From ‘meh’ to motivated in 6 steps

Motivation_WritingPeoplePoetrySome of you my remember my early March post, in which I explained that I had a tough month, and despite often saying all was ok, actually I was far from fine. In fact, if I’m really honest with myself, I was not fine at all from mid February to mid April. A lot of things happened in that time that led to my feeling overwhelmed and sad a great deal of the time.

I had made big plans for this year and for at least six weeks, I did very little to move towards them. A first I worried about this but I really didn’t have enough energy for that and after a while I decided I wasn’t bothered. I even thought about giving up the business. I had lost my motivation completely.

Then, one day I woke up full of ideas and the motivation to take action. This didn’t ‘just happen’ although it certainly felt that way at the time, I had been trying to get there for while. The problem was that I was trying too hard. When I stopped trying, things got better.

So, I thought I’d share how I went from ‘meh’ to motivated in case any of you ever find yourself in a similar slump. I don’t usually do listicles here but there’s a first time for everything! As with any of these sorts of ‘how to..’ life lists, what worked for me may or may not work for you.

1. Acceptance

A lot of things happened that were beyond my control. There was nothing I could have done to change or prevent them and feeling sad was a natural response to events. Fighting this feeling, pretending I was ok when I wasn’t and trying to get past it too quickly, only made it dig a deeper hole. Accepting everything that happened and my natural reaction to it meant I was kinder to myself, remembering that these feelings would pass, if I would only let them.

2. Stop

I stopped a lot of things. I stopped as much work as I could. Physically, I moved less (I was, and still am, limited by an injury but I was trying to rush that healing process as much as the emotional one) and slept more. Emotionally, I stopped saying I was fine and started talking. Of that which was within my control, I didn’t take on anything I didn’t have the emotional capacity for.

3. Breathe

Literally. I returned to meditation practice, and realised just how shallow the breaths I had been taking were. I allowed the feelings, including the messy ones I felt I ‘shouldn’t‘ have, their space – acknowledging them as necessary to the healing process.

This Too Shall Pass

4. Stop

I’ve put that twice because it’s so important. Once I started feeling a bit better, I started trying to do everything as before and quickly became overwhelmed. Something had to give and that wasn’t just about the tough start to the year, it had been coming for a while. I stopped my parenting blog, among other things, and while it wasn’t easy to say goodbye, I did breathe a sigh of relief as it opened up the space to shift my focus to where it was most needed. But instead of throwing myself into everything again, I stopped a little longer to truly recharge.

5. Get your good vibes group on

I’m pretty introverted so time alone usually recharges me. But after a while I needed a supercharged positive energy injection. So I thought about those friends I hadn’t seen for a while, who always leave me in a great place when I see them (they make me laugh, or they listen to all my sh*t without judgement, or they inspire me, or all of the above and more!) and made plans with them all. After a Skype call with just one of my good vibes group I was feeling more energised and ideas started to bubble below the surface…

6. Start

Once my ideas started to take real shape and my energy returned, I knew I was ready to get back into work again (that conversation with myself about giving up this business? The heartwork? No way) and needed to take action before my motivation left! So I began to say ‘yes’ again, starting with an invitation to an inspiring networking event that added more fuel to my fire.

And I’m now stoking that fire with more training, more of the work that lights me up and regular playtime – both creative playtime for my business and personal playtime for my soul. In short, I’m back, baby!*

*(that sounded better in my head).

If you are feeling a bit stuck right now and nothing seems to be workingΒ – I’ve been there more than once and know firsthand what it feels like! – consider booking a free half hour coaching consultation with me . I also know that sometimes, that 30 minute chat is all it takes to shift your story a little.

If you’ve been stuck before and got yourself out of it, how did you do this? Did you use any of the strategies above or did you do something different? Please do share your personal ‘meh’ mood busters below, you never know who your story might help!

