I don’t know how to have fun…better work on this. (Or maybe I should just chill out).

I have been given an amazing insight by my long suffering mother today. I am actually one of those people who doesn’t know how to have fun – this is true. I think I know – but I don’t. That’s the problem. I think too much. For the first time in this life, I have admitted this to myself. I take everything so seriously (well, not everything but a lot) and ‘fun’ isn’t something I would consider myself being or having. I can have a laugh and a joke with friends and have a good night but my entire mindset is geared up to finding the point and the meaning within everything I do otherwise, there is just no point in doing it. Everything has to mean something.

I really do need to have more fun. Just for the sake of it! This feels weird to me…how sad!

‘Don’t you ever do things just for fun?’ ‘No mum, I don’t see the point. You have to learn something about yourself and the world around you and acquire new skills and a certificate in the process. Otherwise, you’re just wasting energy. What are you achieving?’ (Comparing me to close family members in the process…’you know you’re exactly like your sister, your aunt, your cousin…’

How did I miss this?

‘Is there a course I can do in ‘having fun?’ (Only joking…) No! That one is down to you… just chill! Not everything has to be a trial.’ I blame my training as a classical musician. ‘If you make one mistake in this audition, you won’t get in’ I made a mistake. ‘Yeah, that’s why you didn’t get in.’ So – I spend the early years of my life believing mistakes cannot happen and that everything is just that serious. For some people yes – but I am not one of those people obviously. I have a lot to unravel….or maybe not..I’m cool 🙂 I don’t have to understand why all the time…ahem! (Fighting every natural (or conditioned) urge in my body right now…

I came home from work earlier feeling a bit blue, bored and a bit tired. I decided to call home. I was preparing my negative monologue. ‘Ah there’s just no point to anything…this is a mad life. I don’t know what I should be doing.’ It is a mad life of course. Yes it is. So mad I can’t even begin to tell you. You know yourself what this planet is like.

I get uptight about silly things. I obsess about stuff I shouldn’t really – but then I think to myself ‘well if I don’t do this or if I don’t take this seriously, nobody else will and then something bad will happen or we’ll make a mistake.’ Yeah. Maybe. But…maybe not. Obsessive? Me? Ha! If I relaxed a little more, what harm could it do? I like to think of myself as someone who knows how to have fun. Why should I have to ‘know’ how to have fun? Why can’t I just ‘have’ fun?

I feel quite odd as I write this. I know I’m very structured, organised and I like my routine. I am a creature of comfort but I want to be different. I crave to be passionate, adventurous, more of a dare devil and an extrovert – but I really don’t think I am. I pretend I am and that pretense is what has been driving me crazy over the years. If I can finally accept the fact that I am actually quite wound up sometimes – (I really feel uncomfortable admitting this), perhaps I might be able to loosen up more as a person.

I mean – here I am telling people to make the most of every moment and enjoy life when I don’t do the same myself a lot of the time. If I took my own advice, it would be a good thing. I’m stuck in my head, lost in thought and neglecting the very basic fact that life is there for enjoyment – this includes myself.

(almost forgot about that).

© Christina McDonald 2014.

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Dealing with stress….more is less.

I don’t think there is one person on this earth who could say their life and relationships are not complicated somehow. I’ve woken up feeling tired today and my mood is pretty much neutral.

I know it isn’t just physical exhaustion but it is emotional as well. I was born a sensitive person. Yey. It can either make my life more difficult or it can help me understand myself and others more.

Sometimes, when I have had too many emotional ups and downs and I feel overloaded with complicated feelings, I just want to find the off-switch in the end. Chilling out, unwinding with a funny film or a good book is the remedy for me.

Thinking too much is a big part of it as well especially if you are experiencing a multitude of different feelings with it all. Before you know it, everything has become a huge emotional ‘knot’ in your mind and body. If you don’t nip it in the bud quickly, it becomes an ugly mess.

How can we stay on top of things?

Know your limits:

It is wise to be aware of how much stress you can take before you begin to feel out of control. There are warning signs (such as snapping at people, banging things down hard on tables and slamming doors for instance…time to go for a run…or a long hot soak in the bath…:)

Talk it over:

If something is bothering you, talk to someone about what you’re going through. Stress reduces when you find an outlet for your frustration…talking is a great way to work through difficult feelings. Even if you don’t find a solution, you will feel some much needed and welcome support.

Reduce your to-do list:

Have you taken on too many responsibilities? Is work taking over your entire life? Then, it is time to change things in favour of what you need to be genuinely happy and not simply what others want you to do. Live-up to your own expectations and not that of others…

Ask for help:

Too many people suffer the burden of their load in silence and just carry on feeling the weight of stress on top of them. It isn’t a crime to ask someone to help you out or if they can help you manage everything better. You will not lose face by doing so. Is there a better arrangement you could come to at work in regards to your working hours? Is flexibility possible? You have the power to make your life easier…if you really want to.

Minimise your responsibilities:

If you can find a way to focus on things that you really want to do and still earn the money you need…then you may be a frustrated artist like me! That’s my own personal dilemma. With anything to do with work, it is always about finding the balance. If you can find a comfortable situation between your working and your personal life, you will feel happier knowing that you have more freedom to be you…

And that’s what matters!

© Christina McDonald 2014.