Tuesday Trends: Staying motivated after the holidays

By Nanny X,
So the holiday honeymoon is over. You’ve spent your bonus or otherwise re-invested it. The lights and trimmings are all down. Your boss seems more grumpy and sensing this collective gloom, the children in your care whine, resist and keep pushing your triggers. Some days feel as though you are wading through mud. As a consequence you often go home late and disgruntled, exhausted and somewhat depressed with little left for your significant others. 
Sound familiar? Yes it’s the January blues.
So how can we kick-start our job joie de vivre? Here are a few suggestions: 
  • You are not alone. The January blues are common to most people. The holiday season offer us a false perspective, a month of bright lights, of social events, of festive gatherings, inclusion and gift-giving. For many employees it’s also a time of bonus and of appreciation. The month that follows is a return to routine, to schedules and to ‘life’. 
  • Create a ritual for January that allows you to look forward to the Spring. Start diets and budgets in February. Look for simple things to do in January that encourage togetherness and family-time. Volunteer time to help those in more need. Go for long walks and visit friends. Sharing simple meals with loved ones and enjoying the natural world are all great antidotes to depression.

  • True contentment comes with gratitude. In chaotic times we are fortunate to have a regular salary. Begin each day giving thanks for the flow of money that comes your way. 
  • Our ‘job’ is in reality a vocation. It is one of the most important roles held in society. We are the nurturers of tomorrow’s adults. Look at each child in your care as an opportunity to make a difference. 
  • Set goals for improving your performance at work. Goals motivate us to push forward. More importantly they renew our ambitions and boost our energy levels. If a child in your care is being extra-challenging, do some research into techniques to handle such behavior.  Are you looking after an infant who is fussy and doesn’t want to nap? Study up! Education never ends particularly within childcare. 
  • Talk to other nannies. Reach out amongst your nanny peers and organize social events. Use these times not to simply complain or rail against your employers, rather to constructively resolve issues and get a perspective. If you feel as though you need to vent, choose a good friend who understands the bigger picture, a person who knows you well. Such a person will be able to support you while offering solid advice. 
  • Find a mentor. Fall in love with being a nanny again. Look for someone in the industry who maintains a positive, powerful presence in childcare. Register your email on their blog or website for updates. Order their books and interact with them via blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Watch their  TV shows if they host one. Ask yourself, “what makes this person tick, stay motivated, remain happy and fulfilled?” Make it a fun project to emulate some of their tactics.
  • Raise your game. Take a long hard look at the way you dress for work. yes, it’s important not to wear our Sunday best around children, but we needn’t look shabby either. Create a look and revamp your hair. Look for bargains and search for gems hidden in thrift stores. Concentrate on how you speak and convey your opinions. Hang out with nannies who are happy in their job and show it. Take care of yourself. Eat healthier and exercise more. Join a church or social group and nurture your inner life. 
  • Be happy with who you are. If your employers are extremely wealthy do not compare yourselves to them. You are a unique and extraordinary human being. You have something special to offer this world. The universe ever-obliging, is ready to give you the very best. Consider your employer’s wealth as a taste of what’s to come. Enjoy the trappings of working in luxury, and amongst luxury, for one day you will know exactly what to spend your millions on. 
January is a time to reinvent oneself. The Roman god Janus, after which the month of January is named, has two faces. One face looks back over the year gone by and another looks forward into the new year. Be like Janus and take all the treasures of experience you gathered in 2012 and bury them like the seeds of an orange tree in the soil of 2013. Set goals, have gratitude for where you are and re-invent your job. Connect to positive supportive peers and adopt a mentor. Continue to educate yourself and above all else – be who you want to be. 
This is your year!