Creating zen in the midst of the “silly season”

I hate this time of year. People drive like lunatics on the road — yesterday there were two huge accidents on my way to work and on my way home. People are cranky. Everyone wants a holiday. Work is all about deadlines. It’s hot. Everyone’s exhausted. Silly season is here.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that wellness and mental health are a big deal for me. Being somewhat anxious and prone to stress, I make it my mission to tweak and change things so that I can get through my day in the best possible way.

This crazy time of the year just amps things up a notch.

So I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been doing over the last few days. Little changes. Little challenges. Things to take my mind off other things…

Like this post. It’s almost 9pm; almost my bedtime (because getting up at 04h45 every week morning is not fun). But I’m switching things up tonight. Reading is taking a backseat to blogging… exciting times! Challenging myself to write a blog post in under 30 minutes. Let’s see how it goes…

Speaking of challenges… I’ve been doing a fitness class over lunch twice a week for the last 6 weeks or so. You know when you think you’ll never be able to do something — like more than five push-ups in a row on your knees and suddenly you’re able to do 75 in one session?! That. Yesterday we did 300 sit-ups. I hope no one makes me laugh tomorrow because I’m feeling muscles in my belly today that I didn’t even know existed. This class is giving me so much motivation to challenge my body. I now understand the addiction some people have to CrossFit. It’s a good mental challenge, too. And a stress reliever like nothing else.

I’m working on something new on the side. And that’s all I’m saying on that. Because. Silent goals. This is one I actually want to stick with in the long run. Watch this space.

Last weekend we did absolutely sweet nothing at home. For the first time in months, there was nowhere to be, no rushing around, no running events, no catch ups, no shopping, no blogging, no nada. We even took the washing to the laundromat so we’d have more free time. I can’t even describe how AMAZING that weekend was. It was like a holiday — a blissfull staycation at home. I got stuck into cleaning the house properly and Geoff got stuck into the garden. Real good-for-the-soul stuff. Sometimes you just need that.

Actually, I feel like I need this more than sometimes. Especially at this time of the year.

This weekend spurred a few good changes around here… which has really been good all round:

  1. Bye bye clutter. I’m not talking about a huge spring cleaning mission, just everyday small things like picking up clothes lying around (when you’re rushing around getting ready for work and too tired coming home, things tend to pile up), doing the dishes religiously every night — not that we leave them for days, one night max… again, tired after a long day. It makes a HUGE difference coming home to a clean house. Happy, calm, zen heart. Bliss.
  2. Making the bed before work. I know so many people do this automatically — but, with two cats who rule the roost, it’s a bit difficult. Or rather, it was difficult. Now coming home to a sanctuary bedroom takes preference over feeling bad that I’m going to disturb her majesties.
  3. Eating right. Trying, anyway. Tonight we had hot chocolate for supper… not good, I know. BUT, lunch was a wrap and a smoothie from Kauai at 3pm, so there’s that. But for the rest of this week, we’ve been trying some yummy vegan food. Actually making the effort to whip together a quick (15-min max) meal when we get home. It’s made me realise how much I miss cooking. I’m also really proud of Geoff for taking action with his eating plan… yes, it’s a little more prep in the morning and it’s a few more items on the grocery list, but it’s GOOD. So good to see! And it inspires me to keep eating healthy, too.
  4. Trying to stop the negative talk. Like feeling bad that I don’t see family often enough, or that I don’t make time for yoga or meditation like I used to, or that I’m almost 34 and not at XYZ point in my life. These types of things can make you crazy if you let them. But I’m trying – really trying – not to beat myself up over things like that anymore. I’m just doing the best I can. I think we all are. Maybe it looks easy and amazing on the outside, but I have dark and depressing and tough days just like anyone else. It’s just a matter of perspective in the grand scheme of things. And making a conscious decision to try new things to make it better when the going gets tough.
  5. Making more time to do nothing. It’s hard… really, really hard when you have an ambitious, creative personality. I always feel like I should be doing something and not wasting a single minute. This one’s going to take a while, but I’ve started by looking at November’s calendar and making sure I don’t jam-pack Saturdays and Sundays. There’s got to be at least one day a weekend where the day is 80% open to just “be”. Or take a spontaneous drive. Or have a nap. Or read a book. Or daydream. Or whatever. And I don’t care if it sounds selfish. Sometimes I feel like you HAVE to be a little selfish to avoid going completely off the rails. I see so many people I know and love thinking that they have to do this and they have to do that, no matter how mentally draining it makes them feel or how resentful they feel about doing it. No, no, no. Life is too short. It’s all about balance, and that’s something I’m still learning. Not to cut out other things for my zen, just finding ways to make it all sync.

And on that note, I’ll end off here. This took an hour, not 30 minutes, and some light editing… but it’s a start. It’s half the time it normally takes me – small wins.

Here’s to a speedy November so we can just get to December holidays already and RELAX!


6 Replies to “Creating zen in the midst of the “silly season””

  1. I love your writing, sweet friend! Your thoughts so often echo my own. Sending hugs!

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      And I LOVE your writing! Counting down till that new website of yours goes live… yipeeeee! 🙂

  2. Aw, Mel I love that you are trying to head into the holidays seasons positively and really love that you gave some ways for all of us to do that, as well here. Thanks my friend 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…9 Books to Read for the 2016 HolidayMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Hey Janine! 🙂 Got to keep it going – just get through this silly season and then we’re on holiday… almost! x

  3. William Holland says: Reply

    You know what I love about you? Well, there are a lot of things, Mel, but the one I’ll mention this time is that you are self-aware, and you aren’t afraid to make changes when you feel they are necessary. That makes you rare in today’s world, Mel, and I respect that.

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Aaaah thank you, Bill! That means a lot coming from you. 🙂 Hope you’re having a productive start to the week, have a good one my friend!

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