How are you feeling now that you are back at work.
For me the annual return to work after Christmas holidays tends to be a time of dread. Like the Sunday evening return to work dread feeling.
I know for many people the lead up to Christmas can be very stressful, for me it tends to be the opposite, I love the lead up to Christmas, the build up, the house decorating, present buying etc. I like to plan food to cook, present wrapping themeing and what to buy for people.
It can be a very happy distraction for me, and one where I find I am totally in the moment. At each time, I am 100% focussed on the task at hand. If you follow Leannesaysitsallg on facebook, you will see I shared out this link, that multi-tasking is a myth. and it is.
For those of us that struggle with depression and controlling the endless whirring of ideas and concerns in our heads, staying focussed on one task at a time, particularly a happy task is a good thing but a hard one.
So why Happy New Year Hangover?
Each year at Christmas, the reality of the ‘Christmas/New Year holidays’ inevitably for me, ends in disappointment. My hopes for how my interactions with family will be, never actually eventuate.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not like I have a family that drinks too much and then spends the afternoon arguing with each other. ( In many ways that might be better!) but how people tend to interact with me, tends to not to be how I hope it might pan out. I am not really clear on what I want, and I do struggle to enunciate it in any way, but invariably it is not what I need.
For the last several years this has meant that I can get quite pent up before and after the event, particularly after. I know others can be like this too. I know that some of the worst arguments I have with my husband have tended to be around Christmas time. One year after a particular hideous time away for a Christmas week I arrived home, only to pack the car the next day and drive back to my parents with kids in tow to “cool off”
It is not one of those - 'you will laugh about it later’ times even now.
In the main, the down comes after the event, when nothing has been as I hoped. That all my planning and hopes for a connected family time have actually amounted to nothing. This tends to manifest itself in bitchiness about incidentials, as I can’t actually explain what went wrong to anyone, I just know it was.
What can actually make it worse, is that people tend to not notice I am not 'good’ and I just can’t bring myself to say anything to anyone. Like it’s holiday time right, everyone is meant to be relaxed and happy, they don’t need my down - so I just bottle it up.
So this year, I tried to be be more mindful of how I was feeling and recognising the actual issue as it occurred and not just reacting after the event.
Was I successful?
Yes and no, most of my family thought I was fine, however a key thing my sister picked up on ( but I am sure that they ALL spoke about) was that you could tell that I was making a concerted effort to choose happiness.
And she was right, I am.
You would think it would be easy wouldn’t you?
But it isn’t, a week of terrorist hideousness didn’t help, but what did help was this little person.
Our youngest and our sweetest (but don’t tell his siblings).
There is nothing that keeps you focussed in the moment like playing with children, especially boys. In the main, the world for them is right now, not in an hour, not tomorrow and more importantly not yesterday. They want you present with them. Let’s just have fun mum, right now!
So when I chose to just be with him, whether it was playing the xbox with him, doing handstands in the pool ( and winning ALL the handstand competitions ) racing down the slides and whirlpool at the Sydney Aquatic centre or climbing over rocks at the Kiama blowhole, I was just there, present, not concerned about what had happened, what could happen, or what might happen.
No whirring thoughts about why didn’t people ask me how I was this Christmas, why can’’t I kick this extra 10 kilos ( thanks medication!), why wont people ask me out to lunch. There was just Damon and I and the sheer joy of being together.
Everything I needed to deal with back at work - I still dealt with when I returned and I handled what needed to be handled.
So yes I did have pangs of annoyance, I could have gone to the dark side, but those little things we did together had a great positive effect on me. He had a good time too!
So rather than the New Year Hangover, my aims for this year are
1. Concentrate on what I need to do at the moment I need to do it.
2. Cook one new thing each week
3. Move more and hopefully loose those 10 kilos I put on this year due to medication that keeps me balanced
4. Play with my kids more - especially our youngest. My aim is to understand minecraft, be able to play Batman Lego ( at least one of the versions we have ) and jump on our trampoline.
I know 3 is dodgy and the everyday stress of work might mean number 1 goes by the wayside, but 2 and 4 will be winners.
Little things, simple things, small steps on the road to happiness.