced inner turmoil myself since last June: having come from Germany to London 17 years ago I started asking myself: Should I return? Apply for British citizenship? Or do nothing?
I also noticed something else though, in some of my clients as well as myself. Major shake ups and life events often lead to a re-focusing on your core values, reflecting on what is really important to you in life. You start to wonder if your current path is actually still in line with your core values or if you've just been plodding along in a rut for some time. One starts to question things. Some clients have realised that even areas of their life that are only partially linked to Brexit or the situation in this country have been out-of-sync for a while. Brexit seems to have led many of us to take stock, to re-evaluate our situation and our life overall, as well as all of its individual components.
We suddenly ask ourselves fundamental questions: What is important to me? What sort of life do I want? What do I most enjoy? Why haven't I done more things I deeply enjoy in recent years? What was it that attracted me to come here originally?
These are deeply personal questions and considerations, and for each individual these reflections lead to vastly different conclusions and thoughts. By questioning literally everything some of my clients suddenly had insights that astonished them. I helped some of my clients run through an exercise of value clarification which led to realisations about core values being overlooked or neglected. In one case a client terminated a job that hadn't been a good fit for a long time, and another took steps to end a toxic relationship she had been stuck in for many years.
I am finding it hard to see anything positive in Brexit, but if there is then it is that this dramatic external event has prompted some of us to start a process of reconnecting with what's genuinely important to us and getting back in touch with our fundamental priorities in life.