Out of Holiday Mode

I love the holidays, but this year I did find that something happened to my brain during holiday season: work (or at least any meaningful work-type progress) became optional.

Actually, almost everything became optional. Cleaning: optional. Exercise: optional. Finishing a chapter: optional. It’s a much nicer feeling than not doing things because you don’t have the energy, but it ends up in a similar place: it takes a larger-than-usual mental effort to get any of these things done. Because after all, it’s not mandatory, so I might as well relax.

Relaxing is good, of course–in general, I could stand to be a lot less stressed about things. But there has to be some kind of medium between holiday laziness and feverish anxiety.

So that’s something for me to look for this January, as I step out of holiday mode: a way to get things done without being excessively stressed. Some of that, I suspect, has to do with focus. January is a time when a lot of us focus on goals, hopes, and resolutions. And that’s great–not to mention probably necessary, at times. But one thing I’ve found that’s helpful for my mental state is to take note of the things I do accomplish, not just the things I still want to do, or the things I didn’t get to. Otherwise, it’s too easy to feel like I never get anything done. And that makes it kind of hard to relax. (Not to mention hard to get anything done in the future. In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”)

In the meantime, plans for the blog this year… I don’t know. I didn’t think up anything, because coming up with a 2016 blogging schedule was optional. My only vague thought was that I would keep blogging on Mondays, so I’ll probably try to stick with that. Maybe add a post on Fridays, if I feel like talking about writing. The idea of blogging about certain things on certain days still appeals to me, but considering that the last time I tried to hold myself to that, I freaked out, I’m not making any promises. For now, I’m willing to just see what happens, and enjoy a little of that residual holiday blitheness.

To anyone reading this: I hope 2016 is off to a good start for you! And that you all make some progress toward being healthier, both this month and afterwards.

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