It’s your soul speaking. Listen. Learn . Act.
We all have responsibilities and obligations. We all have realities that tie us to our lives. There are very few among us who can just pick up and move, travel wherever, who can pivot at any moment to follow their hearts. Money, time, family, school, work…there are any number of things that can tie us to the runaway machinations of life, sometimes of our own accord, sometimes not.
And by “coming back,” that doesn’t mean from some grand vacation far away. It can be from the weekend, from a five minute break, from a jog, from whatever it is that gets you apart from the every day.
I hear time and time again that people feel bummed out coming back to the real world from time away. (Full disclosure: I’ve been one of those people on many occasions.) Sometimes people point to that as the problem, to being bummed out as a thing that needs to be solved. Those incidents even get names: Post vacation blues, Monday blahs.
But the blues, the blahs, they’re not the problem. They’re a natural come-down after a good time, after freedom, after a wanted change of pace. Because of all our responsibilities and obligations, time off may naturally feel better than time on. And it’s all a matter of perspective: If your home life is suffering, getting to work may feel like a relief; meanwhile, if your work life is stressful and your home life isn’t as much, getting away from work will feel better.
So what to do with the blues?
Sit down and, as it were, stare them right in the eye, and start asking questions. Most importantly of all: Listen while you do so – don’t go with what you think should be the answer. Sit a spell and pay attention to what your emotions are telling you, where sadness came from, what fear and dread are looking outward at.
When you feel the blahs, as yourself why? where’s it coming from? what feels so dreadful? Write it down, talk to loved ones about it.
Say, for example, you feel dread on Sunday night. Tomorrow is the start of the work week. But it’s not work that leaves you feeling dread. It’s not some easy corporate nonsense story like “people just hate Monday” that keeps us going to work and distracted from the truth – that it’s work that’s the problem.
No…it’s the commute that eats away at your day and heaps stress on you.
Okay, now instead of “the blahs” you have something you can work on – a place to channel your energy.
But the commute is tied to work, which is tied to being able to pay your mortgage, and your partner is unemployed. You don’t want to move, and you can’t magically summon you or your partner a new job. But you can get started on finding work that’s closer to home, or a home that’s closer to work – even though those are the long-term fixes. (Sometimes, just knowing you’re acting on your problem is enough to alleviate stress.)
In the interim, what can you do about the commute? Take transit instead so you can snooze rather than stress out in traffic? Listen to audio books? Carpool for company? Carpool to save money? Or, if you’ve tried it all, is that maybe a message that you’re stressing about something you can’t budge (for now)? Maybe, while you look for a long-term answer, you can also work on how you manage stress?
You get the idea.
The blues may be unpleasant, yes, but that’s no reason to just suffer through them like the blues are the problem, an inevitable hang-over. They’re trying to tell us something; in this case that our worlds need, if not a complete overhaul, at least a bit of change.
Every emotion, no matter how pleasant or how distressing, is there to tell us something – and if we listen to them, we can to do something about it.