Did you survive the holidays?
It’s au revoir to the beach et bonjour Gay Paris! Are you raring to go, refreshed, bouncing with energy and ready to tackle those new challenges?! Or, after 10 long relentless weeks with your nearest and dearest, are you yearning for a bit of solitude, calm and a second holiday? With a drum roll, please, voilà a fun short quiz to help you assess your post-holiday state of mind.
Are you zen, a rock or losing the plot?
1. Which adjectives best describe how you feel after your holidays?
A) Cherished, blessed, loved
B) Happy, relaxed, creative
C) Exhausted, fed up, frazzled
2. You get back home having seen your children off on their first day back at school. Do you:
A) Feel a bit weepy because the house seems far too quiet without the children and you’re already counting the hours until you see them again.
B) Have a cup of coffee and then start to plan your day so you get the bulk of your work done before they get home.
C) Spend 30 minutes doing grass angels outside to celebrate your freedom, followed by Gangnam-style dancing around the kitchen. You then pour yourself a large G&T, go back to bed and wake up at 3 pm needing a second G&T to cope with their arrival.
3. Your partner comes home and asks what there is for supper:
A) You smile sweetly and tell them to put their feet up while the baked salmon and roasted vegetables are cooking.
B) You answer calmly that as you’ve been cooking 24/7 for the last 10 weeks, they can either cook supper themselves or order a takeout for everyone.
C) You burst into tears and shake a plastic cooking utensil in their face before running to the bedroom. You blockade yourself in with pillows and duvets and then curl up in a fetal position with your hands over the ears repeatedly chanting “I’m not here, I’m not here.”
4. You go out for lunch with a friend who’s spent all summer on a yacht in Croatia with a chef, housekeeper and nanny. They spend 2 hours telling you how tired they are. Do you:
A) Smile sweetly and tell them you completely understand how tired they must be feeling after a long boating holiday and all that swimming.
B) Answer calmly that given all the help they’ve had it’s surprising that they feel so tired, and suggest that you talk about something else.
C) Decide that the only way you’re going to be able to get through the lunch without being very rude to your friend is to take a large gulp of wine every time she says the word “tired.” Unfortunately, this backfires as the alcohol loosens your tongue as opposed to shutting you up. Harsh words are exchanged: “spoilt, lucky, lazy” coming from you and “jealous, bitter and alcoholic” coming from them. You storm out but feel strangely better once you get home having gotten all that frustration out your system. You vow to call your friend tomorrow to organize the next lunch.
5. You decide to do a yoga workshop. So you:
A) Arrive 30 minutes early having sipped your green tea and nibbled on your activated nuts on the way. You limber up, admiring how you look in your yoga rebel gear and set your mantra: “Love”.
B) Arrive on time having gulped your coffee on the way. You raise your eyebrows at the enthusiastic bendy woman in the yoga rebel gear next to you and set your mantra: “Give me strength”.
C) Arrive 30 minutes late not sure what to expect. You’ve just eaten lunch, so you really struggle with the first downward dog position as your digestive system just wants to let rip. You give up. You decide to set your mantra: “Sleep”, and spend the next two hours sleeping peacefully on your mat.
6. Your boss has organized an empowerment session for the whole team and you’ve got a half day of coaching to bring out “the creative and powerful spirit in you”. You:
A) Feel you are already a perfect model of empowerment. If anything, you should be running the session.
B) Make a promise to yourself that you will try not to be too skeptical and give the “empowerment” session a go – you might learn something useful.
C) Decide that this might be the only time since the holidays when you can truly have a bit of fun. You dress in black flowing robes and turn up with some large crystals which you dangle in front of everyone saying, “You have powerful spirits in you, my children.” Your boss asks you to leave the room. You leave cackling maniacally, “I see dead people.” Your boss suggests you have a week off. High five. This is true self-empowerment.
So…are you zen, a rock or losing the plot?
Beyond Zen (A)
Hmm….not sure whether you’re a robot or too good to be true! If you can truly and effortlessly manage all these challenging situations then we salute you (though we’d love to know your secret!)
Just be aware that you don’t have to be perfect – life in all its technicolor should be messy, glorious and fun. You’re allowed to show your emotions and to rant and rave if required. Go on, try it, you might enjoy it!
Stable as a rock (B)
Well done you! You recognize that some situations are more challenging than others and you can respond to this without losing your cool. Nothing seems to throw you off track and you can smoothly navigate your way through family, holidays and work without breaking a sweat. Bravo!
Losing the plot (C)
But how we love you! We’ve all been there – worn out, wrung out and desperately fragile.
The key to moving forward is recognizing the importance of looking after yourself and then mapping out your strategy to do this.
Ruthlessly prioritize and only do what’s necessary until you have the strength to take on more. Don’t forget that the sisterhood is by your side and ready to help, so ask for all the support you need. And, if you can organize a personal break for yourself to rest and recuperate, go for it!