When everything seems to come crushing down on you for no apparent reason, or for too many reasons, or you just feel overwhelmed, you have too much on your plate, and your legs give out from under you… That’s usually just Mondays. I personally used to suffer a great deal from the Sunday Blues. Every Sunday was a drag and I was scared of Monday – not of any chores particularly, but it’s the end of the weekend, you had a great time, even if you just slept in and got caught up on your favorite TV shows. The Sunday Blues is often followed by this abyss called Monday. According to a study published in mentalfloss.com among others, this is supported by the fact that our sleep patterns change on weekends, we socialize more than during the week, we may feel bad about ourselves or want to change something – and we usually set the start date for those changes on a Monday. Poor Monday – it has to endure a lot of pressure.
While tackling your every-day issues step by step as they come along is very helpful rather than staring at the huge mountain, I’m trying to take a very useful piece of advice from someone who is very close to me. Whenever I feel bad about myself or everything comes crushing down on me, I try to take a little vacation
To a place that was purely created for me
That I created for me
Where I only allow someone in whom I feel comfortable with
Other times I prefer to be alone
It’s a place that’s completely safe
Nothing and no one can hurt me
I’m protected and I can be myself
For me, this place is a tree on top of a mountain. I’ve created it more vividly over the years (not sure if this is step one in fighting a mental disorder –sarcasm–, but it helps, trust me). I was first “forced” to create a place to relax during a Yoga class way back when I didn’t need to actively relax. Over the years, the tree has become stronger. The world around it has become clearer. My tree is on top of a green hill, its protective branches and leaves surrounding a small bench, on which I can sit and look over the beautiful landscape. It’s usually sunset in my safe place. Never windy, only slightly breezy, so you never get cold. Sometimes, I prefer to sit in the freshly cut grass (I assume I cut it because I own that place in my head) – it always smells like a summer’s day after a rain shower. And some of that April fresh stuff you can buy for your laundry.
The beauty of this place is that you can stay as long as you want. You drink hot chocolate with marshmallows; when you eat sugar, you lose weight, and when you just look around, you discover something new every time. It’s not easy to stay because our minds are often cluttered with should’s, and must’s, and have to’s and should’ve’s and will’s and would’s. Think of more “stuff” that would keep you there… a cloud made of cotton candy, an ocean of Jello or flowers that smell like vanilla.
This actually reminds me of my favorite episode of “Community” – a Christmas episode called “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”. He created his own Christmas world while he was looking for the true meaning of Christmas. The planet’s atmosphere consisted of 75% cinnamon. My kind of planet!
You can make your safe place whatever you want it to be. It won’t make your problems go away, but it will make waking up and tackling your mountain of ABC lists and people to call and things to do a little easier. Knowing that I can always come back (when it’s appropriate) gives me a sensation of safety and complete warmth. Try creating your tree, your mountain, your bed of clouds, and be as creative as you can. Listen to your favorite relaxing music, let your mind wander… It will veer off to the problems and things you worry about as well, but that’s ok. Just let those thoughts float away and dream of something better, something extremely pleasant and really smell, feel, and be in that world. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. It’ll give you reassurance that you never have too much on your plate – if you receive more, it means that you can handle more. Throw yourself on the ground, pound your fists, cry, complain. Then go to your happy place, gather peace and strength to tackle what’s on that plate… one bite at a time.
(#My500Words Day 8)