When we were children, we always felt a mixture of anxiety and excitement on the eve of the start of the school year. What teachers were we going to have? Would we be in the same class as our friends? Now that we are adults, this time of the year continues to evoke strong feelings and questions in us. Obviously, not the same, but just as essential! Will I finally be able to take time for myself? Will I find the right way to be good with my partner, maintain my friendships and show my loved ones that they mean a lot to me?
take time to slow down
Meeting these challenges and making a successful comeback means starting by redefining our relationship to time. “In today’s world, it is difficult to resist the ambient excitement. Everything in our environment pushes us to consume more and more: not only goods but also activities, leisure… The performance that we demands of us in all areas leads us to consider each task as an absolute priority, not to mention the information system, which maintains us in this culture of speed”, notes the psychoanalyst Saverio Tomasella. However, if we are constantly living at 100 per hour, it will be impossible for us to find time for our own fulfillment and to devote ourselves to others.
So let’s start by agreeing to slow down: a certain slowness is not a fault! How do we do it? “We can plan in our diary small beaches where, precisely… we do not plan anything. From this emptiness can be born reverie and boredom, very soothing. It is also essential to learn to do only one thing at a time. When we eat, do not have our eyes riveted on a screen, when we walk, do not telephone… Neurosciences have clearly demonstrated the extent to which the brain suffers when it is constantly stressed to accomplish multiple and simultaneous tasks“, warns the psychoanalyst.
Listening to our body
How to be well in our life, with ourselves and with others, if we are not well in our body? Impossible! “We live in a rather intellectual environment, which too often leads us to ignore that we inhabit a body. However, everything starts from it, everything passes through it”, insists Saverio Tomasella. If we don’t want to drag fatigue and pain behind us for months, it’s time to take care of him. Let’s start by showing gratitude to him, for example, through meditation. “We lie down, we close our eyes and we concentrate on one part of our body: our feet. We “become aware” of their presence and we thank them for what they do for us: they carry us, we allow us to walk, dance, etc. Then, we perform this exercise for the hands, stomach, lungs, heart, etc. Little by little, we will learn to consider our body with more benevolence, to have a less critical look “, advances the psychoanalyst. And especially, let’s try to set it in motion: this is how he will flourish the most, because he is made to move. But be careful, not in pain or constraint. Let’s opt instead for the search for pleasure, find this physical activity that will make us jubilant.
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Reconsider our relationship to others
Our relational life constitutes a major “file” of our back-to-school resolutions: we would like it to be better, more serene, more authentic. With our adult children, for example, the quality of our relationships largely depends on our ability to find the right distance. “Many misunderstandings stem from the fact that parents have not always mourned the great closeness that existed with their children when they were young, warns Saverio Tomasella. They always try, more or less consciously, to recreate this age gold. As a result, they may tend to be too intrusive, even giving lessons. Or even be angry with their children, if they feel that they are not present enough. These are attitudes that tend to relationship and can even damage it.”
This good distance that we will manage to find will have the merit of letting our children breathe… and removing all guilt from sometimes answering “no” to their demands (in particular, when they systematically ask us at the last moment to keep our grandchildren)! With our group of friends, too, it’s all about balance. “Friendships do us good, as long as they work both ways. Of course, let’s know how to listen to our loved ones when they need to confide. But let’s also dare to ask them for help and lean on them. Thus, we will feel both useful and caught up in a very comforting network of solidarity”, underlines our expert.
Preserve the intimacy of our couple
Intimacy, probably even more than sexuality, which often fluctuates over the years, is THE condition for a couple’s longevity. But in fact, what does it consist of? It goes through a tender physical, emotional and intellectual closeness, a good dose of complicity and familiarity. “So that a couple does not freeze in a kind of lethargy or cohabitation void of affect, it is essential that the spouses continue to touch each other, via small, very simple gestures that are too often overlooked: caressing the arm or the cheek, taking the hand, hugging. It is also essential to have topics of conversation other than shopping, cleaning or servicing the car! Our spouse is above all our friend, let’s talk to him about a book or a film that we liked, about a topical subject that touches us, as we would do with our best friend”, encourages the psychoanalyst. Maintaining this base which makes the solidity of a couple requires a certain will: we can decide to regularly get out of the hustle and bustle to spend time together to chat, laugh, do things together. And above all, let’s make these romantic dates untouchable by engraving them in our diaries.
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Changing course at work
After many years of professional activity, we no longer have to prove ourselves. Something to limit stress, but perhaps also enthusiasm and motivation. In this new school year, how can we keep the desire for our work? Probably by changing perspective. “You have to get out of your head that, after 55, you become a burden in the professional world! On the contrary, because of the experience acquired, a certain ability to take a step back and show diplomacy , you have all kinds of qualities to put to work for your colleagues and teamwork. These qualities are just as important as liveliness and performance, because they bring wisdom”, reassures Saverio Tomasella. We can, for example, enroll in a process of transmission to young shoots. Without mothering them, or crushing them with our skills, but giving them some keys to adapt. Feeling useful is ideal for looking forward to this new year at work!
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Getting to project into the future
What will give us the feeling of a successful return to school is also our ability to project ourselves into the future. There’s nothing worse than feeling trapped in a daily life without a horizon! This can in particular pass through theexecution of a somewhat ambitious project: a big trip, a new decoration for the house, planting a hedge in the garden to attract birds, a professional retraining, learning a language or a know-how, etc. “No matter the content of this project, the important thing is that it makes us dream over time,” says the psychoanalyst. We think about it a little every day, we mature it, we refine it, we progress towards its realization. In short, it occupies our mind. And even if we don’t take action immediately, the main thing is to believe in it! What’s better than having faith in yourself?
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