Before You Give Up, Try These Three Simple Tactics
Ok, can we talk about how much energy it actually takes to live life?
The amount of life force you need is intense. You’re the producer, director, actor and intern.
I just want to acknowledge that life can get very tiring.
Sometimes in my life, it feels like an assembly line. Everything has to go PERFECTLY or things will pile up and it’ll be total disaster.
If I leave or miss one thing, it feels like I would have to expend a drastic amount of energy just to get things back to normal.
Understanding that, I have a tendency to just push through.
I corrode my willpower over and over until one day, some random minor inconvenience becomes a complete catastrophe. I feel completely defeated.
(Remember this episode where Jessie Spano got addicted to coffee pills?!? Gurrrrrl THA DRAMAHHH)
Ok, so this is obviously a very unhealthy place to bring yourself.
It will affect your decision making, and can push you to make unwise choices in your personal and financial life. Self care is part of true financial ownership.
Here are some three simple tactics you can take when you realize you’re in this spot:
1. Take a Shower and Sleep
I have found that this provides immediate relief. It at least will get you to a place where you are less hazy about what you need.
Do what you can to help yourself get out of The Valley of Depletion.
Take a deep breath and center yourself. At the most basic level, what do you need? Just choose one thing. A lot of the time, the answer is not necessarily "sit in bed and watch Netflix". Sometimes that can be great, but I know in my life, that's usually made me feel worse. Trust your instincts on this one. A good basis level is to take a shower and nap.
2. Respect Yourself For Where you Are, Not Where you think you Ought To Be
As a high functioning person that's constantly hard on himself for not being "productive enough", this one is a tough.
This one will require you to be honest about your current state. If you're not being real and honest with yourself about where you with your energy levels, you will surely set yourself up to fail. Feeling like you're failing will send you deeper into self loathing.
Set yourself up to win. If you're at 40% or your normal levels, then only do tasks that require 40% of your energy/willingness.
Instead of the 100% "clean the whole kitchen" try the 40% alternative: just do the dishes.
20%: put all the dishes in the sink to be washed later.
10%: close all the kitchen cabinets.
This is not always the case, but the feeling of accomplishment usually brings my percentage up by a few points. (This is not the end goal, but it makes me feel accomplished and feeling better!)
3. Call someone and talk through your situation
Sometimes you just need reinforcements.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
I think that in many situations, we get stuck on the same few thoughts and feelings. We revolve around the same ideas and we end up sinking deeper and deeper.
We need a different mental model to get us out of this funk. We need a fresh take on the situation.
This is when we call a friend just to talk it out. Find a friend that asks good questions and doesn't try to immediately solve the situation for you. Just talk out your situation with them, no matter how childish it is.
Some of these might include:
"I don't feel like doing any of the things that I know would make me feel better. So there's that."
"I'm bored but I also don't want to do anything. It feels like there's no helping it."
"There are clothes all over the floor, I wish I was Hermoine and I could cast the locomoter spell on all these clothes."
The best scenario is that person will hear you out before they give any advice. Then when it does come time to give you advice, they understand the context, and you feel understood.
The big thing about this is externalizing your hangup. Saying it out loud always helps because it makes it more tangible and real. Usually (at least for me), you end up solving your own problems while talking it out.
These tactics are very base level strategies you can take when you're feeling really down, or you're about to throw in the towel.
Being in a place like that is no fun at all, and will cloud your decision making.
To make good decisions that honor your financial needs, you need to honor your physical and emotional needs as well. They are all connected.
Do what you can to get yourself to a place where you feel safe and powerful. Then you can hear your instincts on what to do next.
You got this!
Find Your True North:
- What kind of self care systems do you have in place to make sure you can show up for life the best way you can? Financial decisions hinge on you having a strong self compass, and self-care is a way to keep the haze away.
- Establish the one thing you'll do when you start feeling in a funk. Take a shower? Brush your teeth? Text a friend? Establish it now while you're not in it, so you're prepared for when it comes.
- How can you be that good friend that asks the right questions? Your friends are people who can remind you of who you are and can help center you. How can you do that for your friends?