How do you keep your head high when you’re exhausted?
It’s groundhog day….I feel it too. We live on an island, and are literally quaranstuck no matter what right now while we wait for the ice to melt so we can boat our way out of here. We just went into lockdown 3. Our kids are awaiting covid tests. I’ve been working from home, homeschooling from home for a very long time. Sometimes I get VERY over it. Sometimes there’s family disputes. Sometimes my cooking is shitty. It is exhausting mustering up the courage daily to be forward thinking and continue to work on my business hoping that I will somehow come out stronger and more successful one day.
But do you know what’s more exhausting. Choosing to sit in it. IT. The drama.
The pull of melancholy is strong right now, but there is a way around it. Life has always been a challenge. Our struggle is a unique struggle right now, but our parents, and our grandparents have had their own.
I believe in recognizing our pain. In addressing our pain. In seeking out support systems and mechanisms of dealing with our pain.
But the only way through to the other side, is eventually making the choice to put our attention on forward thinking. In choosing a new plan, a new blueprint. In choosing the work.
What I appreciate about coaching is that a coach helps you find what’s holding back, creates clarity around the story, unpacks it, then seeks out ways to clear it. There is less emphasis on the past, more emphasis on the future and very little room for sitting in IT.
Coaching creates tools to use right now. The right time to move through our pain is NOW. It’s always now.
In Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul” the most relevant passage I read had to do with avoiding the rabbit hole. That we acknowledge and let go of worrisome thoughts, without going down the rabbit hole of negative and unhelpful thinking. When we avoid the rabbit hole we bounce back to the present moment. We may not be in charge of our thoughts or emotions, but we can control how we respond to them. We can choose not to go far down the rabbit hole. It’s easier to bounce back from a brief stay in worrisome thinking….than it is to dig ourselves out of the hole.
Regardless of how challenging things are right now, in order to keep our heads high we can do these things to stay afloat. Keeping our heads high is a series of daily choices, recommitting ourselves to that process each day. I don’t offer these tools lightly. I recognize that this is work. This is the work of the times:
- Stay present to the moods that you are in…..without going down the rabbit hole and feeding the story. I literally say to myself “stop it” when I notice myself doing this and I can say from experience that it is in fact that simple of a practice and it works.
2. Connect to WHO you are, not WHAT you are doing. Find the things that make you feel yourself again. What do you love? Is it loud music, nature, comedy, cooking….your best friend. Remind yourself of who you really are by connecting to the things that you love.
3. Create your daily blueprint for joy. If you know that waking up, drinking coffee and watching the news gives you anxiety….stop it. Play with different blueprints. Maybe it’s a walk after work. Maybe it’s deleting social media altogether. Reading, writing, praying or journaling the morning. There are many multidimensional tools at your fingertips that WILL make you feel better. Go there.
4. Find your community. Even if it’s a phone or online connection. The story that you only want in person contact just isn’t all that helpful right now. It’s not reality. What is a way that you can positively connect to a community. A way that doesn’t feed the facebook gossip mill. Is it a bookclub, a moms group, a course, a class or a program. The energy is real. The people are still real. Find a positive community to connect with that all enjoy the same things that you do.
5. If none of this is working…..and you can’t seem to keep your head high. It’s time to serve. It’s time to take the focus off of yourself altogether and put it on someone who needs it even more. My coach Erin Anderson was taught this from her dear mum and it’s true and relevant. Go and help someone. Volunteer. Start a project that can help someone else.
The belief that it’s exhausting keeping our heads high….is not helpful. It’s the only thing we can do. Staying positive is like the daily chores list. Every single day you’re going to have to do the dishes, the laundry, the cooking. It goes on and on. There is no end to the work. There’s always some kind of work. The work right now…is choosing to keep our heads high. The work will be there tomorrow too and it’s ok. This work is less exhausting than the alternative.
If you’re beyond all of this, and just can’t hear right now.. please seek out support from therapists, coaches, family members and good friends.
Stay safe out there folks and keep your heads high!
With grace and gratitude,