You've just returned from lunch, the slithering sound of snakes surround you, you take a deep breath, inhaling once more quickly, before returning to your keyboard. Everything seems to be going swimmingly, no venom has been passed, you look up to find an innocent gaze – similar to the one, you once had. You smile and continue. Tap, tap, send. Tap, tap, send. Tap, erase, tap, send. The day is going by just fine. Tap, send – the day is done. Does this mundane routine sound familiar to you? If it does, we'll get through it together.
Much like you, I too have days where my schedule leaves me so bored and uninspired that my will to find the will has seemingly "left chat". There are also days where the very thought of working has left me wanting to do nothing but sit silently, in the hopes that the hours will pass quicker than the construct of time allows for. Call it a lack of motivation, fatigue, or simply being done.
As my mama didn't raise no quitter and as I have bills to pay, I've developed a number of tips and tricks over the years to help me cope on the days, and at times, weeks, where I really just can't seem to "get it together".
I'm going to share them with you because I care, and what us to get where we need to be, together.
I Can Do This
I wake up every morning and give myself a little pep talk. Nothing cheesy, I stand in front of the mirror, welcome any new wrinkles, white hairs (did you know that gingers go white, not grey?), and remind myself of how lucky I am to do what I do and to have what I have. This is followed by three deep breaths and a quick shoulder shimmy.
The Morning Hustle
I alternate my morning commute, not in the sense of transport (my driver, who's a really sweet guy, would hate that), but how I spend my time. I usually like to read, not articles but novels or, short stories, listen to music – I try to incorporate a few songs in different languages, as I find that it stimulate my mind, and practice my breathing exercises (I have serve social anxiety, so I need all the added relaxation I can get, especially on days filled with back to back meetings). Some days (every Wednesday and Saturday), I try to sit as still as physically possible, and watch the cars go by, making up stories about the people in them as they pass – I like this activity, it helps my creativity, and it's always nice to be reminded that you are not alone.
9 – 5, and the Politics That Comes With it
Having worked for a number of companies during my short time on this earth, I can tell you that not everyone gets a long and that's perfectly fine. It all depends on how you handle it. I try to surround myself with the people that lift me up, and those who make me laugh. I leave sullen faces alone, try to steer clear of office gossips, and tend avoid colleagues who live in a seemingly permanent state of misery – ladies please, the glass can be full, or even, half full every once in a while.
Like I mentioned before, there are days where no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to get my sh*t together. My colleagues usually know when this happens, because I sit there, staring into space, hardly moving, and at times remaining so still that I forget to breathe. My doctor, who has been with me for over 15 years (poor lady), says that this could be due to a number of reasons; overstimulation, lack of stimulation, fatigue, depression. I tend to believe (she does too) that it's due to fatigue. Long work hours can affect you mentally before physical signs appear and, can result in sudden mood swings, lack of appetite, interest, and weight-loss*. When I find myself zoning out, I go for walks – usually with a colleague to help clear my head. If it doesn't work, I try to change up my work schedule and focus on producing videos, handling social media, or editing articles instead. If that doesn't work (I cry, just kidding), I call a friend and make dinner reservations (I used to go straight home in the fear of saying something hurtful – I can be quite rude when I'm in a mood – but it usually leaves me feeling worse). If going out doesn't work, I call in the big guns aka my mama. You see, my mum always has a way of making me feel better – my dad is hilarious and, I'm my father's daughter, but my mother has a way of making everything seem a bit calmer, slower even. So, I call her up, head home, pack a bag, and spend a couple of nights with my folks (I moved out to be closer to work). Once I've received ample love from my parents, siblings, and our fifty million pets, I head on home and prepare for the work week ahead. If you, however, do not have family in the country – try speaking to a friend, if you're struggling to make one, try changing up your daily routine – I've found that gyms (exercising helps reduce stress and aids in the release of endorphins, the body's feel good chemicals), bookstores, and music stores are great spots to meet like-minded individuals, and that a simple "hi" goes a long way when it comes to building relationships. If you feel like you would like to speak to a professional, Lighthouse Arabia has a number of fully qualified psychologists and psychiatrists on hand to help you identify and tackle whatever may be preventing you from being the best version of yourself.
If you're feeling, and if you ever feel like you're alone, please remember that you are loved, you are strong, and that you are capable of overcoming anything that is put before you. We believe in you, I believe in you, and don't ever forget that we're stronger together.