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Feeling overwhelmed: Why it's OK not to feel OK according to these professional rugby players

As we continue with our Mental Health Awareness initiative, professional rugby player Cathal Sheridan visits Morgan McKinley to speak about his journey with mental health.

Cathal is a Munster Rugby player that has been involved in a number of mental health awareness campaigns, in particular Tackle Your Feelings. The campaign features a number of videos from rugby players who encourage us to express how we’re feeling and manage our mental health.

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As Cathal was a professional rugby player he had some injuries along the way but a very bad break in early 2016 left him feeling very deflated. His confidence was knocked and he started to think slightly differently. He tried to keep on top of his game and come across as the funny, bubbly and happy team player that he was known for. However when training was over and he was heading home for the day the underlying feelings would come through. 

How Cathal felt was never anything more than being low, demotivated and wanting to spend time alone away from family and friends. I thought that this was the most significant part of his talk. He was there to promote being aware of your feelings and that they do not even have to be significantly bad feelings to raise your hand and say ‘I’m not feeling OK’. It is the day to day things that can get us down.

The vision of Tackle Your Feelings is:

"A society where emotional vulnerability is viewed as a strength. Where being honest with yourself about how you are feeling is brave. Where it’s second nature to connect with your emotions. Where you feel empowered to open up to others for support.”

Recruitment is a very fast-paced, demanding and ever-changing industry and at times you may not be in control. Things can go wrong and because it is a sales environment one day can be a high and the next day can be a low. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed – take a coffee break, get some fresh air or speak to someone, even just to rant for 10 minutes. Believe me you will feel better! By doing this you are addressing your emotions and giving yourself time to re-focus. 

Our blog from last week 10 practical ways to look after your mental health is a great read to give you some ideas on looking after you mental health. 

The world of recruitment can very much be like playing on a rugby field; it is all about the wins, getting a placement or goal across the line and working collaboratively with your team. Similarly like getting an injury there are knockbacks in recruitment. If you come up against a bad hour, day or week do not hide the emotions or try tuck away your feelings be honest and connect with your emotions, don’t be afraid to ask for some support and most importantly do not think you are alone. 

We are all human, all have bad days and we are not invincible. If we hand our support to each other our emotions will no longer be invisible. 

  • May 24, 2016
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Michelle Donohoe

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