SOMEDAY IS A DISEASE THAT WILL TAKE YOUR DREAMS TO THE GRAVE WITH YOU," - Tim Ferriss
The last week has brought beautiful weather that makes me want to stay outside all day. The cool, crisp air somehow brings feelings of a new beginning for me, a fresh start, despite it being closer to an end of year.
Unfortunately, the weather doesn't last, and the motivation to stay outside and get out in the public doesn't either.
For others, it isn' the Fall that brings this feeling--the one of hope, light, and excitement--the giddiness to get up in the morning and feel the cool air trace along your cheeks. Even so, you can relate to the feeling. But what happens when, like everything else, it doesn't last?
Sometimes loss of motivation stems from underlying depression or crippling anxiety that tells you all the things to worry about. Other times, you just don't "feel" like getting out or leaving your bed. If you're not clinically depressed and maybe just finding yourself more unmotivated and sluggish, here are a few ways to gain the motivation back, make moves in your daily routine, and continue to be productive through being outside, getting things done, doing fun activities in the community, or meeting up with friends.
I remember coming home from school as a high school student, and my parents would ask me a series of questions: "How was school?", "How're your grades?", "How was practice?"
Some days it was a combination of the questions, others it was just one. I remember these mainly because I remember how I replied 80% of the time: "Fine". I fell into responding to questions, engaging with people, and contributing to dialogue with words or phrases including "fine".
"How are you?
This exchange in conversation used to be the norm. No one actually talked about how crappy their day was or was authentic in engaging in these conversations. Why? I can speculate numerous reasons, with a few being that people think it's socially unacceptable to talk about how they are really doing, that they'd be looked at differently if they didn't "have it all together", or because they didn't feel safe to be honest in that interaction.
We are living in a world of "I'm fine" robots-responses to many questions, and now, fast forwarding to present-day, it's changed.
"I'm fine" has now become "Good! Just busy!"
We have seemingly replaced this robot-response with a more productive, over-achieving, and hustling response to the "How've you been?" question.
"Good! Just busy," assumes the position of many things. We often feel like we have to respond with proving that we've been busy so that we're not looked at as lazy. In a world of be more, do more, achieve more, make more, "busy" has become the new expectation. As if we were saying, "Well if you aren't busy, then what are you doing, really?"
Think about the relationships you have and how you respond when people ask how you are or have been. Think about how you respond when someone asks how your day or weekend was. How do you reply? Is it with "It was good! Busy, but good!"
If you do, is there any other way to describe your day or weekend or state of being? Could you reply with answers to what you enjoyed doing, people you saw, or how you actually feel?
And on the receiving end, are you expecting people to say "Busy!" - are you open to actually hearing about how this person is or how their weekend was? Or do you nod and smile, asking no questions or validating remarks to actually engage in the conversation?
As a people, we get to decide how we respond. I challenge you to start being authentic with people. If you say things other than "I'm fine" or "Good, just busy!" you will often find yourself creating and maintaining more wholesome and connected relationships. Taking the time to hear someone, instead of brush them off in a hurried response, can be more intimate and relationship-building than you would think.
If you have article suggestions or topics you would like to learn about, drop a comment or email me! I'm always open to suggestions.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” -Viktor Frankl
I’ve spent many hours that likely accumulate to over tens of days thinking about how I could have done something differently or what I will do in that situation next time. These hours are an accumulation of zoning out during the day to spending nights wide awake. Many of these hours were spent thinking, trying to control or trying to change situations that were no way in my control.
I so desperately wanted this situation to be different. Can you relate? DId you want to do everything in your power to change the outcome, to re-open the closed door, to make him stay? Did you spend hours thinking about what you can do only to wind up sleep-deprived and more frustrated? This is often what happens when we try to control situations that are not meant to be controlled- they are meant to just happen.
I wanted it to be different, but it never was.
SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED
One day, I remember being tired. Exhausted, really. Tired of wishing for things to be different. Tired of wanting him to put in more effort, to think differently. Tired of wanting the weight to just fall off. Tired of getting angry over the littlest things. I was tired. I was so tired of my own self-loathing, situation I was currently in, and self-pity that I knew what I had to do. The only question I had was why it took me so long to understand what the solution was. Me.
I couldn’t change the past. I was not doing well at predicting the future and was really anxious the more I thought about it. Then, I knew it would be up to me.
If you’ve felt similar or currently find your headspace somewhere similar, know this: It’s going to be up to you. Many times we can’t change our circumstances, but we can change ourselves. We can change our perspectives. We can learn new skills. We can WANT to learn so that it withholds the values that mean so much to us.
If I don’t? If you don’t decide to change something within yourself and continue to spin your wheels rehashing that same thing over and over in your head with no willingness to do anything about it, then you’re there. You’re going to be stuck there until you decide to do something different. If you wait for someone else or wait for your situation to change, you’re going to be there: waiting...for a very long time.
Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Holocaust, wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, reflecting on his experience through physical and psychological torture. He couldn’t change his circumstances. He was in the worst place you could imagine, constantly being beaten, bones sticking out of his skin and being forced to walk on bloody and blistered feet. He had no food, little water, and was walked in the sewer of friends he watched die in front of him. He knew he had little power to do something about it, but he did. He changed his perspective in his delirious head. Amongst the horrors in the concentration camp, Frankl actively chose to look for the meaning. He chose to focus on the image and the memories of his family and wife. To relive those experiences in his head. He couldn’t change his circumstances, but he could change what he contributed to his suffering. He decided to not be a participant in it. Instead, he decided to change himself.
Robin Helget, LMSW
Millennial Life Coach
Therapist. Millennial. Social Worker. Dog Mom. Friend. Sister. Empath. INFJ. Lover of ice cream.