Fall is NOT my favorite season.
I have realized that every fall for the past 5 years of running my own business, I tend to get overwhelmed and stumble into “sneaky hate spiral,” as my best friend calls it.
What does that mean for me?
It means that every single “to do” feels too hard, and I focus way too much on the obstacles. I tend to over–work and under-enjoy because I’m pushing myself to meet end of year goals. I feel like giving up and have visions of working almost anywhere else doing anything else… because it all just feels so hard.
Why would I share this with you?
Because it’s the truth, there is no shame in my reality.
The reality is that we are ALL super messy at times. Even those of us who are coaches, therapists, pastors, speakers, and authors that spend our working days supporting other people. We also mess up, make huge mistakes, and often don’t know if we are even going in the right direction – JUST like you and everyone else.
I am firm believer that I teach what I need to learn, and I’m going through it with you.
In the spirit of learning together, below are some of my favorite ways to start clawing my way out from a bad funk. Don’t get me wrong- marinating in that crappy state often serves a purpose to help us figure a few things out, but at some point… we need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or we’ll get stuck there for too long.
Make Space Between Activities
It’s hard to do this when you feel overwhelmed and behind, but you need to take a breath. Slow down, put some ‘down time’ between activities, and put a halt to the feeling that you are always running around like a frantic squirrel. Attempt a quick 2-minute meditation, or sit in your car for 3 extra minutes between appointments.
Go to Bed
Get more sleep – tonight! I am famous for staying up too late to do “one more thing!” and it almost never serves me well. Sleep = SANITY
Move Your Body
Walk, stretch, or whatever you need to do to get your blood moving. Even 15 minutes of movement is better than none.
Ask for Help
This is HARD, but oh so necessary. Usually, all of us humans aren’t all in that horrible, overwhelmed place at the same time. Assume that someone you are close to is in a better place and would love to help you. We are a naturally cooperative and collaborative species, believe it or not. We want to help each other. Ask them today for a small favor, and you will immediately feel relief AND a connection with that person.
Do this ASAP. When you get the next text or email asking you to put in more hours as a classroom volunteer, board meeting, or whatever time-sucking activity is out there, SAY NO. Other creative ways to say no include:
“That isn’t going to work for me right now.”
“I wish I could but my schedule is too booked right now.”
“I cannot take that on right now.”
Take a Mental Health Day
You have vacation and sick days for a reason, and many of us (especially us working parents) forget that we need to focus on OUR health at times. Book a true day off of work, and DO NOT work. Sleep in, workout, go to a movie, hike, or read a book all day. Pull yourself out of the equation for 6-8 hours and allow some healing to happen.
In the spirit of learning together, I’ve decided to take next week off work to focus on making space and fostering my mental health… so that I can continue to be that strong supportive coach when YOU need it most.