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18 thoughts on “From ‘meh’ to motivated in 6 steps

  1. Hi Rachael. Sorry to hear about what you’ve been through but glad you found your way of getting through it. I don’t think this has happened to me for a long time. I remember at university going off to mope on my own sometimes. Eventually other stuff happened and I got over it. Nowadays, I can push the bad stuff aside and concentrate on the good. Maybe now I’m more accepting of my limitations. I’m not sure that’s good for my development but it’s good for my peace of mind!

    • Hey good to hear from you Miriam! I did try to push stuff aside at first but grief is a process and I found trying to rush it was counterproductive, especially with the other things that were also happening at the time… But now that I’ve given myself time (and am off crutches and can get around a bit more and get some exercise), it’s certainly easier to push aside the less serious ‘bad’ stuff! The year can only get better now. πŸ™‚

  2. You’ve implemented some amazing strategies during a low time. If I get periods of feeling down I tend to talk to my husband first and foremost. I also play tennis which is a massive distraction and real escapism. I think the best thing I’ve learnt in the past 5 years is to recognise hormonal related feelings rather than fighting them, which works well these days. #whatimwrting

    • Thanks Hillie! Yes, talking is always a good one and oh how I have missed sport – the injury made everything harder as like you say nothing like getting moving to shift a low mood even a little. Thanks for sharing your strategies here. πŸ™‚

  3. Ah, Rachael, It’s so good to hear you’re feeling happier. This post made me empathise and then smile and then, finally, laugh (at the ‘sounded better in my head’ comment). It’s fab advice too. I’ve found my week off the blog and social media a huge tonic so to ‘stop’ makes so much sense to me. I’m really looking forward to seeing you in June! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

  4. Like Maddy, I’m so glad to hear that you’re on the mend and feeling more energized. Acceptance is such a huge thing, and yes, definitely, listening to one’s own body (its physical and emotional pain) and being gentle on it is something that I also try to do. So thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

    • Hey, thank you! πŸ™‚

      Acceptance can take a while to get to sometimes, can’t it..? And as HSPs, I do think its especially important to be aware of what our bodies (and the Universe) is telling us, especially when we – by this I mean I! πŸ˜‰ – don’t want to hear it.

      Hope you’re getting enough rest. x

  5. It’s really interesting to hear your experiences … they mirror my own in that I struggled through April, and I know why but that doesn’t make it any easier to go through. Finally, though, I’ve refound the place where it feels like I’m pushing at doors that open with ease, and I’m really enjoying being here. I’m going to save your tips for the next time I’m in a trough!

    • Sorry to hear that you had a tough month last month. Glad that you’re in a better place now though! Hope the summer gets even better for you. πŸ™‚

  6. Good to hear you’re doing better, and thanks for sharing that stuff. You’re right, stopping can be so hard, but so useful. Whenever I hear myself moaning I think I’m being so boring, and I probably am, but a step back, to consider what is at the root of it all and to forgive myself is really useful. This post helped me to do that, so thanks for that too.

    • Hi Cara, thanks for commenting. It may or may not be boring to moan but sometimes it’s necessary to move past stuff and isn’t that what friends are for? πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I’m so glad this post helped you! x

  7. So pleased to hear you’re feeling better. Like you I tend to say ‘I’m fine’ whether I am or not when asked. I guess I’m fearful that if I say how I really feel I’ll ramble on and drive people away. But as far as mental health goes that’s not helpful. I need to ne honest about my feelings and when I’m feeling anxious or sad I need to say so.

    • It can be quite liberating! And it’s really interesting what people share when you open up as it can allow them to open up to… Thanks for stopping by and for the positive thoughts, Jo. Have a great weekend!

  8. So glad to hear you’ve got your mojo back πŸ™‚ I really identify with the need to just stop and allow yourself time to get to grips with life from time to time, rather than just powering through. It’s taken me a long time to get my head round that though – for ages I thought that distraction was the best tactic, but ultimately it just leaves things festering. Enjoy the playtime, and here’s to lots of uplifting creativity to come xx

    • Thanks Sophie! Yes, there is definitely something to be said for playtime. Kids know this instinctively, it’s just a shame it’s often educated out of us as we grow… But that’s another blog post! πŸ˜‰

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