We’ve all heard of getting baby blues (the crying jag that hits like a freight train on about day 3 after having a baby- oh the joys), and the post holiday blues, but I recently returned home- in fact I didn’t even get onto my plane, and was walloped by some post conference blues. While I knew it was inevitable that I would be going home to ‘normal life’ after a truly breathtaking experience at the Young Rural Women’s Muster (thanks to the National Rural Women’s Coalition), I really didn’t expect to struggle as much as I did. So I thought I’d share 1) how to deal, and 2) that everyone feels like this sometimes and that’s ok
So I’m hoping you already know that I went on an amazing, life changing, empowering trip to Canberra with a bevy of other rural babes, to learn and develop our leadership skills. We met with the boss ladies of Parliament and came out the other side exhausted, empowered and enthusiastic. We talked about how returning to regular programming in our day to day lives would be tough, and our illustrious leader MT gave us some great tips about how to not make the people around us mental with never ending ‘and then this happened’ stories.
We all dispersed and I grabbed a lift to the airport (thanks Hannah- greatest roomie ever!), where I contacted my husband, had a small argument (#truelove) and rang my beautiful friend to check on my kids, only to hear that Charlie was still sick and was headed to the doctors to make sure he didn’t need antibiotics. Listening to him cry in the background and not being able to firstly give him a hug and secondly save my friend from his incessant crying, I struggled not to cry myself. I definitely landed with a bump back in the real world!
So there I was, tired, sad and feeling all my enthusiasm drain out of me- what was I to do!? I remember feeling like that after getting home with a fresh baby and having the baby blues hit me full force- it happened with all 3 boys! The reality is everyone feels like this at some time in their lives, and probably more than once. I couldn’t curl up on the floor and cry or sleep (that’s definitely what I wanted to do both post conference and post baby) so I did what I could to make myself feel better;
- I had something to eat- Asian food is something I love, and I wanted to avoid sugar because a sugar crash would really tip me over the edge, so I grabbed a bowl of chicken and noodle broth from the airport cafeteria. When I was battling with the baby blues I made sure I had some nut bars in the house at all times, or I’d make a cheese toasty or something equally easy.
- I picked up a book- this is my number one self care method. I can switch off my worries and lose myself in another world, I try to read for at least 30min each day, or alternatively I listen to an audiobook- that is what I did at the airport (check out Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Riley, one of my old favorites). I must admit if there was a nail salon in the airport I would have gone and got a mani/pedi because that is my number 1 luxury and I really wanted something totally luxurious right then.
- I wrote- firstly about my trip and all the wonderful things I’d done (read that here), and secondly about how I was feeling, my worries and upsets (that one was just for me, not the blog). This is pretty cathartic- taking everything out of my head and putting it onto paper meant I could declutter my brain and release the troubles weighing me down
- I took everything one bit at a time- I planned out what I needed to do and when and what would be next. step 1- get on the plane, step 2- get out of the airport and head to my accommodation for the night etc. This is great thing to do when you are being woken up by a baby and your brain really isn’t working, simply work out the things you absolutely have to do, and do one little thing at a time
- Ask for help- this didn’t apply so much to the post conference dip I had, but it sure as hell applies to the baby blues! Ask someone to watch the baby, cook tea or fold your washing, ask for some support- there is no shame in reaching out! I was lucky that I didn’t need to do that post conference because I was able to jump online and read all the amazing, uplifting things the other ladies were writing, it puled me out of my funk me just enough to get me on my plane and the short nap that awaited me (after our 1 hour delay stuck in the plane due to a freak lightning storm!)
- I found something that made me giggle. A funny quote or meme goes a long way in pulling yourself back up out of a funk. I like to keep a few funny bits and pieces on my phone and on my vision board in my office, a little giggle always makes me feel better.
So there you have it, when you are feeling low, that’s some ways you can pull yourself back up. I know the whole, ‘eating your feelings’ thing isn’t healthy, but when I have low blood sugar I really struggle to function, so that generally my go to standby when I feel like I just can’t anymore.