Well if you’ve read my ‘about me’ page you’ll know a little about what brought me here. I’ll try and keep it brief – never going to happen!
As my ‘about me’ page says, professionally I’m a Psychologist specialising in human behaviour in the workplace. I’ve had a very successful career. Psychology and human behaviour being things that have always fascinated me made it easy to apply myself and develop quickly.
Looking in from the outside of my life it would probably seem as though I had everything together, you’d probably say well Tory’s life seems fine and dandy – if you like to speak as if you’re in the 1920’s that is! From the outside you’d see a nice apartment, a great job earning a good wage, a loving and supportive family, fab friends, a cute dog and last but certainly not least an amazing husband!
So it would only be fair to expect that I am blissfully happy all the time right? WRONG!
The above list, of all the things I am extremely grateful for, if anything added to my level of anxiety – because I had always thought if I could work hard to obtain and maintain those things that I would be happy. So why the hell wasn’t I? This expectation of what should make you happy and then the realisation that you’re not, even when you know you’re extremely lucky, can cause a certain level of discomfort, confusion and guilt.
You would also think as a psychologist, who has most recently specialised in mental health and wellbeing, that I would be in the best position possible to sort my own shit out and work out what was causing me this unease. Nonetheless I’ve learnt that, even if you consider yourself an expert in psychology, life and happiness is always a work in progress and there are no quick fixes – silly really as this is the advice I give to others all the time but for some reason for a long period chose not to listen to it myself.
So what happened to change things? Well a few things really, I started practising what I preached about wellbeing techniques and how to improve your mental health. I also started doing a bit of career coaching on myself and started assessing my values and any underlying assumptions and beliefs that unconsciously directed my behaviour and life! And COVID-19 of course, putting my job at risk.
This led me to realise that I had some underlying discomfort with risk and low financial security. I had led my whole adult life so far just trying to create a successful and lucrative career because financial instability scared me! I had fallen into the age old trap of thinking money equals happiness! In doing this I had neglected some of the things that do genuinely make me happy; being creative, helping others and houses. I had always been obsessed with looking at houses, how to reconfigure them and how to decorate them. Now unfortunately, as I have no official qualifications in interior design I couldn’t just switch careers; however, what I realised I could do is learn and research interior styling and put my new knowledge and flair to good use by helping others style their homes, something I wouldn’t have to go back to uni for.
But let’s slow down for now as I’m kind of running before I can walk! I realised I needed a unique selling point – what can I offer as a self taught stylist that other stylists may not be able to offer? This is when I decided to combine my expertise in wellbeing with my new found knowledge of home styling. I realised that I got a rush of serotonin, making me feel calm and relaxed, looking around my apartment after tidying and styling it and that my wellbeing, mental health and productivity was massively linked to the way my apartment looked and felt.
Looking further into this, I found a piece of research commissioned specifically to look into the impact of our homes on our happiness – The GoodHome Report. It describes a number of things which can impact your happiness but highlights the very interesting fact that your home can account for up to 15% of your happiness – more than your job and your income! This was the lightbulb moment I was looking for and the rest, once I style it and write it, will be history……..
Stay tuned for more blog posts, actually offering advice on wellbeing and styling!