Too Much, Too Soon
I honestly don't know how I used to do it all. I’ve been back at work for a week, which I’m only working 2 days of, but as restrictions are easing up and my diary is filling with more and more things I am being filled with absolute fear!
Today I sat looking at my diary for next week and was just like “how the hell am I going to do all this?”. I hardly even have anything on, maybe one thing each day and not all work related. We have new windows being installed in the house, Ayla is filming through in Edinburgh, Dara has her first primary school visit, I have my MCR Pathways volunteering, photographer coming to The Loft where I rent space to take photos for their website, the usual clubs for the girls, catch up with folks from The Wellness Cottage where I also rent space, my Grandma’s funeral and work. It’s literally only one thing each day from Monday-Sunday, but when you’ve had nothing in your diary other than school runs for over a year this is extremely overwhelming! There’s probably other things that I’ve committed to that I've just not put in my diary because I’m a complete scatterbrain right now.
Part of me wants to cancel as much as I can and hide at home. The other part is buzzing to be back to my old self a bit. I’m just not mentally prepared for it all. Surely I’m not the only one still feeling this way? I’ve saw people out and about on socials, enjoying life in beer gardens and restaurants. I can hand on heart say that no part of me is even thinking about going to either of those places. Ryan will probably make me at some point, but there’s just no motivation for me to do any of it. Hermit mode, I think so!
I’m really enjoying being back at work, seeing all the kids, pupils, teachers and parents, but when it comes to socialising I'm just not sure yet. Suppose it’s me taking baby steps, taking my time to return to normality. I feel if I rush into doing everything I’ll resort back to my old ways and not have a healthy balance anymore. That’s probably the fear; I might enjoy the rush of rushing around and start saying yes to things that I don’t really want to do. I’ve had more work offers this past week and I’m quite proud of myself as I have said “no” to them, for now, without hesitation. As much as I’m back to it, I don’t want to take on too much. I still want to stay home with Taye for as long as I can.
I don’t even sound like myself. It’s funny I’m writing this and thinking “who the hell is this!”, I have never been this way in my life. The pandemic has just brought around so many changes for people and my changes have most definitely been for the better. Slowing down and being more present is important. Before all of this I was constantly on the go with work and when I was at home resting, looking after the kids etc. my brain would still be in work. I just didn’t know how to switch off from work mode. That was my biggest fault. To an extent I still do it, but no where near as much. I deliberately stop myself now because I know what’s more important. And that is what is right in front of me at the time. If it’s my day off with the kids, then it’s my day off with the kids, no squeezing anything extra in or finding a sitter for an hour or two to let me see a client. Nope. I have had to set boundaries with myself and stick to them. I absolutely love working and I love the job I do, but I also love my sanity and need to look after my mental health.
If things seem overwhelming, just take a step back. Don’t force yourself into saying yes to that night out with people you haven't seen in months or taking on more of a workload because you have the free time now. If it makes you feel uneasy there is a reason for that. Your body is most likely saying “you are entering a danger zone, carefully back away”. It’s a powerful thing. Listen to it. I remember a point a few years back where I felt sick every single day. I even had to cancel clients which is not like me, but I was ill. I soon realised it was because I was doing things that didn’t align with me anymore. It was time to move onto the next path and as soon as I made the decision to do that, the sickness stopped, almost instantly. My body was physically telling me that something wasn’t right for me because I wasn’t listening to myself. It can take a while to figure out what it is that isn’t right, but you will suss it out.
Whatever came into your head as you read that last paragraph is most likely the thing that you need to step away from or start saying “no” to…