Let’s have a REAL talk about what happened Monday.
Monday scaries were at their WORST for you this past Monday weren’t they?
If you are reading this on a different week than it was published, I am talking the Monday after the Thanksgiving Holiday in 2020. You know, the Thanksgiving that was SO different this year due to the ‘rona (and in hopes that people are still reading this blog many many years from now – ‘rona = the COVID-19 virus that we are all sick and tired of).
How do I know that this Monday was worse than most others? Because I talk to A LOT of people on any given day. A lot. I talk to my fellow coaches who are the happiest people you will ever meet, I talk to my challengers who tend to pour out their souls and cut the BS when talking to me, I talk to my family law clients, I talk to my fellow family law practitioners, I talk to women on Facebook and Instagram that reach out to me daily, I talk to friends that have all sorts of different professions – some in the medical field. Yes, I talk to A LOT of people.
The number one theme from Monday? Monday sucked. Monday wanted to make us cry and go back to bed. No one was excited about returning to work. Anxiety was humming loudly. Back to virtual school was harder this Monday than it was others.
Why? Why was it SO bad? And why was it so hard across the board?
I have given this a lot of thought and here is what I think – at least this is how I am unpacking what is going on in my brain.
2020 has been flipping HARD. This virus has penetrated anything and everything and life has been about 1,000% harder than normal. As a parent, there is no break. We have learned how to work from home and with constant interruptions. And let me repeat that, there is NO real break!!! As a spouse, we have negotiated precious time to go into the office/stay home/who is in charge of the kids/etc. etc. etc. As a child, we worry about our parents. As a family law attorney, I have never worked harder or more than I have in 2020 (my billable hours are the proof). And there has been NO relief. No vacations, no retreats . . . no REWARDS for all of that damn hard work, not even a group hug.
For me, one of the hardest things in 2020 is that there has been no bliss in a vacation to turn off your mind and just relax and reset! Historically, a nice vacation and time away has been my time to truly reset and force myself to take a break from work, turn off e-mails, and give myself a brain (and soul) break.
Ok . . . well what does that have to do with anything and this past Monday?
If you did what I did last week, you actually took this weekend to relax. On Wednesday night, I told myself (and my family) – no work emails for me this weekend! I took a break from talking to all the people with the exception of my immediate family. We cancelled our team call for Saturday. I spent a lot of time relaxing on the couch, hanging with my kids and my husband and my mom. I watched a lot of Christmas movies. I truly let myself zone out. It may not have been a cocktail with an umbrella on a sandy beach, but it was a true mental vacation. Probably one of the first “escapes” I have had in many many months.
My hypothesis is that because we all finally DID find a way to relax, breaking out of that amazing state made Monday hurt even more. Just like when you are on your way home from Disney World and you are so sad to leave that magic behind, same thing, but that is easier to diagnose. You know you are sad because you are leaving the most magical place on earth. You are expecting the let down. If you are like me, I wasn’t expecting to relax as much as I did this past weekend. So, when Monday hit, it punched me in the face a little harder than I was expecting.
So, why talk about this and harp on the hard? I have found that when I find the CULPRIT of my anxiety, I can better deal with it and get over the hump that much faster. If I can acknowledge it and say ok, this is WHY I am feeling this way, it is like I have uncovered a super power. I get out of the mind spiral of where I might feel like I am failing as a human and realize this is situational (same deal with the sugar-related anxiety I talk about often!).
Also, it is so important we talk about this NOW because we have a similar event coming up in just a few weeks – Christmas 2020!!
My prediction? The Monday scaries are going to come back with a vengeance on Monday, January 4, 2021. Why? Because if you are taking “Winter Break” off (I am!!!) that is going to run from Wednesday, December 23 – January 4th. 11 – ELEVEN!!! – glorious days. The good? 11 days! You need that break! Your brain and heart will be so happy. The hard? After 11 days, the call back to work and school may sting even more. Ok, rather than just put that bad juju into the universe, let’s figure out NOW how to combat it. I have shared my top 10 tips below that should help ease the sting a little and also show you that you aren’t alone!
Print it out NOW (you don’t want to wait until January 4th!), put in on your bathroom mirror. Acknowledge the feelings. Have a plan! These are the things that work for me and I hope they work for you too. Please feel free to comment on what works best for you!
If you like, click here to download an easily printable PDF of my top 10 tips to combat the January 4th Monday Scaries.