After two years of “too much,” I need some downtime. I am keeping it simple: enjoying blank spaces in my calendar and face time with my family.
Craving “White Space”
When I really couldn’t go anywhere, being home all the time became exhausting for me. Too much stimulation can drain my energy, but too little stimulation doesn’t work either.
For a number of reasons, I’m planning a soothing staycation to usher in the new year with my two children.
Pretending to be on vacation while going on a hike, dining out, or taking a walk by the ocean can be relaxing. And creating something out of nothing taps into my creativity. What good is imagination if you never apply it?
Recent events have disrupted my life in a number of ways, which makes me crave a giant dose of coziness. Also, creating a fulfilling holiday experience makes me feel as if I’m not missing out on not being able to afford to fly and other experiences.
It’s been nearly two years of too much. Thanks to years spent researching bipolar disorder, an excellent psychiatrist, and having several support systems in place, my mental health has been holding up, but circumstances have left me working too many hours and with little time to pursue my creative exploits. I’m hoping that this time to relax will provide some clarity as to my career path.
I’m definitely craving white space.
Holiday Season at Home
The nice thing about being in your own home is that you get to control the menu, the décor, the sounds, and the scents.
While shopping at a nearby discount store, I was thrilled to come across a giant pine-scented candle. Most perfume scents give me headaches. Most candle scents do nothing for me, but the smell of pine invigorates me and conjures up images of winter and forests, which are a couple of hours’ drive away from where I live and several thousand feet up and into the mountains.
My son and daughter both like to experiment in the kitchen. This is something we could not do if we were staying in a hotel. My daughter is drawn to recipes for gluten-free baking, my son to a little bit of everything, and me to soups that can be made in the crockpot.
While we toil in the kitchen, I get to haul out my CD collection of a variety of traditional and popular renditions of holiday tunes and related classical music.
Going out to eat has landed in the “splurge” bucket. However, even if it’s casual dining, making an event out of it by throwing in a walk or maybe meeting up with others makes it resemble a vacation destination.
Hiking with Our Dog
Although we were not done mourning the unexpected loss of five-year-old Charlie, our first dog, in January 2021, three months later, we unexpectedly became the owners of Paisley, a puppy. Her owner was moving and gave her to us.
We had compiled a list of hikes to take with Charlie and had taken some of them but still had a lot more to go. Now, we will get to check out some more of them. I can’t quite explain it, but the three of us fussing over our dog turns the hike into much more of an adventure and also more of a bonding experience.
Sharing Music & Shows
Another advantage a staycation provides is lounging in the living room and having my son or daughter introduce me to new TV shows or music. It’s fun. My brain craves “new.” The challenge is getting the right amount and right kind of stimulation, but not becoming overstimulated. For example, hospital or police dramas and horror movies are overstimulating and I never watch them.
If you would have told me that I could enjoy watching surf competitions, I would have questioned your sanity. I can thank my daughter for introducing me to these events that take place on the most beautiful beaches in the world. Watching mercurial, powerful waves develop, break, and then transition into different shapes and colors mesmerizes me. The athleticism of the surfers makes my jaw drop.
I don’t have much time for television and appreciate my son introducing me to shows on Netflix that I would never have noticed. Some I like, and some I don’t, but it makes me feel more connected to see what’s current.
My Word for 2022
Resolutions are too complicated. Instead, I pick a single word to guide me through the new year.
My word for 2022 is “listen.”
When your day-to-day schedule is unpredictable and constantly changing, it’s harder to focus and easier to get frustrated. I find it much harder to listen to my inner voice. But if I don’t find a way to do that or make time to pursue my speaking and creative writing, I know I will get depressed.
Having friends who know me well and are good listeners helps. Keeping a gratitude list, meditating, step work, attending support groups, and listening to others who seek clarity help too.
Originally posted December 2, 2021
The post A Soothing “Staycation” to Usher in the New Year appeared first on bpHope.com.
By: Sasha Kildare
Title: A Soothing “Staycation” to Usher in the New Year
Sourced From: www.bphope.com/blog/a-soothing-staycation-to-usher-in-the-new-year/
Published Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2021 12:38:15 +0000
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