Snow has fallen on the city. It happens, but usually it doesn’t stick. For the last couple of days it has been like living in a snow globe. Snow is still a novelty to me, so I have been braving the lack of double glazing and leaving the curtains open so I can see the snow as it falls. I even bundled up and took a wander through the woods to look for snowmen and try to pet as many pups in sweaters as I could (Unfortunately, I only got to pet one beautiful Doberman, but I did lots of colourful sweaters and lots of snowy paws and noses).
I also went for the walk so I wouldn’t send angry emails to people who are questioning my ability to do my job and my knowledge of the subject material. I don’t have my new visa yet, and I am not looking to get fired right now.
The walk in the fresh air helped…a little. Until I got another email questioning my skills. I was polite, but there was some rage screaming into a pillow that reads ‘I fucking hate people’.
I am tired. We are all tired. A year of the pandemic and the lockdowns, isolation, ever changing rules and inability to hug people really has taken a tole on my mental health. I am grouchy about everything. All the time. I was even annoyed at the fact that dogs were well behaved on their walks so I couldn’t pet them. I hate that people on the path where I walk can’t respect social distancing. I’m grouchy that my masters student is having a hard time with recruiting participants for their research because the pandemic means no paper surveys. I hate that I am questioned on my ability to do my job, and I hate that I have to bite my tongue and be a good little minion even though it goes against good practice.
I have decided that tomorrow I am going to take a snow day. I have one meeting and then I am going to turn off my email and work on some things for me. I have a paper that I want to write based on my PhD, and since scholarship is technically part of my job remit, I am still working. But I am not taking any bullshit. It will be a bullshit free zone after the meeting. I get to pick the structure of the paper, it will be written the way I want, and it is something that is going to advance my career and make me feel better.
I may even go out and build a snowman.
Mental health days are important. Looking after yourself is important. Acknowledging your feelings is important. Not sending angry emails full of cuss words to your boss is important. Putting aside your feelings of what is right to keep the peace over trivial matters is important. Having a good support system is important.
Rage screaming into a pillow will make you feel better. So will a walk in the snow.