I’m tired. Not in a physical way, in a mental way. My mind is tired. The fact that that is so hard to admit is telling of what society expects from us all in the 21st century – we need to be constantly in motion. We are forever hustling, grinding & keeping up with the Joneses…and the Kardashians…and the Instagram influencer who has somehow managed to go to the gym this morning, ate 3 full meals today, grabbed drinks with friends, drank 100 glasses of water *with a plastic straw*, got a massage, meditated and then worked out again. WTF.
There’s a lot of pressure to be ‘on’ all the time…am I right? My brand is quite literally built on a foundation of optimism & motivation, so when I’m feeling down or uninspired, I don’t feel comfortable putting content out into the world. That being said, I’ve needed to find ways to work through the times when I’m feeling mentally exhausted by staying productive (not busy, not overworked, not on my grind…productive).
Here are a few things I do to move through moments of feeling stuck, tired and overwhelmed:
I used to be so concerned and all-consumed by the fact that I was having a shitty day (or a few) and since what you focus on expands, my bad days would get more overwhelming and my mental would get more exhausted. Once I realized that it’s okay to feel the full spectrum of human emotions and in fact, was better to acknowledge the difficult moments rather than trying and sweep them under the rug and keep moving, the less often said moments occurred. Don’t let the pressure of having to be ‘happy’ all the time keep you from living your life when you aren’t feeling as happy. Despite what Instagram and anyone else says, it’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to feel like you’ve given a lot this week, it’s okay to take some time to regroup.
MEDITATE WITH PURPOSE
Anyone who says ‘they can’t meditate’ is the exact person who should be meditating. If you fear being with your own thoughts, you need to go there. Oftentimes silence gives you the answers you’ve been searching for and will help you identify why you feel the way you do. Knowledge is power and will help you move forward. Plus, are so many amazing, free guided meditations online and on apps (I love breethe & calm) that there is no excuse not to get at least 5 minutes a day in. I like to focus on meditations that make you recognize your gratitude because when you are grateful, you literally cannot be anything else but that.
SONGS FOR THE SOUL
Music has gotten me through every difficult (and awesome) time in my life. It inspires me, it lifts me up, it grounds me, it truly runs my world. I am constantly making mood-based playlists and have one specifically titled ‘the wind-up’ for when I need to be wound back up. These are all of the songs that bring me to my happy place and that can’t help but make me excited about life. Make your own wind-up playlist with all of your favorite songs – they don’t necessarily have to pump you up, some just bring you back to a really great memory – and turn it up when you feel yourself getting into a funk.
WALK IT LIKE I TALK IT
There is nothing that clears my head quite like walking does – it’s pretty empowering knowing that wherever you are in the world, you can go outside and go for a walk. Not only is it nice to be surrounded by other people or in nature when you’re not feeling 100%, it’s also good to get some air and get your body moving. Walking doesn’t require much energy and yet, it’ll produce dopamine and endorphins plus, it gives you space to think. Turn on your wind-up playlist, listen to a meditation or leave your phone at home for some real ‘you’ time.
Similar to admitting to being tired or overwhelmed, I used to be equally as uncomfortable with taking some real downtime. Eventually I realized that the more I kept pushing myself, the worse I felt and the longer it took to feel good again. Now, I truly allow myself to rest – like, stop trying to be a badass hustler who works 24/7 type of rest. As we all know, good sleep has so many benefits and if you’re anything like me, the reason you feel mentally tired is because your brain never stops (especially right as you’re trying to fall asleep). By allowing myself to sleep in a bit longer and even nap in the evening, it alleviates the pressure (followed by anxiety) I put on myself to fall asleep right away. Listen to your body, if you need to skip cocktail hour to lay on your couch, do it and do it with love for yourself!
Devyn Penney is a certified life & intimacy coach and the author of, "Mastering the Art of Internal Intimacy". This blog is dedicated to ending small talk by having Big Conversations, "the only way we connect is through love, empathy and an open line of communication".