My friend at Janet Gwen Designs has this cute enamel pin that reads, “I stay tired”. I didn’t really realize this was a lifestyle until she posted a photo of it for the first time, haha. If enough people are staying tired for her to design a pin around the concept, I certainly can’t be the only one who feels like this! One thing’s for sure: I’m not sure when the last time I wasn’t tired was, and it’s something I’m determined to improve for myself.
Energy is something we all want more of. Usually, we think about starting in the obvious places – getting more rest, saying “no” to things more often, eating better, etc. Which are all important, but these are all really tough habits to start creating. It’s ironic to me that one of the things that exhausts us the most is how we talk to ourselves. Imagine if a friend spoke to you the way you speak to yourself – loaded with doubt, criticizing every move you make, trying to convince you that you aren’t enough. Chances are, you’d probably have nothing left in you after that conversation! I won’t say that it’s the easiest piece to fix, because there’s nothing easy about reprogramming thought patterns, but I will say it’s probably the most convenient way to start. I say that because it doesn’t really have to take any other people, time, or money to start building better mental habits.
I still have a very long way to go in reprogramming my mental space. But, I do know the first step to being able to change anything is beginning to become aware of it. So today, I hope that this posts helps you become more aware of when these thoughts start to take away energy from you. In a few weeks, I’m going to pop back in and tell you how I personally combat some of these draining thoughts, so stay tuned! Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss it!
It’s important for you to know I am not a mental health or medical professional (but I do believe everyone could benefit from therapy and getting to know their own mental space better). I just like to spark conversations about mental stuff and share what works for me in the process, in case it helps you!
Things you have no power over
I’m very fantastic at being late to basically everything. Being on time is another problem for another day. However, I do know that once I recognize I’m going to be late when I’m in the car, I’m a stressful mess from that moment until when I arrive. By that point, it’s too late. I can’t change traffic. I can’t change what time I left. I can’t will all of the lights to be green (ohhh what it would be like to have that power). I can’t force Waze to come up with a faster route. It’s literally all out of my hands. Rampaging thoughts about things that are out of our control, or outcomes set in stone based off of decisions we’ve already made, are hard to step emotionally away from, even when we know it’s wasting lots of our energy. They say “let it go” like it’s easy to do, but I’m not Elsa.
When I have anxiety about something, I’ve great at playing out all the potential outcomes in my head over and over and over again (anyone else?). I’m also not comfortable in many social situations, so I also narrate how conversations will go over and over again in my head. I know my mind means well, because it’s always in problem-solving mode (and there are many, many times when I’m very grateful that is a skill I excel at). But, I know that lingering in these pretend potential outcomes for too long will only do more harm than good.
To-Do List Items
I know we think we’re great at remembering everything and that there aren’t any consequences for keeping our entire calendars in our brains, but the reality is, all of those dates, deadlines, and to-dos are taking up space! How many times a day are you running through your to-do list (ex – “when I get back home, I have to make sure I do X, Y, and Z!”)? How many times a day are you reminding yourself not to forget something?
I have a tremendous tendency to multi-think (yeah, I totally made that word up – it’s multitasking, but with thoughts). Thoughts firing almost simultaneously one after another after another… So much so that they’re cutting each other off, which creates a significant amount of useless noisy nonsense (and it’s both frustrating and exhausting for our brains!). When someone cuts you off when speaking, it’s a pretty shitty feeling, and I have to imagine my brain probably feels the same way.
So, let’s create some discussion in the comments! Do you often catch your mind running along any of these roads? Do you have any tricks for stopping them in their tracks? I want to hear from you, so leave a comment! <3
Don’t forget to check back soon for a few of my tricks on taking back your mental energy!