What do you do when you feel like you’re not going anywhere? When you barely want to get up in the mornings and certainly don’t feel like you have time for a “side hustle” or creative endeavors? When you get home from work so exhausted all you want to do is zone out watching tv?
Lately, I’ve been experiencing my own rut and have talked to a surprising amount of people (especially women) who are also feeling this. So much so that I think, is it something in the water? Truly, though, I think it’s a result of an overstimulated world and incessant demands on our attention, time, and energy. There’s still a “badge of honor” mentality around being so busy you can’t see straight, living in a whirlwind of chaos, and giving giving giving until you can give no more.
We want to balance it all: do a great job at work, maybe work towards a promotion or some other form of recognition, finish a degree, make sure our living space is comfortable-sometimes even clean lol, spend time with our loved ones really connecting, stay in shape, and maybe even follow our dreams of a blog, side business, or writing habit. But with all the stress, all the exhausting, all the overwhelm, we just. can’t. function. Anyone else experienced this?
When we tax ourselves so much every day that we no longer have anything to give, it leads to burnout.
We end up feeling sad, unmotivated, even unable to get out of bed (at least without hitting snooze and hiding under our covers for “just 10 more minutes”). We may eat more, or less, drink more, mope around, and even not act so nice to the people we love. Basically, burnout can lead to some major shit…nothing gets done and you just feel….stuck.
With my own feelings of burnout and “blah”, I’ve had to get creative and very intentional to change the way I’m feeling, so I wanted to share ways I’ve found to tackle this monster (or at least start chipping away at his base):
Get Excited. Find something to be excited about – having something to look forward to (especially in the mornings) limits the number of times I’ll hit “snooze” and directly impacts what time I’ll set that first alarm for anyway. Having a “something” that makes me feel happy, accomplished or excited, and isn’t related to my “real job” helps me get up with some energy and excitement.
Put your phone down. Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning – seriously, I know it feels like you might not survive if you don’t, but I find that when I check this first thing, my mood isn’t as great, my motivation isn’t as strong, and honestly, I just don’t move as quickly when I’m getting ready and on to the things I want to do.
Take care of your body. Eat better, get sleep – how I’m fueling my body with makes a big difference in how quickly I can bounce back and keep going. This is also the hardest one for me when I’m feeling blah and overwhelmed; it’s so easy to say “fuck it” and reach for tons of horrible food. After feeling really sick recently, I’m investigating more ways to heal my body and my brain with food and vitamins. I listened to a podcast recently that was all about resetting your brain with vitamins and supplements and it was totally amazing. It talked about how we’re all in a fog and it’s because of the junk in our environment and the junk we put in our bodies. The major claim was that we could completely reset our bodies within 7 years – like a whole new body. For me, it’s a process and I know it won’t happen overnight, but I’m curious and interested enough to work towards some changes, and that alone is a step in the right direction.
Check in. Even if you’re not motivated or don’t want to – find the time and a way to connect with yourself: quiet time to let your mind wander, journaling, tarot, whatever. I realized I hadn’t spent any time alone with my thoughts (besides the ones propelling me through an insane day) in a long time and that’s a quick way to make me crazy and unproductive.
Treat yo self. Set some special YOU time – something you enjoy, with no goal or results needed. Maybe it’s a cup of coffee on a rainy morning in the quiet, maybe it’s a long walk with your dog, a trip to a museum…whatever. Make it yours and make it special.
Find your why. Reconnect with your WHY – why do you want that promotion? Why are you working towards a side hustle? Why does that person matter to you? Reminding yourself of your why can change the entire trajectory of your day. Once you’ve reestablished that why, ask yourself, “is this action/thought getting me closer to where I want to be?”
Supporting Cast. Surround yourself with a supporting cast – yes people who love and support you, but in addition to that, surround yourself with people on the same long-term trajectory as you, also surround yourself with “content” that supports your goals. For me, listening to podcasts about growing an online business, coaching, and improving yourself always re-inspires me. But be selective with what you’re taking in. Find things that speak to you and don’t feel like suffering through to get a message that just makes you feel worse. Ick.
Make a plan. If you’re rockin a side hustle, identify some achievable steps during the week and DO THEM. You will feel so much better. At least I do…
Get Moving! Take a walk, do yoga, lift weights, whatever. Get connected with your body, get some of that energy out and I promise you will feel better. Take it from someone who hasn’t been exercising because of an injury-that shit will build up!
Intentional Socializing. When you get the opportunity to spend time with loved ones – make it impactful. Turn off the TV for one night and just sit and talk, do a puzzle, play a game. Make a commitment to going to bed just a little earlier one night to have time to just lay there and talk (or whatever you like to do….*wink*wink* )
Limit Tech Time. Limit TV and endless IG scrolling time – I enjoy it in the moment and then almost always feel shitty about it afterward. I know you need veg out time, but make it positive when you can – something that lifts you up and doesn’t contribute to the brain fog and “blah-ness”.
Set a Date. Sometimes you have to make a change – if that’s the case, set a date. Yeah, you’re probably not going to be able to just quit your shitty job right away or move into a better place tomorrow, but if it’s truly causing you suffering and doesn’t seem “fixable”, then identify why you do want/need, make a plan, set a date and make that shit happen. Having the date will give you a light at the end of the tunnel and working towards that change will be inspiring for sure.
Reach Out. Remember, you are not alone. You don’t have to do this alone. As a good friend of mine says, “it’s OK to not be OK”. It’s not always easy to say, “hey, I’m feeling super down”, especially when it seems to last a while, but your people will love you through it, and talking about it can truly help.
I was really judging myself for a while, saying “but I’m a coach”…and I am a coach – a good one! And I can still help others through this but at the base of it all… I’m a human, and one with a lot of demands on my energy, time, and emotions, so it’s OK. We’re all humans. Don’t judge yourself too harshly and don’t be afraid to speak up.
Also, if you suspect that you might be suffering from depression – talk to someone! Depression is the real deal, so if you’re in a really dark place and having a hard time finding some light – get help! Talking to a counselor or a therapist can be the best gift you give yourself.
And lastly, realize that this is an ongoing process. We’re all trying to grow and refine what it means to be us. We’re constantly learning what lights us up and what wears us out. It’s never easy to feel down and unmotivated. Life is all about seasons, so respect your own season and learn how to evolve with, and through, it. For me, it’s helpful to talk about it and know that so many other people are journeying through this too.
Big hugs to all of you!