Life Coach Notes: Post Holiday Resting?

Ken Donaldson, LMHC

Ken and Holly Donaldson: Wedding Day and Honeymoon

I am remiss in taking so long to write this, but I’ve been a bit busy. I’m going to role-reverse and share a bit from my life first.

During the course of the last two months, my Paleo food plan went missing and my daily exercise program ran away from me. My daily meditation and journaling time have magically transformed into nightly obsessions and never ending to-do lists. The idea of getting a “little rest” gives me anxiety.

Needless to say, I haven’t been functioning all that well recently. But I do have some valid and rational reasoning for all this.

In fact, I put it all in some easy-to-read bullet points:

  • On December 13th we flew from Tampa to Boston to meet family, which included my oldest nephew, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter. They had just flown from Sweden where they all live. We then all drove together to Burlington, Vermont for our 7-day winter vacation.
  • On December 20th we all flew back to our home Florida, after 7 beautiful and extremely cold days
  • On December 21st my niece flew in from Sweden to join us for all the festivities.
  • On December 23rd we (Holly and I) were officially married, so the two days after we arrived home were crazy with last minute details for the wedding. We then spent the next 9 days with my family at our home, which included trying to keep a 2-year old entertained, happy and satisfied (which we did, far from perfectly).
  • On December 24th and 25th we celebrated Christmas Eve and Day with my family, and ate way too much on both occasions (and pretty much every other significant occasion since then).
  • On December 29th, our Swedish family left and we shared a gut-retching good-bye cryfest in the driveway, as we knew that this would likely be the last time my mom would see her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
  • On December 29th and 30th, Holly and I were wrapping up our prospective businesses and closing out the books for 2017, while attending to some client appointments.
  • On January 2nd we both resumed work beginning promptly and worked fairly consistently (we were both a little emotionally hungover).
  • On January 26th we then left for our 9-day honeymoon in Whistler, British Columbia (Canada). Holly skiied while I went hiking and snowshoeing, and photographed my way around this beautiful winter wonderland. We also went 60 MPH on a zip-line together to formally lock the final wedding vows.
  • On February 3rd we flew from Vancouver to Dallas to Tampa, got our luggage, drove home and crashed into bed about 12:30 a.m. the following morning.
  • On February 5th we got back to work, once again, tired and emotionally spent.
  • On February 13th I celebrated my 61st birthday, followed, of course, by Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

As amazing, fun and positively life-changing these two months have been, I’m feeling tired, frazzled and disconnected (anyone seen my head rolling around?).

I am also responsible for my 92 year-old mother. She lives fairly independently at an assisted living facility but has a number of health conditions that require regular monitoring. I’m calling and seeing her almost daily now. Checking on her health and wellbeing, taking her to doctor appointments, taking her to her weekly hair appointment, doing some light shopping for her, and just trying to spend some quality time with her.

As you can imagine, watching over her from afar is much more of a challenge. I have to assemble a small posse to be my eyes and ears while I’m gone, and let me know if anything goes sideways. I always a little more stressed out when I leave town.

So… I’m in the middle of a massive dose of life, and this life coach (me) needs some of his own life coaching!

So I went and looked in the mirror and asked, “What coaching might I be inclined to give to a client (me) struggling with the balance and processing of all these dynamics?

After a bit of pondering I’d probably suggest some, or all, of the following:

  1. Take some time to write down what all has transpired recently, including and especially identifying the corresponding emotions.
  2. Talk about all this. A lot. And even more.
  3. Move the body.
  4. Deeply. Often.
  5. As much as you need.
  6. Repeat all of the above as needed.

However, as great as the coaching is, I’m responsible for the implementation. I’ve been writing, talking, breathing and moving my body. However, #5 (Rest) is something I’ve had a HUGE struggle with.

Can I get an amen?!!

I have a little voice in my head that tells me “I’m goofing off and being lazy” when I take time to rest.

I have been lazy at times in my life and I’ve spent a lot of time goofing off, so the little voice may have some credibility. However, I know how rest helps, so I’ve been allowing myself to rest more. It’s been a bit challenging to ignore that little voice. But here’s my new and improved conscious override voice:

Rest is really okay!

And the results? I’m still “recovering” a bit, but slowly getting back to normal speed. I’ve chosen to be grateful for everything I’ve experienced the last 2 months (instead of being guilt ridden for all that wasn’t done).

I trust my own advice (go figure!). Even though my normal mode would be to work like crazy to try to “catch-up” for the time I haven’t been working, I’m allowing this uncomfortable path of self-care. I’m listening to myself and learning (again) to accept what my mind and body are telling me.

Now that you’ve listened (thank you very much!) to me, what about your holidays? How were they? What challenges did you have? What are you grateful for? How did you cope? How is the New Year going?

I’d like to know as I really am writing this for you. Drop me an email and let me know if I can include your experiences in future posts.



Today is a great day to Marry YouSelf First!