At first glance this could be a comical post, but it’s not. Holiday weekends trigger my depression and anxiety.
As a kid we never made a big deal over holidays. No packing up to head to the shore or the mountains. In college, I was usually working holidays weekends, because I was in the hospitality business. There were a few times we’d leave after work, go down the shore and then drive back in time for my 7 a.m. shift.
Being a journalist and usually having to work at least one-day of the weekend regularly, and not having steady hours, this pattern of always working continued. I always thought, “if I only had a three-day weekend and my friends and I could go someplace fun.”
As I started to move up, and on, in my career, that work cycle began to change. These days, I do usually end up with a three day weekend when they come up.
But, I’ve come up with several tips to help keep the flare ups manageable:
1. Make a plan.
Don’t let yourself not have anything to do. All it will do is give yourself way too much time to think.
Pre-plan fun activities that you can do without other people. Make it the weekend you plant your garden, or paint the room that you never seem to find the time for.
Or, even keep it as simple as making it a priority to hit the local farmers market.
2. Look forward to the plan.
During the week prior, pick out a recipe that forces you to have to go to the market to get the ingredients.
After work, stop by the local home improvement store and pick out the paint and grab everything else you will need for your chosen project.
3. Be accountable and talk about your plans.
When someone asks you, or even if they don’t, about the holiday weekend, tell them about your plan.
The more you hear yourself talk about it, and tell other people about it, the more likely you will follow through with it. Afterall, how will you respond to your coworker when they ask how the craft fair you talked about going to was, if you don’t go?
4. Get outside.
Go for a walk. Go shopping. Visit a museum. Take a drive.
It’s easy to plop yourself on the couch and feel sorry for yourself. Or, just not get out of bed. It’s a lot harder to feel that way while sipping local coffee at the farmers market and picking out fresh vegetables to cook for dinner that night.
5. Unplug (mostly)
Watching everyone elses weekend filled with family gatherings will not do you any good. Don’t open Facebook, or Instagram.
Do still check emails, read the latest news and use your phone to take great photos of all your fun activities.