Entry No. 2 | The Dreaded Week of the Year
N O . 2
Here we go again. The time has come. The end of the worst week of the year, also known as the laziest week of the year, is upon us. Is it just me who falls into this weird, black hole of a rut that seems endless between Christmas and New Year's? I've been tired, had a lack of motivation to do anything, really, and my mind has been in a million places while my body is screaming "10 more minutes, PLEASE." every morning. The craziest thing, is this has happened every year of my adult life, and it really got me thinking;
"HOW DO I AVOID THIS DREADED WEEK OF THE YEAR?"
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it seems so impossible to get anything done during this week, but it doesn't have to be that way. I thought about what I could do to avoid feeling the remnants of stress and go-go-go that holidays so often and effortlessly present us with. While I considered solutions to this, I ran into the thought of "why do I feel so tired and unproductive this week, and what was the cause of feeling so down in the dumps (in more ways than one)?" I came to the conclusion: I am terrible at focusing on what I need, ESPECIALLY in the midst of the holidays. There are so many things to take care of during the season of Christmas and New Year's that I just forgot that maybe I need a second or two to collect myself so I can be myself through the celebration and the stress. I went so long without thinking about stopping for even a moment, that after Christmas had ended, I hit a MAJOR wall. That was my problem.
So, now that the issue has been brought to light, I wanted to share someways I believe this burnout and laziness can be avoided (yes, I am VERY MUCH SO speaking to myself).
01. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE & THAT YOU ARE HUMAN
I hate to break it to you (and me), but you're not invincible. You're human, which means that you have limits for what you can do and what you should do. It seems so common in our day and age to want to keep going and going, and pretend that nothing gets to us, that we are capable of handling anything and everything. THIS IS SO NOT TRUE, nor is it healthy. Also, I think we glorify a nonstop lifestyle, an "always hustling" lifestyle, if you will, without realizing that too much of anything (hustling included) is too much. Take care of you! Set aside time to intentionally get to know more about yourself, and what you need. It seems that the art of getting to know yourself better gets lost in the chaos of our "always hustling" mentality. Get to know you, know that it's okay, and actually quite normal, that you can't handle it all, and make time to do things that fuel you, especially during the holiday season.
02. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR DISTRACTIONS & REMOVE (OR MODERATE) THEM
We all have distractions that are disguised as restful things for us, probably the most common being Netflix. For me personally, it's YouTube. YouTube seriously gets the best of me and causes me to get lost in my screen for sometimes hours at a time. Don't get me wrong, YouTube and Netflix actually can totally be restful, but in moderation. Just like I said above, too much of anything is too much. These distractions only become distractions when we allow them a bigger reign in our lives than they should be allowed. Spending a whole day staring at a screen isn't restful (whether you're working or you're watching Netflix). Your eyes hurt after a while, you feel unaccomplished/unproductive, and ultimately an overdose of virtual entertainment has less benefits than consequences. The key to quality of life and quality of work is balance. balance between your favourite Netflix shows and your other ways of rest. Times of rest shouldn't drain you, nor make you feel like you wasted your day, rather you should be refueled by what you do to rest. You should feel ready to conquer the work and fun that are ahead of you in your next season, or even your next day. Admitting that something you enjoy has become a distraction is a good thing, so that you can be more mindful of the amount of time you give to binge-watching, and remind yourself that there are restful things that also motivate you for what's next.
03. BUILD YOUR ROUTINE & CLING TO IT FOR DEAR LIFE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
Something I personally have been terrible at this year has been routine building, and because of that I have come to realize how sacred and vital routines and rituals are. I consider myself a pretty organized and structured individual, so you can imagine how chaotic I feel internally when I don't take time to make structure for my lifestyle, let alone my day. I would say that the most important parts of our days that deserve rituals are mornings and nights. Morning routines are important because it's a way of setting the tone of your day. It's a starting point for the rest of your day to launch off of. A way to set the mood, if you will. You have a chance to use your morning to either set yourself up for success or failure for the day ahead of you. Now night routines are, I believe, just as important as your morning routine. When you settle in for the night, what do you do? What are you gravitated toward in order to unwind and prepare yourself for a solid night's sleep? Or do you even do anything to set up yourself for a great time of bodily and mental rest? How we unwind is just as vital as how we wind up, because, life is a serious cycle. If you don't sleep well one night, then the next morning you don't feel rested, and if you don't feel rested it affects your whole day. When we don't establish rituals for ourselves, we lose our grip on the types of days we have. It's sort of like without a ritual to prep yourself for the day (maybe sitting in your favourite comfy chair lit by the best natural light, thanks to your large, pretty windows, with a cup of coffee and some fueling music or a good book to kickstart your brain for your day's events/workload), you're jumping headfirst into the unknown of the day without the proper gear or knowledge to thrive and work well. And without a night routine to unwind in a natural and gradual way, you're crossing your fingers for a beautiful and uninterrupted sleep, where you wake up the next morning feeling like you can take on the world. Rituals are sacred. You deserve rituals in your life to set yourself up for an enjoyable day of success and beauty.
04. DON'T LET STRESS OVERSHADOW THE FUN
Have you ever thought of how sad it is that we sometimes have to learn, or re-learn, how to have fun? There are these unhealthy and self-deprecating habits that our environment has built into us without us even realizing until we stop to think about it (if we let ourselves even do that). In general, we are prone to letting stress take over our lives, but what kind of a life is that? A life that has more control over you than you have over it, that's for sure. It's not a life that you should want to live, because life should be enjoyed, too. If this helps you, I want you to know that stress doesn't own you, your life doesn't own you, and having fun is an integral part of being a human. Like I stated earlier, life is really about balance. This includes work and play. The amount of things whirling around in your brain don't deserve to steal your happiness and fun in your life, because life is so fun when we let it be. Let your life remind you of the fun you can have, the laughs you can laugh, the cool parts of life that have the right to outshine the moments where your stressed out brain has dug you into a hole. You have the power to choose to see and partake in the thriving fun that life has to offer you, instead of giving worry, stress, and anxiety the reigns over your heart and mind. Let yourself experience the freedom and joy of the good things life has for you. No more being chained down for you or me, friends.
I just wanted to end this post with a little personal note. I'm not a big believer in New Year's Resolutions; I think designating the end of the year/start of the year as the day to make a change in my life is an unhealthy mentality for me, personally. If you find New Year's Resolutions helpful, you do you, and do it proudly! What I tend to do instead is speaking a word over my next year that I'll cling to and live out over this next season. For this next year, the word Recovery has come to mind repeatedly, and I truly think a big part of that is letting myself enjoy life more instead of giving stress and anxiety power over me. If you want to join me in speaking a word over your year, please do, and comment it below, because I would love to hear what you're predicting and hoping for your next year.
thank you for taking time to read my words and maybe even joining me in leaving this dreaded week of the year in 2017.
Here's to a killer and life-giving 2018 for us, friends.
cheers to the new year!