I’ve had a week.
I am sure we have all had someone say that to us, and I have always thought that it sounded super silly. Of course we all “had a week.” Time passing is a consistency in all of our lives.
And then…I had a week.
The funny thing is that this “week” had no major or minor problems that could be noticed by the naked eye. Literally nothing went truly wrong. I do recognize that the stress that had been building from the last several weeks when my son totaled my car after hitting black ice (luckily all of the kids in the car were somehow unscathed); my husband had major “elective” achilles surgery that has left him unable to walk or drive (elective in quotes because that is what the insurance company calls it even though he couldn’t walk without pain); and my son got sick with Covid.
But, ’tis life. We are all okay, stuff can be replaced, Jamie will heal and be better than ever, the rest of us avoided Covid, and Halle and I were able to jet off to Mexico for five glorious days in the sun.
So what in the actual f*ck caused this to be a week? I have no one or nothing to blame.
Sometimes, we just can’t. On Thursday, after several days of feeling unlike myself—unmotivated, sad, lonely, easily triggered, and just plain odd I checked in on the topic of one of my favorite podcasts: The Life Coach School. I had to laugh when I saw that it was aptly called, “When You Just Can’t.” At this point I was feeling a little bit better, but I decided to listen anyway.
Brooke Castillo, the owner of the company and podcast host started with her story of how she just kept on telling herself that she “can’t” but she still was accomplishing what needed to be done. I realized I was doing the same, which led me to reflect on the Instagram post I had planned to publish on Thursday before getting banned (for unfollowing too many people- stupid, in my opinion). The post had basically detailed how I was feeling the difficulty in showing up how I normally do and so I had to (uncomfortably) show up differently.
(*Disclaimer: I am not talking about the affects of clinical depression. I also think there are days due to illness or just plain needing to rest. I am a believer in listening to your body. This advice is for the times that you feel like your motivation is low but you suspect you will feel better getting things done rather than laying in bed*)
How can keep showing up when you feel like you just can’t?
- Wake up and put your body in motion. Then check in. Pay attention to your thoughts and start your routine. Stay connected to yourself. Remember that being human involves experiencing all of the feelings. You are human.
- Athletes: Commit to starting your workout. Stay present and give yourself the gift of trying. Have grace if you miss the targets for the day. I got up every day and put my sports bra on, ready to do my workout. And if my body truly demanded rest I was prepared to put my jammies back on.
- Focus on conquering simple tasks rather than strong-arming creativity (or vice versa). I know for me, my creative switch turns to “off” when I feel like I can’t. But I can still do other work tasks that need to be done.
- Sleep. Practice perfect sleep hygiene and be intentional about getting the best sleep that you can. I slept in the car with friends who nicely offered to drive us to a far away basketball game. I sacrificed other things to go to bed before 8pm for a couple nights. Sleep is truly a magical drug.
- Be present when you are with others. Often when we suffer with anxiety or depressive feelings we think we want to be alone, but we also suspect that time with a friend could help. Start small and commit to be fully present. For me this also means fully showing up to serve my athletes in their 1:1 meetings.
- Have grace for yourself in other areas of life. This week for me the grace included a steady diet of toast, Honey Nut Cheerios, and tortilla chips dipped in fake cheese spread. (I think it is also important to mention that I had a pretty gnarly stomach issue that was adding to my discomfort)
- Go outside! I don’t think the super cold weather keeping us mostly inside helped my funk. The cold outside isn’t the issue, it is that you are cold. So bundle up and get some fresh air.
The old me would have forced everything and fought back hard. And then eventually I would have most likely suffered from an illness or created a blow up. I intentionally decided to let this be. To be factual about how I was feeling. To show up still to do the best I can. To shift my priorities and trust that if I allow it, it will eventually end. Again, I am speaking to a short term “funk,” nothing more serious.
On Thursday my fog started to clear and during my swim I came up with four ideas for my new blog for Feisty. I practically wrote them in my head (it was a long swim!). I felt my creativity returning but I also nurtured it like a tiny flame, rather than deciding my fire was fully stoked and carrying on as usual.
And I am writing this on Friday after conquering a long workout and feeling clear and excited to take on life.
So, I guess I didn’t have a week. I had a few pretty uncomfortable days. But, I believe by letting it just be shitty (literally) and reframing how I showed up I was able to come out on the other side sooner.
Turn I just can’t into let it be.
And if you need a friend or coach who understands, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Check out this podcast if you’d like! https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/405/