So, you get back from holiday. Rejuvenated, rested and relaxed.
You survive a major health scare. Empowered, grateful and motivated.
But how can we keep the post-holiday, post-health scare, new job, new partner vibe? That vibe that makes us feel happy, strong, fulfilled and loved.
In the early days of any of the above scenarios, it makes sense we’re carried on the initial high of the current situation. Yes! I’m the best person for the role! We’re in love! The sense of euphoria, the endorphins, the feeling of contentment give us a new perspective, a new self-confidence. We’re unstoppable.
But two weeks, two months or two years later, we wake up one day and find it’s same:same. We’ve become engulfed in waves of discontent or unhappiness. How did we get from hero to zero so quickly?! And now, to make matters worse, we feel guilty for our current mindset.
I asked a relative, who has fought cancer not once but twice, how those experiences have shaped her life, assuming that surviving alone would mean every day after was a doddle. Surely she now felt she could do anything and was wafting thought life on a zen-like cloud of contentment?
Not so. Yes, she admitted, initially she was immensely relieved. Made lifestyle changes and pursued a long-held academic dream. But how to sustain that sense of positivity? She wasn’t sure she had the answer.
You should write about that, she said.
Post-holiday blues is one thing. I guess you suck it up, save and plan for the next one, try to replicate the things you enjoyed on holiday closer to home. But admitting to bad days post a life threatening illness? It didn’t seem plausible but clearly, it is.
At some level, our current sense of contentment must be related to memories – both positive and negative. If you can recall the sense of joy you experienced hanging out with your kids on holiday or the elation when the test/scan comes back cancer free or the excitement you felt whenever he/she turned up at your door in the early days or the sense of satisfaction when you received your first pay cheque, then surely you could at least emulate those feelings?
Of course it’s not that simple.
In the interim, life continues. And it continues to present us with challenges, large and small, that upset that zen like place we felt fleetingly close to. That moment all first time mothers experience when their baby is passed to them. That belief that you can do anything, that nothing else matters except for this small perfect being that you already know and love intrinsically.
So back to the original question, how do keep the post-holiday vibe going post-holiday? Because it’s not possible to give birth/beat cancer/get the job/lye on a beach every day.
And the answer? Acceptance. Some days we do feel it, some days we don’t but hopefully, we’re better off because of the holiday and hopefully, there will be more holidays to come.