Have you ever found yourself feeling worn down? Tired midday, in a crummy mood, not motivated at work, and just… blah? There are a million reasons we can feel kind of “off,” and identifying the correct one is the best way to get back ON. One way to do that: basic self-inquiry.
For example: A friend of mine was feeling like a “poopy baby” (her words) all week. She wondered if it was Seasonal Affective Disorder because of a long cloudy spell. She wondered if she was over-stressed, over-tired, dying of an undiagnosed disease, etc. She was spiraling, and it wasn’t making anything better.
Finally, she got calm and centered and just talked it out. All of the things (except the dying part) were present—she’d been going to bed too late, she had been stressed about work and money, the weather was gloomy, but when she laid it all out and looked at it, she realized that the heart of the problem was that she hadn’t taken any full-value time to recharge in a while.
This particular friend is an introvert who works in a service-based job and has to be high-energy, friendly and accommodating all day. For her, downtime without needing to interact with anyone is critical. And even though she knows that, she’d somehow skipped taking any for weeks. As soon as she’d identified that, she was able to clear her calendar a bit, make a note that the blocks of empty time were reserved for reading and vegging out, and immediately her mood and focus improved.
Of course her situation isn’t going to be universal, but the part that should work for everyone is taking the time to really get to the heart of the matter. Checking in with yourself to say not just “how do I feel?” but “why do I feel this way?” is a huge part of course-correcting when you’re getting off-track.
Are you missing workouts a lot lately? Slipping on your nutrition? Staying up too late? Not feeling like your best self? Instead of freaking out or beating yourself up, take a breath. By yourself, with a friend, with a journal or with a trusted advisor (cough cough—like me), work through it until you feel like you know what’s up. Then you can make a plan that has a good chance of working and get back to where you want to be.