“I am so fed up with this internship”, my sister moans and takes a huge gulp from her steaming cup of hot wine punch she’s holding between her glove-covered hands.
Being a good sister I pet her shoulder and ask in my most sympathetic voice:
“Aw, what’s going on?”
“You know how the whole department moved to a different part of the building this week, right?”
I nod, maybe a little too vigorously, while watching the steam from my cup swirling up into the cold winter air.
“So my boss told me to take her storage container up to her new office”, she continues.
I can feel the muscles next to my mouth pulling to the right and left. I know this is going to be a hilarious story. Most stories involving bosses are. But this one isn’t just yet, so I fight the urge of grinning and concentrate on keeping a serious face. Because that’s what my sister needs right now. A serious listener.
“So I take this massive container which must have contained a dozen gold bars or something similarily heavy and roll it all the way down to the hall to the elevator, take it to the fifth floor and all the way down to her new office.”
I nod again and wait.
My sister gulps down the rest of her beverage. I wonder if this is the end of the story. I look at her and see that it looks like the steam from her cup is coming out of the top of her head which brilliantly matches with the slightly furious look in her eyes. My mouth starts to move again, but I manage to hold it back for another moment. There’s no messing with my sister when she’s angry.
“The next day”, she continues, “my boss calls me to her office and you know what she said?”
“Wha-hat!?”, I almost scream.
“You can take the container back down now. I’m finished with unpacking.”
We’re both freezing for a moment. Then I burst into laughter. I’m laughing so hard that I choke and almost drown on hot wine punch.
I’m sure you know what it’s like to go through a rough patch. When you feel like everything is too much for you to handle and you just want to quit and run away from it all as far as you can. For me, this happens almost always towards the end of the year. I’m getting into this weird mood where I’m feeling incredibly demotivated and kind of depressed. I’m not sure about the reasons, but I’m having some theories about it.
First of all, the change of season. I’m looking out of the window right now and all I can see is a muddy grey mess spotted with the occasional rain drop and brown leaves flying by in the harsh winds. It’s close to noon and I already feel like turning on the light. That’s probably the most depressing part of this time of year, at least here in Germany. I hate nothing more than getting up in the dark and coming home when it’s dark again. But my mind seems to think that it’s not enough to just have darkness around me. It likes to absorb it, making me feel dark on the inside, too.
Secondly, I think that after a hard year’s work, my mind feels like it’s needing a break, some time to just relax and laze about. But the end of the year is coming closer like a wall that’s about to crush me if I’m not running away fast enough and there’s so many things I still need to deal with. Finish that goddam PR concept I’ve been working on for weeks and weeks in order to make it a masterpiece. Dealing with my ignorant landlord who pretends I’m responsible for his property’s deficiencies. Buying christmas presents for my loved ones (ok, that’s actually fun). Waiting for my next surgery appointment only to find out that it’s not going to be the last one as expected.
If you weren’t depressed before reading this post, I’m sure you are by now. But I can tell you: There’s hope! Because I’ve come up with a couple of strategies to help with pulling through when things are getting rough. So here’s what I do:
- Muuuuusic. It helps in pretty much any situation. Wether I’m happy or sad, I want to laugh or cry. For the last couple of weeks I’ve swapped the book I’m currently reading for my iPod to accompany me on my way to work and back. Squaking guitars and pounding drums are an incredibly effective way to wake me up in the morning and to motivate me for the day. Here is one of the songs that always gets me into a good mood.
- Dancing. Sometimes you just need to dance it off. Get rid of everything you’ve been keeping inside and transfer it into motions. There’ve been a couple of times recently when I would just turn up the music and go wild in my living room. I’m sure throwing my arms and legs around in weird ways makes me look like a complete idiot. But I’m telling you, it’s so much fun! And noone’s watching anyway. Plus, it’s good exercise in order to burn all these christmas cookies I’ve been eating.
- Singing. I’m a person who likes to sing a lot. A LOT. I’m sure my neighbours hate me for not being able to shut up for long when I’m home. But making my voice sound like Justin Bieber on helium just makes me feel so much better. Ok, maybe I should consider avoiding songs that involve a lot of screaming. “I’ll attack, I’ll attack, I’ll attaaaaaaaack!”
- Hot beverages. I love that cozy feeling in my stomach when having a hot cup of coffee or tea, especially now that it’s starting to get freezing cold outside. I must have spent a fortune on Toffee Nut Lattes lately. But they’re just so freakin’ delicious!
- Writing. Sometimes it just helps to get things off your mind by writing it down, literally or by turning it into a story. For me, writing has always been a good way to deal with things that are going on in my life. Good or bad. Even though I feel like I’m better at writing when I’m in a strange mood than when I’m happy. Oh my!
- Talking. When I’m not feeling well, I like to call my sister or my mum. Unfortunately, I can’t help but act grumpy most of the time which leads to the other person being annoyed. Which makes me angry at myself. But still I somehow always feel better afterwards.
So until the new year arrives in all its brightness, I’m going to keep on dancing and screaming in my living room with a cup of hot coffee in one and my phone in the other hand. You should try it, too!