Jan 2015: Radical Refreshment

The Post-Holiday Blues or Burnout: common experiences for those of us who feel a little partied out after the holidays. We have ate, drank, and were merry (or not), we have finished our healthy lifestyle cleanse, and are now looking for some refreshment of a different kind. In Canada, January can be the dark month (the sun goes down way too early in the day!) when nothing new is happening because the holidays are over.

Barbara Sher (1994) posits that the cure for burnout (and I would argue boredom as well) is to learn about or create something new. Take a class in a completely unrelated field. Forget about building your job skills; learn about something that is interesting to you outside of what you have to do or should be doing. Find something that uses those senses you have neglected recently.

Creativity and learning can begin a healing process by refreshing your mind. It wakes up the imagination you have forgotten about. It rests the part of the brain you used too much of by waking up the part you have hardly used at all. The focus switches and somehow that change makes a small difference. In psychotherapy, that smallest of movements or shifts is called the “difference” that makes a difference.

This post-holiday season, consider how you might shift some neurons into a place more about discovery and delight than discipline and dispassion.

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