This morning, I followed a group of young children on their way to school on the first day back after the Christmas break. Some held hands with mum or dad, others skipped on ahead and one young girl crossing the road, called out cheerily to the lollypop lady Do you like my new shoes?
It was obvious that this youngster was immensely proud of her new, shiny shoes. It took me back to my childhood days, when a new pair of shoes would fill me with such excitement. (As a kid, we didn’t get new clothes very often and one of the downsides of adult life, not having to wait for mum to buy me things, is that I no longer get such a huge burst of pleasure!)
You too have probably gone back to work this week and I’m wondering if you have any of that new shoes feeling? A sense that you’ve had enough of a break and are now ready to get going again, excited about what lies ahead?
Are you Bubbly and Bouncy or Bored and Blue?
It’s worth pausing a moment to take stock, as neither is always what it seems.
Let’s take Bubbly and Bouncy to start with.
I see many people who attack the New Year with impressive energy. They do Dry January, start a new diet, sign up to the gym and embark on home projects. At work they sweep in with high velocity, overflowing with enthusiasm and new projects.
Now the New Year is certainly a great time to make changes. As the days lengthen, there is a sense of the world opening out again. But it is also easy, swept along by your rising energy, to rush into things, only to realise some weeks or months later that whatever you have embarked upon, isn’t working after all.
So while Bubbly and Bouncy is a great way to start 2017, take a little time to allow the fizz of new ideas to settle before you enact them. And as you move forward with your plans, do it in a way that is sustainable. As an instructor at my local gym said ruefully:
So many people who join in January are gone by March.
What if instead, you’re Bored and Blue?
Now then, you spent two weeks eating the wrong things, drinking too much, staying up late and sleeping in, missing out on what little daylight there was? And you are surprised you feel a little sluggish?!
Bored and Blue can be a temporary state, brought on by all of the above. A week of early nights, a healthier diet and more time spent moving, preferably outdoors, should soon put things to rights.
But what if this is a more persistent Bored and Blue?
What if your version of Bored and Blue is all too familiar, is more or less your constant companion and is especially present after a holiday?
This needs some serious attention. Although attending to diet, exercise and sleep can help, this is unlikely to be enough. There is something else you need to address, something that is holding you stuck, draining your energy and sense of possibility about the future.
But don’t let these words make you even more Blue. Once you get up your courage and look Bored and Blue straight in the eye, you open up the way for something new. Look out for Part 2 to find out if this is you and find out how to get unstuck from persistent Bored and Blue.