Back from South Africa and Suffering Post-Holiday Blues
I’m not expecting much sympathy here with this post-holiday blues post but we’ve all been here, right, returning home from the sea and sun to lots of rain and even greater responsibility, and that’s how I’m feeling after our magical vacay to South Africa (take me back) so here I am moping a bit while equally saying ‘Hi!’ to you guys as it feels like forever since I’ve blogged. (Mum, you there?)!
Chatting to my therapist yesterday (gosh, I sound such a cliche but there’s no shame in therapy pals, it’s transformed my life), she kindly informed me how common suffering with overwhelm and anxiety post-holiday can be, as you go through a period of acclimatisation after loving a simpler way of life.
I’ve gone from my biggest ‘problem’ being which vineyard do we visit today to mad-dash school-runs, helping with homework, picking up post office packages I missed, sweaty swimming lessons and more emails and dms than I can respond to.
I switched off on holiday. I barely thought about work other than which pursuits and projects I’d like to try next, and I loved every minute of it. I shared our time there on social and recorded some footage for a holiday vlog which was fun, but I barely glanced at my inbox.
My usual 5 hours a day on my phone quickly reduced to just 1 hour and time away was spent feeling grateful for the much-needed rays on my face, chatter with kids and card games, introducing my MIL Cathy to some of our Netflix faves as well as cooking up vegan feasts for the whole fam (my wonderful in-laws spent a week with us) with every vegetable under the sun (literally), reading books I picked up in the airport (all 3 of them) and chilling the flip out.
SA basically saw me living out my best mum life. For 12 days I became the tranquil mum I thought I would be before actually becoming a mum and discovering the reality that is parenthood/mum guilt and sleep deprivation. FYI, ‘Relaxed Mum’ me on holiday is freaking awesome.
Seriously though, I’ve returned home certain I need to implement more down-time into my life and while I’ve had work/life balance down for a while now thanks to my epic management team, I do still while away far too much time mindlessly scrolling on my phone and I’m going to be making some changes there (*hides phone).
I also want to watch more movies. A lot more.
Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born and The Favourite captivated me high up in the skies on flights, and stirred the director in me. I marvelled at the joy and passion for music Freddie Mercury possessed in Bohemian Rhapsody and the sheer chemistry of the on-screen and possibly IRL couple du jour Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (Jackson/ Ally) in A Star is Born, not to mention the melancholic/comedy farce that is The Favourite, all which stayed with me for days later.
So, back to the holiday blues, I had a bit of an ugly cry yesterday, OK I had an ugly cry FOR MOST of yesterday as my throat conked out on me a bit post flight, and I was drowning in to-do lists and dirty washing (the latter now being serviced washed to save my sanity).
My emergency appointment with my therapist gave me the chance to breathe again, literally as she advised I spend a few minutes sat calmly, taking deep breaths, my hand on my chest. She reassured that it’s common for people to fall apart a little post-holiday so I simply needed to take some time out, and then start to tackle things one by one, implementing lessons learnt away where possible, into my life now.
So, in the name of self-care, I took the kids for Italian food near our home last night so I didn’t have to cook and I even sacrificed watching Love Island in favour of winding down tech-free before bedtime.
Chatting to my close friend Dr Juliet McGrattan on the phone and listening to her sound medical advice about my throat helped me sleep well too. Thank you JM, you absolute rock, you.
…The self-care theme continued today as I spent 2 hours in the hairdressers bidding goodbye to grey hairs and being the recipient of a blow dry that made me feel like I’d had a head transplant. Good times.
As much as I’m in the midst of mourning the good life abroad, I feel incredibly grateful for the holibobs (bahaha, don’t you just HATE that word) and returning to stunning South Africa once again (thank you to Home Exchange for the wonderful apartment-hashtag ad-hashtag gift-hashtag lucky bitch 😉 . The time away from the every-day reminded me how DEEPLY I love what I do. THIS. This, RIGHT HERE. Writing what’s on my mind, just as I wrote my diary religiously as a child, is liberating and rewarding.
It’s funny, I’ve drawn, painted, written, acted, filmed/directed myself and most of my family on VHS cameras from as early as I can remember, so my life now makes sense.
Creating is a need to me.
I even found myself scribbling notes on napkins in restaurants and day dreaming about taking up painting again or attending acting lessons while I was away, returning to early passions of mine that have since been sidelined because you can’t do EVERYTHING all of the time.
A change in scenery is quite the shake-up.
I love living and breathing this busy and vibrant life of mine but I equally love taking a breather from it all. Pressing pause. Discovering an undisturbed space to think, reflect and plan for the future.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to pour myself a glass of red wine and pretend I’m back in South Africa on the balcony of our apartment, the kids playing cards in the lounge, over the noisy Nintendo Switch that’s currently on, the sound of hadedas squawking in the distance and a movie-perfect sunset sparkling in the sky.
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