Jan-worry. A term many use to describe the blues that come with the new year. Some call the month a 365 one. Could it be a bandwagon phrase that caught on and never left?
Like that annoying guest that even when you have change into your pyjamas cannot take a hint. Imagine blatantly telling them you have a meeting in a few minutes and they stretch and say, “Cool, I shall take a nap while you work.” Don’t be that guest.
January. The first month of a year. Yet somehow, we have turned it into the most pessimistic outlook. Imagine gifting someone with a fresh start only to watch them discard it like it was trash ready to be tossed into the garbage can. How does it make you feel when you hear someone belittle something precious to you? If you feel nothing, I would suggest you explore why.
I like to build momentum. Start a sustainable pace and then grow. I have a fear of withering before my time is up. It also explains how I get my body moving on days I am despondent. I convince myself that it could be worse, which truly it could be. My mantra this year is one to stop me from complaining. My tongue is tight-lipped but my thoughts, they are whiny. My anxiety pauses in her step just to side-eye some of the things I say to myself.
One of the habits I want to break this year is how much I complain. When I catch myself, I have to counteract every complaint with true honest gratitude. I have to start a spiral of thanks which is very disturbing because I realise quickly how much I have but disrespect.
One of my mantras is
Let us build strength while we have breath.
In moments when I have to push myself harder than the day before, I remind myself that if it is hard today, tomorrow could be harder. So, I should use resources available wisely in the now to make it so my will to exist the next day is stronger.
How do you deal with a bad day? A day when you have no will to fight. A day when you have no money at all. A day when you think all is ending. A day when you even wish for death. What is your battle plan? Mine involves a lot
My version of napping is resting. Sleep is not as restful for me as it should be so I rest with my eyes open. Sometimes, this looks like sitting outside in the dark and gifting my eyes with the dullest of shade from light. Being quiet with myself so I can feel awkward enough by the silence and remember to release my breath every time I inhale. Rest is anything that pauses your pace. I used to believe I needed more sleep. I was always tired. Tired and hungry.
In true Michelle speak, this was another phrase I just threw around. I actually meant Overwhelmed and unsatisfied.
I was doing a lot and it was not fulfilling me in any way. In summary, I was wasting time doing a lot of nothing and my subconscious was aware where I was in subtle denial. Get that rest and while you rest open your mind and release all the nonsense you were hoarding in there. We all know how messy upstairs can get if we do not declutter.
Have the conversation with yourself to find out where you stand. How do you feel? How have you been feeling lately? Are you proud of yourself? Why? (Ps, it is okay to not be proud of yourself in a moment. You know best whether you did all you could or slacked. Do an honest audit but remember to lace that vinegar with honey. Do not be so harsh that the bitter aftertaste derails you from taking steps to shape up.)
Talk about the people in your life with yourself and see how they make you feel. Sometimes, you may find you are the toxic party in the friendship, work on that. Friendships are sacred. However, I am just the kind of girl who imagines she is the problem in every equation. If you are like me- these check-ins are even more hilarious. Observe the situation like a judge. Strip off emotions and have them one side and do the same with your rationality in the other corner. Have them battle it out while you listen and come to a conclusion.
3. Deal with the emotions that will pour in.
I have the most brilliant superpowers ( also known as symptoms of ill health). One is my ability to emotionally manipulate people- except, I emotionally manipulate myself. You should see me throwing a tantrum with myself over a change in routine. Order is a compulsion of mine, so uncertainty is painful on my psyche but isn’t all of life uncertain? Yes. A bit of me thinks that should not be so.
When you find yourself weeping, you have to examine it. Remember when Bruno Mars, in his legendary song, Grenade, said: “You had your eyes wide open, why were they open? ” Be that level of extra. I question every emotion I have because I know myself. You know yourself. You know where you create loopholes to escape a situation. Find those loopholes and stand guard like Saint Peter at those pearly gates and block yourself from denying reality.
Sometimes, my weeping is an honest primal guttural cry to release pain. Most times, it is just lying to trick me into nurturing myself. Weirdly, this is so embarrassing a tactic that I only use it with myself. I remind myself of every time I cried and people shrugged it off as insubstantial. Imagine, I used real pain to create a con on myself. Do not fall for the con. Do not allow yourself to be deceived by yourself. It is confusing, no? Well, pride yourself in the fact that solving puzzles boosts cognitive ability.
4. Make an action plan.
At this point, you have explored the issue and emotions and underlying issues that may be subjective. What next? You now have the information to layout your best plans.
What are the next steps? If you have no money. You know how it makes you feel, you also know if this is true. How do you make some if you need it? If you realise that you are lonely only because over the holidays. everyone was with their loved ones and no one was with you.
Use the worry to find the source and then create a plan for the rest of the year following the breadcrumbs to the house of candy also known as the promised land if you are a sweet tooth or Hansel and Gretel.
I usually would not say this next step but again, I know myself. And if you are like me- you need to be told.
Once you make these action plans, you have to take action. Get moving and do what needs to be done. I wish you bliss and peace.
And remember, blues are blues. Just another regular hue. They can be compounded into something new if you add a spot of new colour or hope.
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