We have asked staff from across the racing industry to explore some of the services on offer through Racing’s Support Line which is now delivered in partnership with Care first. In part one of the series, industry employee Lucy Baker finds out more about in the moment support and why this is something that we could all benefit from…
Bad day at home, bad day at work, stress, frustration, overwhelmed; sometimes it can all just feel a bit too much. You understand what I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s not just me that feels this way, is it? Tell me I am not alone here?!
And that’s exactly what Sarah from Racing’s Support Line did when she answered the call I made having finally realised I just needed somewhere to let it all out. She made me realise that feeling this way every now and then wasn’t unusual, she helped me to see that it is normal to have all these emotions and perhaps most importantly she gave me space to let them out.
So often in life we have a practical solution to problems. Car broken down? Call the garage. Stable star gone lame? Call the vet. Oven stopped working? Call the appliance repairman (NB: don’t let your husband install the new oven, the smell of burning plastic in your kitchen lasts a good seven days. Fact!). But, feeling so frustrated you want to scream? Dealing with our emotions is often not so straightforward.
So, what do we do? Push it down, internalise it, avoid thinking about how you are feeling. This can be our natural reaction but the very act of talking out loud about how you are feeling can help you to process your emotions, get some insight into your situation, then let it go and move on with your day in a better frame of mind.
“Reaching out for in the moment support is not going to solve all of your issues. It won’t stop your owners asking why their 0-95 handicapper doesn’t have a Cheltenham entry. It won’t get your children to do their home schooling without moaning or asking for a snack every 45 seconds and it won’t provide you with next week’s euro millions numbers. However, sharing the stresses of daily life can make you feel less alone and can leave you feeling that you can manage these situations.”
And this isn’t just my opinion, it is science! When we are stressed our natural fight or flight instincts kick in and this can override our logical thought process. Talking can lessen this response meaning your feelings are less likely to burst out in the wrong situation and this is why I called Racing’s Support Line when I was having ‘one of those days’.
Now, I am not talking about full on counselling sessions here (although Sarah explained that these can be accessed through Racing’s Support Line too and by calling the line you’ll have direct access to a trained counsellor 24/7 who can assess if further support would be beneficial for you). This is just the opportunity to vent in a safe space.
Often, we have a trusted friend to talk to but sometimes we don’t want to burden them with the minutia of our daily lives and particularly in the current climate of the pandemic, we can be prone to thinking that we just need to get on with it and that there are many who are in a much worse situation than us. However, the counsellors on the end of the Support Line want to hear from you no matter how big or small your problem may be.
Reaching out for in the moment support is not going to solve all of your issues. It won’t stop your owners asking why their 0-95 handicapper doesn’t have a Cheltenham entry. It won’t get your children to do their home schooling without moaning or asking for a snack every 45 seconds and it won’t provide you with next week’s euro millions numbers. However, sharing the stresses of daily life can make you feel less alone and can leave you feeling that you can manage these situations.
Getting up the courage to call the Support Line wasn’t easy. I picked up and put down the phone approximately 95 times in two hours before finally making the call but within ten minutes of talking to Sarah I was already feeling better and I couldn’t really remember what it was that had made me so hesitant in the first place.
So, next time you find yourself wondering if it’s normal to want to give it all up and run away to live on a croft in the Outer Hebrides (just me?) then why not give Racing’s Support Line a call? If it is troubling you, it is worth talking about and I guarantee whoever picks up the phone wants to listen.
If you work in racing you can call Racing’s Support Line 24/7 on 0800 6300 443.