I am pretty much having the worst time this year adjusting to “normal life” after the holidays. I’m in incredibly lucky to have a job that allowed me to take two weeks off for the holidays, which was lovely: no schedule, time with family, going to the gym at noon, long dog walks, lazy mornings spent curled up with a book, long lunches with Geoff, time to think, time to be creative.
But two weeks of this followed by diving back into a normal, busy schedule kind of sucks up every last ounce of my energy and sends me into a bit of a depression. (Okay, watching the series finale of Parenthood while I was home not feeling well last Friday didn’t help.) Enter the post-holiday blues.
I am a bit of a free spirit and I’ve always had a hard time sticking to schedules. I’ve worked HARD at getting myself to accept the 8 to 5 life and two weeks of unscheduled bliss sent me back into my old ways.
As I started writing this post, I defaulted into listing things I was doing to help, but the honest truth is that nothing is really helping. I get all my work done just fine, I just feel drained at the end of every day and hate that I seem to run out of free/creative time for writing, blogging, and reading.
Making sure I take an actual lunch break
Helpful, but when I’m trying to make time before 5:30 CrossFit to walk the dog it’s not really helpful in the grand scheme of getting everything done. Sometimes I find it better to work through my lunch break so I can leave a bit earlier.
Setting aside time to be creative
It helps, but once it’s time to a) go to bed so I get enough sleep to start the 8 to 5 in the morning, b) time to get back to work after lunch, or c) time to get ready (depending on when the creative time is), I just find myself resenting the fact that I can’t just be creative all the time.
Timing tasks and “free” time
Also helps a bit. Some mornings I have no problem waking up and diving right into work, but other times I need a little me time first. I like to give myself 15 minutes to read or browse the internet, so I’ll set a timer on my phone for 15 free minutes. NO STRINGS ATTACHED, self. Once it’s time to start work, I give myself a scheduled amount of time to complete tasks. It helps me feel like I have a deadline, which I pretty much require to be motivated.
Using a planner to map out goals and to-dos
Basically I need to put on my big girl pants, then prioritize and plan.
My Passion Planner actually does help me a ton when I use it. I’m trying to set aside time on Sunday afternoons or evenings to plan out my week, make a list of things I need to do along with things I want to do, and then plan out time for all of them. This seems to be the most effective time and task management system for me, and I love that there’s an emphasis on personal goals as well as professional. When things are written down and I make time for everything I want – professional and personal – it helps me stick to a schedule and still see the things on there I like to do: CrossFit, empty space for free time, blog work, etc.
Anyone else out there suffering from the post-holiday blues this January? What helps you cope?