We all have bad days from time to time when we get overwhelmed and feel increasingly more unmotivated as the day goes on. Obviously, it’s important to be able to pick yourself up quickly whenever possible, but what can you do if defeat feels like the only option?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned recently is that taking your foot off the accelerator, and sometimes coming to a grinding halt, is actually OK.
Working from home with a baby nipping at your toes makes for an interesting juggling act, and if you throw teething into the equation there’s almost a guaranteed headache on the way.
I’m very good at picking myself up and moving on during tough times, but on this particular occasion I couldn’t even conjure up an ounce of spare energy to think positively, let alone ‘do’ positive!
So what did I do? Well unusually for me, I admitted defeat. I wrote the day off, had a little cry, ate a lot of biscuits and felt a bit sorry for myself!
What a sorry sight! BUT, as tragic as it sounds, it was also great therapy. Instead of giving myself a hard time (which I’m very good at), and making life even tougher than it already felt on that particular day, I just decided to go with the flow and have a ‘down day’.
Did it work? Absolutely and here’s how you can benefit from the same plan of attack….
New Habit: Give Yourself Permission To Stop
- Stop. Do no pass go! Recognise when you’re feeling overwhelmed and make yourself stop whatever you’re doing, grab a cuppa and sit down so that you break the state you’re in and give yourself some time to reflect
- Importantly though, make sure that your ‘defeat’ ends when you go to bed that night. Anytime you decide to indulge in defeat, just make sure you have a plan to pick yourself up the following day. Defeat definitely isn’t a long-term strategy, it’s simply a ‘treat’ to relieve the pressure and find a new perspective.
- After you’ve slowed down and regrouped, and before you go to bed, write down 2 or 3 actions you’re going to take the next day to move forward. Make them small and simple so that you start your day off well, and then crack on the following morning as if your day of defeat was a mere bump in an otherwise smooth and exciting road.
- Make sure you diarise those actions at specific times of the day so that you wake up focused, and clear on what you’re doing and when. This will also help to eliminate any lingering overwhelm.
- By taking the pressure off and giving yourself permission to stop and clear your head, you’ll give your mind a well-earned break. For me, the result was that I had a new-found energy and fresh perspective the following day.
Have you ever had a down day and admitted defeat? Post a comment below and let me know what happened, and how you picked yourself up again…