I rarely talk about the emotional side of this game. And I suppose for each player it is a little different.
But right now, I’m so bummed — almost depressed — that it is really hard to get motivated to do any work.
I can hear you now: “How on earth are YOU bummed?! You get to work from home! You have the dream job!”
And you are right. I don’t deserve to be moody. My moods are something that I am getting faster and faster at manipulating to my own benefit. And that’s why I decided to take a few minutes to jot down some ideas on how I recover from the doldroms.
My wife really has helped me discover that I am very affected by what is in my body. Often, all I need is a baked potato and a nice salad to completely change my attitude.
We’ve all seen the Snickers commercial “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” And it’s true.
Furthermore, I find that a daily multivitamin makes all of the difference in my energy levels. If I find myself feeling run down, I’ve typically missed a couple of day’s worth of vitamins.
Finally, copious amounts of water is really helping my mental stamina. I’ve been downing 3-4 quarts a day and the difference for me between 2 quarts in a day and 3 quarts in a day is phenomenal.
Take a Break
One day my Grandpa and I were trying to fix something. Completely stumped, he finally scratched his head and said “I know what we need for this. We need a cup of coffee.” Sitting there in our lawn chairs, looking at our mess of a project gave him the perspective he needed to solve the problem.
It’s a tactic he used all the years that he was at the helm of ThermaTex to grow it into one of the largest synthetic stucco companies of his era.
For myself, I like to start with trying to write down my problems and solutions. Talking them through with my wife — or just out loud — often brings new insight.
And, if nothing else, a 15 or 30 minute nap is all I need to get fresh insight on my current frustration.
Count Your Blessings
If you are an American, you probably have hot running water available. King Solomon didn’t even have that.
Right now, I’m not in the middle of any war. I have heat, light and gourmet coffee. My wife and kid are happy and less than 2 feet from me.
When I start counting my blessings, it helps put the real problems in perspective.
“The state that you’re in at any given moment determines your perception of reality… and thus, your decisions and behaviors.” – Anthony Robbins
It sounds whacked until you try it. Give me 20 jumping jacks. or pushups. Or stand tall and strong and take 20 deep breathes. Then try being depressed.
Sometimes, physically breaking the “funk” is the most powerful thing you can do.
Know That It Will Change
Today, I’m bummed for a number of reasons. Mostly because there are not enough hours in the day to make the money I need to make before I need to take “maternity” leave to be with my new kids.
Big whoop, right?
But it’s frustrating. I’ve actually spent the morning writing articles on textbroker for about $6 an hour trying to get enough saved up to buy my next domain. I’m tapped out.
But the key is that within 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks .. it will all be different.
No matter how bleak it gets, it can always get better. It just takes faith to get through the less than stellar spots.
Face Your Fears
What if my child is kidnapped? falls ill? dies?
What if my wife falls ill? Dies?
What if all of my projects over the next 4 months fail?
What if I get food poisoning from the can of chili I just ate?
What if a meteor strikes my house?
Sorry to take you there. I’ve been a fearful bloke since I was about 6 (at least that I can remember.)
The first step is to identify those fears. Keep asking “What’s the worst that could happen?” You mean I might have to get a real job again? No biggie.
What is key is to replace those fears with real, solid truths. Truths that can keep your chin up no matter how bleak it looks.
Here are some of mine:
“This life is beautiful.”
“Cast all your anxiety on the Lord, because He cares for you” – 1 Peter 5:7
I will reap from the hard efforts I sow. – Galatians 6:7
I know most of my readers aren’t Christian, but Christ was right when he said “perfect love casts out fear”. Until I changed my beliefs to understand that this life is inherently good and amazing, I lived in constant fear.
So find truths that answer the fears in your life, and use them to change your fearful belief system into an empowering one.