Holidays are one of the few times we get away and leave all the 'worries' behind, unless you are a 'Sunday night worrier' like me! From the time I started school this HSP (that's Highly Sensitive Person for any newbies) would spend the last day of weekends worrying about Monday. Then came Summer holidays and I would fret through August as I watched 'back to school' tv ads! Ditto for the Christmas hols! So why should I be any different as an HSP adult? I'm not.
During the last couple of days of any holiday thoughts and worries about work,obligations & responsibilities flood my mind. My bet is some of you endure the same ones! "How much work has been left on my desk? What problems am I returning to? How many emails are waiting? Did that sale go through? Will clients remember me after the Holiday? Did I book the vet visit for January?"
The mind chatter appears, the worries kick-in and the fretting starts: tension, anxiousness, pressure, and dread. Personally, I get knots in my stomach, feel like I can't relax or have fun and usually suffer a night or two of restless sleep.
Well, it's time get proactive and stop being bullied by your worries! The first thing you need to do is become aware that this is a worry pattern you regularly fall into. (Could be as regularly as every weekend!) Once you see the pattern for what it is start to identify specific worries, like: 'When I think about getting back to work I start to worry about...or, I stress-out about...when I think about the Holidays ending'. It doesn't matter how big or trivial you think your concerns are, if they worry you, they count!
Take time to ponder each one. (Don't you just love that word 'ponder'?) Are they typical you-type worries? Have you handled similar situations in the past? What's your track record been? We just know that it's highly unlikely you've been an outright failure at handling them! So, if you generally handle such pressures pretty well, chances are you'll deal with them all at least as well as you did all the other times.
Now, if you honestly believe you don't handle such stresses well, figure out ahead of time (which is why we are sending this out early in December!) what you need to DO to overcome the stress or the problem. Put a plan of action together that you will follow when you get back. Write it down.
You need to look at the reality of your worries and stresses in the context of your past performance. Then carry that truth forward. Most of us have a nasty way of under-estimating our ability to handle problems or pressures. The clearer you are about your ability to problem-solve and take care of business, the quicker your end-of-holiday worrying will subside.
We don't want you spoiling those precious remaining vacation days by fretting unnecessarily! You've been here before! You've done all this before! You've solved it all before!
Here's One Great Tip!
'Tis the season of gift giving so here are a few tips to keep you jolly!
• Assign worrisome tasks or situations to a trusted co-worker or assistant to keep an eye on things while you are away.
• Plan your first week back before leaving. Have a 'to do' list ready so you know exactly where to start when you get back to work.
• Let everyone think you are returning a day later than you are. Use your first day back in the office to get re-oriented to what has to be done.
• Grab your calendar for the New Year and book yourself some vacation time! (Yes, right now!)
Until next time, Grab Life by the Crown!
Dr Toby & Dr Bev, The Burnout Queens