To go or not to go — that’s not the question.
I know I probably shouldn’t say that. People would think I’m an insensitive moron — but I just like to have typhoon holidays. At least once in a while. (Not three Sundays in two months, though.)
It doesn’t bother me whether it’s a Saturday (so no bonus holiday), or a jackpot-hitting Monday (when the whole city would actually be celebrating it). I just want a day-off when I wouldn’t have to decide if I should go out. Or not.
“It’s not that I don’t want to go out, but the downpour and the strong wind has refrained me.” In fact, the Observatory has decided it’s better for me and EVERYBODY ELSE to be grounded at home.
So I can just relax at home. Curl up and read. Or stroke my cats a bit and feel blue. The sound of a storm when heard from my bed, or the heavy rain hitting our air-conditioner actually soothes me. They released from the ever-dilemma of a anxiety-filled person:
TO GO or NOT TO GO OUT?
As an introvert and an anxiety person, I love staying at home. It’s safe. It’s comfy. It’s free of cars, noise, impolite people, unexpected situation and all other things that spike my adrenaline and heartbeat.
But from the experience I got in my breakdowns, long-term stay at home is no good in coping with the situation. After a serious breakdown last November, I grounded myself at home for a whole week. Not going anywhere, not seeing anyone. Just my three chubby cats and a concerned hubby. It did smooth out my mood and lower my heartbeat, because there’s nothing to feel anything about. (OK, coupled with the use of medication, I was dumb and numb, to be frank.)
It didn’t feel right at the end of that week and hubby was saying that I looked worse — unresponsive, total lack of energy and extremely long sleep. Yep, sure I had got rid of some anxious symptoms, but I got into another trap of depression.
So I started to force myself out in the second week. It’s not easy. Minds battling minds. I used a lot of “excuses” to lure myself out (wow, that’s the most weird expression…): the library books are due, the fridge is empty, the cats are running out of canned food…
It’s when I actually got out of the house that I could see myself deteriorating so fast. I could not stop shaking in the West Rail (not rush hour). I could barely meet anyone’s eyes in the supermarket. I run like I’d stolen the books after the library security checked my bags. (I must have looked very suspicious, or something in my bag just kept triggering the buzzer…)
It took me two more weeks (or maybe longer…) to function normally again. At least my face muscle was relaxed enough to give a smile when I met my neighbour walking his dogs.
After this disastrous rehabilitation experiment, I set a GOLDEN RULE for myself: DO NOT stay at home for more than 2 days. You HAVE TO GO OUT!
It sound less like a trouble for most people. But, for me, it’s always a struggle. A long weekend after organising an event. Totally exhausted on social energy and physical energy. So much stimulation at the social event that I need to stay out very late into the night, alone in the sofa, to wear off the effect.
Then the 1st Day. Super tired. Roam around the house raging for food like a zombie. Browse the internet like a vampire without enough sleep. No mood for books or dramas or movies. A super long afternoon nap and then a quiet dinner at home (mostly takeaway hubby brought home).
2nd Day feeling better. Read read read. Watch some TV. Probably download a movie. Cook a better dinner for hubby (to compensate him). Read into the night.
Then comes the 3rd Day. Tired from last night’s reading. Or may have played video games with hubby, giving me all the stimulation that has to cool down for some time into the night. Didn’t sleep too well. Some chores have to be done but not willing to. Should I just stay home to do the chores? Get some more sleep? Next day have to work… should get prepared mentally… or shouldn’t I?
Concluding from my experience, it’s better to go out. For a movie. For grocery. Whatever. Just move your butt OUT! It feels less empty, less time-idling and less guilty. I don’t know where this guilt comes from, but whenever I stay at home but see on someone’s FB or IG having a great day out — in the beach or on the hills or in a fancy restaurant — I just feel guilty. It’s like I’m totally wasting my life on books and sofas and cats.
That’s why I like typhoon holidays. NO ONE is getting out. I’m such a selfish jerk. But I could lie in my sofa to read guilt-free.
Ok, back to the going out golden rule. So now on the 3rd day — sometimes the 2nd — I would test myself by just going into the showers in the morning. It’s a ritual before I go out, no matter it’s to work or to play. (my hair sucks after bed) If after I wash my hair, I feel refreshed and energised, then I should probably go out. If not, it’s ok to stay at home for one more day. But no matter what — I must go through the wash.
70% of the time I would go out after I wash. The rest 30% happens when things are really bad. (I once could not make it to the shampoo part. Just let my dirty hair drip with water.) And that’s a whole other issue.
But deciding to go out is just the beginning. Going to where (my destinations are always: movie, library or supermarket), how to handle the anxiety after coming home, and how not to mull over the day again and again is just as tedious.
I would not say it’s the best method. At least, it get me watch quite a lot of good movies and read many good library books.
Just once in a while, when I am very very tired, I would hope for a typhoon day-off. Just so I don’t need to go through the above process again and again.