When I find myself unfocused, anxious or not as productive as I *think* I should be in a week, it sometimes seems like a fine line to figure out if I am procrastinating or what I really need is to take a step back and reset.
That’s what happened last week. I was trying to will myself to take action on a couple of projects and get things done (catching up from three weeks of not feeling well from Covid). But I felt like I was making little progress.
Someone asked me a simple question about how I was doing, and, out of the blue, overwhelmed emotions all bubbled up.
I've learned to pay attention to moments like that instead of just plowing through.
Because our emotions are a cue to pay attention and offer us valuable feedback when personal needs are -- or are not -- being met.
What I needed was some space. I ended up canceling a couple of meetings, went for a walk and listened to a podcast that filled me up instead. I made a new list of what was draining my energy and let go of some of those things go for now.
And when people asked me what was wrong that day and my answer was “I don’t know” (because it did catch me by surprise) -- I decided to be okay with not knowing or having a solution, and just take a day to care for my mental health.
Taking that day made the rest of the week so much better and I am back to feeling like myself.
You will have days where you struggle. Part of being your best self is being aware of how you’re feeling and instead of pushing through or ignoring it, honoring what you need so you can get back to feeling like your true self.
On the flip side, when you're feeling good that's telling you that your needs are being met.
So, if you're struggling in a moment, pay attention to how you are feeling. Ask yourself: What do I really need right now?
It might be to take a break, talk to someone, shift perspective, say no to something on your list, complete a task, visit with a friend, or just “be”.
There's nothing wrong with you. Trust you can figure it out and things will be alright.
And remember, your best will look different on different days.
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Stacey L. Olson is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach and has 15 years of corporate experience. She works with busy leaders and professionals who want to create more balance, stress less, and perform at a high level. Stacey is the founder of the 'The Balanced Leader' coaching membership and offers executive and leadership coaching, workshops, and speaking.
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