I’m sharing this past month’s Winter Blues because sometimes I think it’s helpful to hear that not everything in retirement transition is an easy road.
My “morning mental health checks” since the beginning of this year have not been good. Yes, part of my morning journaling is an emotional assessment. Last year seemed to be full of joy, positive expectation, and contentment. When I’ve dropped into blah-ness or uncertainty, my new tools were helpful in creating more positive emotions.
During the past few weeks, my morning emotional check-in has been full of words like overwhelmed, adrift, uncertain, discontent, resentment, guilty, aggravated, discouraged, isolated, dejected, and dread. A blah day felt like an improvement.
My regular tools did not seem to be working – I did the networking lunches, dinner dates with friends, regular exercise (yoga and zumba), and journaling with gratitude and affirmations. And still the emotions remained negative.
I’m (still) chronically overthinking on “the issue” that derailed me in January – lots of what-if scenario thinking, creating multiple to-do lists. And my strong need external validation is making me feel bad – I want someone to acknowledge my efforts in all this detailed planning (and no-one is).
I’m doing the comparative inferiority again – recent retirees I’m connected with (those networking lunches!) are traveling (one couple did 15 trips last year including regular from weekend jaunts), re-designing their houses (bathroom, kitchen, bedroom renovations), doing regular volunteer work, taking classes, having fun hanging with their grandkids, and digitizing old family photos/movies. Why is my calendar so empty? What am I not activating my own action plan?
A part of me wants more things “to do” and another part of me worries about overdoing and feeling even more overwhelmed/overworked. A part of me wants more activities and projects on the calendar and a part of me is just so tired of planning.
I’m becoming the Queen of Wasting Time – iPad gaming, FB-ing (Pantsuit Nation & local version suck me in for hours), trash novel reading – because that gives me a sense of numbness.
I will keep working the tools – gratitude, affirmations, planning fun things, checking things off the lists. There is a new plan on “the issue”.
I’m hopeful (a positive emotion!) that in a few weeks there will be more contentment and positivity in my life. My words the last two days have been “cautiously optimistic” …. Maybe my tools are working?
Picture Credit: Pixabay