I always find this bit of winter more difficult than other times of year. I am a naturally anxious person but I can mostly keep on top of it, but post-Christmas and New Year, I always find it harder to wade through and remain my usual sunny self. It's just a bleak time of year, and from everything I've seen, I'm not the only person who feels the same. But, Spring is on its way, albeit rather slowly, so things are looking up, and after a couple of tougher weeks, I've put a few things in place to help me get through until the sun is shining again!
I'm Letting Go of My Desire for Productivity
When Ben was around two months old, I was finding my inability to get a lot done on our days together incredibly frustrating. I wanted to be productive, even if that meant just getting a few loads of laundry done - but it was often impossible with a baby who didn't like to be put down all that much. I don't know whether it's the fact that he's slowly starting to become a little bit more independent, or maybe because he's going longer between feeds and naps which allows for a bit more free time, but I've been able to let go of a lot of that frustration recently. Instead, I'm very aware that we only have a few more weeks where it's just the two of us (almost) every day, so I'm leaning into the lack of productivity rather than fighting against him.
I'm Focusing In On My Most Important Tasks
Following on from the above, I *am* working hard at my one, most important task which, right now, is starting the process of weaning with Ben. It's new for both of us and whilst we work it out together, it's taking up quite a big chunk of my day. But, since it's my most important task, that's absolutely a-okay. Rather than trying to squish loads of other things into the day and overwhelming myself, I'm building our schedule around meal times to give us both enough time to adjust to this new thing.
I'm Remembering That Worrying Won't Change The Outcome
I find it very easy to tie myself up in knots thinking about the future, but it's really a waste of energy. It's a habit I'm very much in the middle of, but I am trying hard to remember that worrying will do nothing to actually protect me from negative outcomes. Yes, the transition to nursery will probably be difficult but what's the point in panicking about it when we're still in the maternity leave stage? What good does that do anyone? It's still in the back of my mind, along with a myriad of other things, but I'm trying harder to push those thoughts aside.
I'm Not Over-Scheduling Myself
When we only really have weekends together, it can be very tempting to jam pack them with fun stuff: visiting friends, receiving guests, doing day trips and other such things. Whilst I do want to do all of those things, I also know that I am more stressed if I start the week with everything in disarray; it's a lot easier to get things done and keep our day-to-day lives running when we have a bit of space at the weekends.
I'm Working Things Until They're Done
Contrary to my first couple of points, I can't abandon my to-do list completely. I wouldn't feel myself without my notebook of constantly scribbled to-dos by my side. But, rather than worrying about the length of the list, I am just working things until they are done. Crossing things off makes me feel far better than just worrying about how much I have to do, and I have so much less time to get things done than I did this time last year so I'm just getting stuck in when I can. It helps my wellbeing to be on top of things as far as I can, so I'm also asking Paul for help where I can.