You expect that you should be feeling good, this is the break you’ve been hankering after for a while now. But you are feeling off, maybe stressed, maybe ill, maybe grumpy, maybe even depressed or picking a few fights. Whatever it is just isn’t sitting right with you. This is your break, you want to feel great, so how do you get over what you are feeling right now?
Here’s the deal, you’ve been running hard, possibly all year without any kind of a decent break. If you’re like me you may just be feeling a little like you’ve survived something, and it’s more than just Christmas dinner. You’ve kicked your body into a permanent state of flight and fight and, now, you have a change of routine for a few days and suddenly your body is looking for the threat it’s been busy running from and fighting all year long.
In essence, your body is detoxing from a whole bunch of stress hormones and your mind is disrupted from its usual patterns of repetitive thoughts that drive your actions and therefore your experiences and feelings each day.
Okay, so you’ve felt better but what can you do about it? Well, less of the ‘doing’ for a start.
The best thing you can do for now is carry on with your seasonal plans, but start noticing how things are making you feel. This might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how oblivious to our own lives we are for so much of our time.
For example, I’ve spent most of the last year having a painful elbow and wrist treated, thinking it stemmed from wrenching a muscle when I was moving furniture, which then trapped some nerves. Given the pain I was in, I dutifully followed the physiotherapist’s instructions on exercises to do at home. Over a period of months it slowly got better, the pain retracting from my elbow but remaining in my wrist.
Then the physiotherapist strapped up my thumb and wrist with some new muscle tape, slightly restricting my movement. With the tape on it suddenly made me conscious of every movement that hurt and I discovered quite quickly that the main culprit was my laptop. Really I’ve had a repetitive strain injury because of the posture I adopt when typing.
Now, I’m not completely oblivious to the pain I’ve been in while typing, I just wasn’t paying enough attention to realise it was the cause rather than a symptom.
Often we are so wrapped up in our drive to ‘do’, and distracted in our thoughts about what we are doing or have to do next, we miss all the signals going on around that indicate our wellbeing. Right now is your opportunity to simply tune in to yourself and pay attention to the causes of any disharmony.
Are those fights you are having with your nearest and dearest the cause of your mood, or simply a symptom of something else that is out of whack in your life? What are those aches and pains telling you? Do you really need to go on a diet, or do you need to address something else totally in order to get back into a healthier eating regime? Is that person at work really such a pain in the neck, or do your issues lay elsewhere?
Now is the time to start paying heed to what lies at the heart of your discomfort. Often you have to let that thought sit with you a while, you’re unlikely to have an epiphany about your career while reading this article. But you might in the next couple of days or in the next week, just start being aware of what is really making you feel bad.
Sounds obvious doesn’t it? It is, but it may also be that the first few things you notice are simply the icing on the top of the problem, so don’t jump into an action plan straight away, let it sit in case there is more to reveal itself.
We take so little time for ourselves, yet when we practice being mindful in this way we take great big positive strides in our life. This is the time of year many resolve to make changes, because when we see our life through different lenses we can’t help but be compelled to take action.
That will come, for now, just ‘bide wi yerself a wee bit’ – meaning to sit with yourself for a little while. Observe what is going on, it’s more than likely that the surface indicators are only that. There’s no use in taking rash action, just wait, see what else arises. Often it can take 6 or 7 looks at an issue to really get to the heart of it, so let it unfold.
Once you’ve done that, figuring out what needs to change is so much easier. But that is next year’s job, for right now, rest up, relax and unwind. As the new year approaches we Scots like to say:
May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er lea' yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be.
May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your grain store with a tear drop in its eye.
May you always stay hale and hearty until you are old enough to die.
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be.
Here’s looking forward to a healthier, happier 2016!
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
By signing up you will only receive emails from shonakeachie.com and you can unsubscribe at any time. This is a two-step process, you will have to verify your subscription by clicking the link in the email you should receive after clicking this 'Subscribe' button. If you do not receive the email please check your Junk mail, thank you.
Please note if you are using the Google Chrome browser and want to subscribe to the RSS Feed you will first need to get an RSS plugin from the Chrome Store.