It happens to everyone, even the supercharged energizer bunny. You just had a series of challenges and are in a funk, a bit depressed or just lack motivation. Your weekend was packed, you have been traveling, had company, extra responsibilities, pressing deadlines, a series of unexpected challenges, etc. Humans get exhausted. It just happens. It is your body telling you “I NEED RECHARGING!” Obviously, rest is ideal, but sometimes we are not sleeping well due to the stress, you have a reason you were not sleeping and have gotten as much as you can. So what can you do?
- Clear your mind. Grab a sheet of paper and do a brain dump. There might be to-dos, worries, concerns, etc. People are different, you could do it like a diary purge and journal entry of concerns or a to-do list of the actions and tasks that are on your mind. Whatever is on your mind, download them onto paper.
- Get still. Meditate, Yoga, Deep Breathing, etc. There is some research on mediation actually replacing sleep and helping to be as effective as sleep. Now, this is not saying don’t sleep, but if you are tired, your body can recharge with meditation. Yoga and deep breathing are other practices to help you develop presence and mindfulness. There are apps or even youtube videos to guide you through meditation that helps to calm and still the mind. Interestingly the “muscle” and part of the brain you are developing when mediating is a portion that is needed for focus and attentiveness. Even if you start with a 10 min practice you will gain value. Experts encourage longer sittings, but do what you can. You are giving oxygen and fuel to your mind.
- Ask your body. Your body knows. Ask it what you need and listen to what it tells you. Of course, it is not going to audibly talk to you, but if you get good at noticing your body, it will come to your mind. You can even ask yourself – it is like talking to yourself. Do I need to go for a walk? (no) Do I need to go outside? (no) Do I need to take a nap? (I want to but no) What should I do? [scan your body and notice where you have energy and what you notice] Answers might be around sleep, more mediation, music, quiet or inspirational, eat some fruit, eat breakfast, call a friend, get some sun, drink some water, walk around, stretch, curl up in a blanket, etc. Your body will tell you what it needs and what helps.
- Decide what you can do – a baby step that moves you forward. It isn’t about doing everything it is just about doing something that matters. Look back at the list you made. What is one thing that needs to be done today? What is a small thing that will make a difference and move things forward? Don’t judge the size of the item, but do pick something that matters. (i.e. cleaning the closet might be more part of procrastinating vs. making the doctor’s appointment or picking up the Rx or finishing an email, document or registration – pick something that needs to be done)
- Celebrate and Repeat #4. Once you are done, celebrate that you got it done. Tell yourself “great job!” and notice how you feel having that done. It might seem silly to praise yourself, but when you are out of energy it can be hard to make yourself get into action. It is much easier to watch TV/Netflix, surf online, waste time on social media, organize something, and procrastinate. If you picked something that was really on the to-do list and needed to be done today – GREAT JOB! It matters and you moved things forward. Momentum is the building of energy and activity so that the effort to create motion becomes easier. Your activity is starting the momentum. Pick another action and do it. Keep the actions small and simple. It is important to experience wins and feel success. As you come to a tipping point and momentum takes over you will forget about this process and your activity will fall into place, like walking. Being conscious of the first intentional actions and steps gets you in motion. The motion will support new fuel and energy.
Make it happen. You can do it!