Whether you dare to believe it or not, no one is perfect. In this day and age, social media makes our friends, family, and people that we look-up-to seem like they have it all together. Our perception of others’ lives is sometimes distorted by what others actually want to share about their lives and what they would rather keep a secret.
The reason I mention this is because most of us at sometime or another will go through a season in life that feels like a downward spiral. For various different reasons, we may find our current situation to be hopeless, or that relief is too far out of our grasp. Or perhaps it gets to the point that we want to completely give up on everything in our life all at once because we are too burned out to care anymore.
I’ve been there before. A few times. For me, I over-book myself. Most of the time, I feel like it is something I have to do. I spread myself so thin that I don’t have time to do the things that make me feel happy and alive anymore. I have a habit of not only being a high-achiever, but also a yes-woman. I like the thought of accomplishments and I have a hard time saying “no” to someone when asked if I could do something. And guess where this gets me? Not to my happy place, that’s for sure.
What can you do if you find yourself in a dark place and you’re so frustrated that you want to give up on everything? Here’s what I do:
Before you get to total burn out, prioritize what it important. If you’ve volunteered to do something that is contributing to your stress, back out of it if you can. No, you will not be letting anyone down. Remember, you WILL be letting people down IF you show up to volunteer for a task and then can’t give them 100% of YOU. It is better to pass the task on to someone that isn’t as weighed-down with responsibilities.
2. Ask for help
Are there chores you normally do at home that you could ask a family member to do? Could you maybe hire someone to do your yard work or household chores for you? When you have a busy lifestyle, chores around the house can become major energy drains (mentally and physically). The last thing you want to be thinking about in the back of your mind all day is that you need to rake the leave in your yard before snow hits. It doesn’t mean you’re weak if you have to ask for help in life; It means you’re strong enough to realize you can’t do it all on your own.
3. Give Yourself a Break
Sometimes, you just need to lay in bed all day and rest (and watch movies on Netflix). Give yourself a break. Don’t do anything at all but lay in your comfy bed and relax. Try not to think about work, school, activities, or anything else that is currently a source of anxiety and stress for you. You may have tasks that feel like you need to do ASAP, but most of it isn’t so important that you can’t take 1 or 2 days off to fully relax. People can wait. And be sure to get plenty of extra sleep during this time!
4. Start Over
After taking the time to put everything on the back-burner and relax, you should have a refreshed mindset and perspective on what you want to do and what needs to be done to get there. Maybe you have decided that what you once thought was a priority isn’t really that important anymore. Or maybe you have come up with a new strategy on how to juggle your life in a better way. Whatever the case may be, recognizing that this is a fresh new start is the key. You will not be on the same, treacherous path you were before. You are going to try something new and improved. This is when your passion for life should come back to you.
5. Create Energy
It’s down-right difficult being successful and happy if you don’t have energy. How can you expect to be any sort of happy if you feel like you’re dragging yourself from one task to the next and giving yourself mental pep-talks to make it through each day? You can create more energy for yourself by getting physically active. Sure, you have to expend energy first, but you get more energy in return. It’s like putting your money into a really good investment that will double your money returned. Because our willpower disappears with each passing hour of the day, it’s important that you create this energy through exercise within your first few waking hours. People often skip out on exercise as soon as stress hits them. But physical fitness has the benefits to combat stress and overwhelm! As little as 15 minutes a day can improve your energy, stress-levels, mood, and health in general.
6. Get Professional Help
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and there is no hope left, seek professional help. You aren’t alone— there are professionals trained to assist you in seeing your blind spots and getting you back on the right track. Health coaches, life coaches, therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists can all work with you in determining how to break out from your unhealthy path. Sometimes we get so stuck in our own perspective of how life is that we don’t acknowledge what is really important. A trained professional can be a trusted listener, offer suggestions, give you a game plan to follow, and bring insight to what may seem like a dark area.
Naomi’s passion lies in reaching out and helping other women who her story resonates with. You can find her through social media or naomiteeter.com