I am ambitious. I will go after the life I want. I can do anything I put my mind to. I am smart. I am resourceful. I am determined. But I am also struggling.
Sometimes being honest about how you’re feeling is the best way to work through those feelings. I’ve been struggling a lot lately; I know that I am all those positive things which is good, but the downside is that I’m setting ambitious targets in a lot of different areas of my life. I’m feeling pulled in so many directions and I’m not seeing the progress I was expecting in any of them because I lack focus. Which is a bitter pill to swallow. I like to think I'm a highly functional and productive individual and feeling like I'm failing at everything is demoralizing. As an entrepreneur, I know that the quickest way to see success is to pick your niche, and your focus area and pour all your energy into that so you see results. But as the stubborn individual that I am, I don’t want to admit defeat, even though I spend most of my days feeling defeated. I can’t find an area that doesn’t deserve focus, I want to be
- an engaged mom
- a successful entrepreneur
- fit and healthy
- happy and emotionally in tune with myself
- a good daughter and sister and friend
And there are just not enough hours in the day for all these things. But it seems like some people make it work, so I keep trying, because if they can do it why can’t I? I’m constantly at war with myself over what I think I can do and what I can reasonably do. I’m not celebrating all the things that I have succeeded at, instead, I’ve been focusing on the things I didn’t get to, which is not a healthy way to live and even doing this for a short period of time is taking a toll on my mental health.
Coming to this realization was a huge breakthrough for me! I went from 0 to 100 in a matter of weeks and now that the excitement of starting healthy eating habits and building in physical activity AND the excitement of starting a business started to fade the overwhelmed feeling of wearing all these hats hit. I could feel burnout coming and I know myself enough to know that when that feeling hits I go from 100 to 0 and I'm not great at starting over. So, what do I do when this happens? Well, prior to last year I usually would bury myself in a book or tv show and follow that up with bad foods which always makes me feel worse and there starts a bad cycle. The good news is that you can break this cycle! During my life coaching sessions last year and since then, I've spent a lot of time working on my personal and professional development. It's not easy, but learning to recognize the signs before you hit the cycle is the first step! What makes you feel burnt out? Knowing your triggers can help find an effective way to manage these struggles. Over the last 6+ months, I've tried numerous things trying to find the best ways to manage my emotional well-being and develop healthy habits to keep my stress level down. Pick one or a few of my suggestions from the list below (or some of your own) and make it a goal to do it once a week. Start small and build a productive habit, then work on frequency, until you are doing 1-2 of these a day. Actively taking time each day to manage your emotions improves your mental health which has numerous benefits beyond just feeling less overwhelmed. When I started feeling overwhelmed last week, I knew it was time to take a step back, I'd been so busy working on my business that I stopped taking time for myself so I know these really do help!
So, for those of you out there going through the same struggles, I see you and I’m here for you. Here are a few suggestions that have done wonders for me these past few days while I recenter myself.
Delegate – ask for help and free up some of your time! People like helping people, whether it's asking someone to watch your kids or to drop off a premade meal to save you from cooking or asking your partner to take on one additional task to lighten your load while you recenter yourself they're probably going to jump at the chance to help you.
Go for a walk – getting fresh air always helps me clear my head, even stepping outside for a few minutes to take some deep breaths can help calm you down and bring things into focus.
Phone a friend - call your BFF, that you know is always in your corner and let her tell you all the way that you’re killing it! That's a sure-fire way to get your motivation and enthusiasm back!
Meditate – give yourself a few minutes of quiet time to rest your mind and reset. There are great apps out there that can guide you through a meditation if sitting still and clearing your mind on your own seems daunting. If you need a recommendation let me know.
Start a gratitude journal – this is a great way to bring positivity back into your life since it encourages you to focus on all the little things that make each day great. Each night I write down 3 things I'm grateful for, which helps remind me that admits all the chaos I am still working towards my goals and making the most of each day. It can be helpful to note the negative things that happened during the day. Don't dwell on them but instead rewrite it as a positive, if you'd like more information on this exercise I can connect you with an expert.
Take a break from social media – unplugging from the comparison game is a literal game changer and can very quickly improve your mental wellbeing. It also reduces eye strain and can improve your sleep habits. And you know what, it will still be there tomorrow, you're not missing out on anything!
Learn to say no – to others and yourself, really be honest with yourself about what you can fit into a day and don’t over plan! Which brings me to…
Set priorities – and stick to them! Focus on your most important tasks or your biggest task first, it will help you feel accomplished and increase your motivation. Even if you pick one project each day, staying focused on that one project keeps you moving forward! This is a big one for me and I struggle with it a lot but I really try to focus on picking no more than 4 projects per day for my to do list, 1 big project and 3 small ones.
What’s your motivation? –Use a picture of your kids or your favourite quote as your computer or phone screen so it reminds you what you’re working towards. Reading personalized affirmations or listening to a manifesting audio file also work. Talking out loud in the morning when my kids are sleeping is a no go so I use the audio file and listen to it in the morning while I'm getting ready. It helps me get into a positive mindset first thing in the morning. I have an excellent resource for this if you'd like more information.
Make time for yourself – it might seem impossible but it’s so important. The cliché of not being able to pour from an empty cup is so true! That’s when you start to feel burnt out and you lose the motivation and momentum you’ve gained. Don’t do it! Give yourself permission to take time for yourself so you can be refreshed and focused for each new project you tackle.
Whether it's doing one of my suggestions here or journaling, reading a book, having sex (I'm not going to judge), crafting, or building something, you need to find something that fills your happiness meter and you need to make a habit of doing it regularly! Coming from someone who learned this the hard way, start before you need to. If you are reading this and you aren't struggling right now then setting these habits will help you when you do come to a tough time in your life because it will happen and it helps to be ready.
And just so you know, for those of you that are struggling, I’m always up for helping with #3! I love being able to uplift a friend so never be afraid to message me! <3.
Lastly, let’s spread some positivity, shout out a friend in the comments who is doing an amazing job!
This is your reminder to LOVE yourself and fill your own cup!