It’s fall. Yep, pretty trees, lots of beauty everywhere, crackly leaves, awesome sweater weather….
and every single year for me, it’s been a challenge. And when I say challenge, what I really mean to say is, the time of year that I most struggle, seemingly with everything. I don’t know if it is the dwindling light, my body’s desire to hibernate, 1st grade math (ok, that’s just this year), or what it is particularly, but like clockwork, it comes and knocks me on my arse.
And you know, in my 20’s, it didn’t matter so much: it was just me shutting down. I could stumble to work in a daze, mumble vaguely at others, try and make it through, and go home and go to bed without feeling like I was letting down the world
But now, hey – I’ve got a husband and kids depending on me. I’ve got a career and people depending on me financially and professionally. So WTH do you do?
My Coping Strategy Step One: Now with Coffee
Get Up. No one cares if you didn’t sleep except, of course, you. This seems obvious right? Except that I don’t want to. Things that seem to work:
- Trying to say thank you 7 times blearily when I wake up. It really doesn’t matter for what: the point is, it’s hard to hold onto the grumpy and say say thank you. And really, I have a lot to be grateful for: it’s a new day. I have unlimited potential. I have children that will make me laugh eventually. Anything you can do to get your brain in the right place helps.
- Caffeine and Protein. So yeah, while I don’t drink coffee all the time, in the fall it becomes a necessity. I need help waking up, and need to get in my protein too. My newest love: adding my protein drink into my coffee. It’s breakfast and nourishing and it means I’m not adding sugar to my coffee and it feels like I’m drinking a fancy coffee drink besides.
- Make my bed. While I wish it were otherwise, I’m not one of those people who gets up out of bed and makes it: it’s never been that important to me. I read something however that rings true for me: if you make your bed first thing in the morning and do it nicely, no matter what else happens that day you accomplished something and started on a good note – and are coming home to physical evidence that something went right. That is my new goal.
Hug and Kiss my Family – Even if I don’t feel like it. Does that sound terrible that I don’t feel like it? But if I don’t want to even get out of bed, is it that surprising that I’m not feeling affectionate either? Mostly, I want to strangle my children who really have no interest in getting up, getting ready for school, and fight me every step of the way. My husband annoys me with his ability to adhere to his personal grooming schedule regardless of the chaos around him. I don’t want to hug anyone! But a)it’s not my kids’ fault that mommy’s brain is going crazy trying to get stuff done and more than they need anything else, they need my love – and I theirs. That connection has to come first…husband too…because otherwise, what will be their motivation to visit me in the crazy house??
Move. Just Move. No matter how crappy I feel on the inside, my mind works better when I have exercise in my day. It’s been 20 minutes of running here, squats between (or during) phone meetings, and running up the stairs every time I change floors. It just helps. Your mind can’t spin as quickly when it’s short on oxygen, and the darker thoughts have less opportunity to creep in.
Listen to Good Words. I don’t do this enough but when I do, it really helps: even the cheesiest motivational audio book or seminar or Ted Talk – anything that all that helps your mind move towards the bright and positive and optimistic helps. Right now I listen a lot to “The Secret” – all about getting what you want and being grateful for what you have and changing your reality. Because at the end of the day, if we harness control over where our minds go, we really can change where our lives go. And that sounds cheesy even reading it back, and I totally admit that half the time I cringe at the level of cheese inherent in the prose, but seriously. The stuff works.
As my Mom reminded me, “This too Shall Pass.” Seriously, this is me every year. As my mom pointed out – I get through it, and I’ve gotten through it all these years. I can do it again. I just have to focus on the end game: overcoming mere survival to conquer this fall!
Am I the only crazy one out there who has a tough time with Fall?