How it’s OK to run on empty sometimes
Do you ever get that feeling you can’t take anymore?
That you’re running on adrenaline and going to lose it?
That your anxiety is out of control and you think you’re going crazy? That nothing is going right and you’re constantly racing against the clock?
STOP. You’re not spiralling out of control. It might feel like that sometimes but you’re not.
I think it’s alright to run on empty sometimes. Yes, I did just say that!
So take a deep breath, in and out, and relax. Phew! Feel better?
You know, today we are always running around, trying to create new side projects, trying to please or impress everyone, make more money, buy more things, do more in less time, try to take over the world (sorry, had a Pinky and the Brain moment there!) and we are our own worst enemy for putting pressure on ourselves.
I know I’m not alone on that!
But we just need to realise that we are only human at the end of the day and if you don’t get everything done that is on your To-Do list then it is OK. (By the way I write those lists every morning!) You don’t have to do everything all at once, sometimes it’s pretty impressive if you manage to check everything off the list but it’s also OK to only have managed a couple as well.
And if you didn’t do any, then oh well! Tomorrow is a new day! The world is still going to turn on its axel, the sun, moon and stars are still going to come out and shine and life still goes on.
I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist not a doctor, haven’t a science degree etc. nor am I going to explain to you all the whys and how’s because I actually don’t know all those but I’m just going to share a little bit of my wisdom and what helps me feel better because we all have times where we feel totally overwhelmed and overloaded. So keep reading you beautiful person!
My hypothesis: We are like batteries. Sometimes I feel like the Duracell bunny because my life is so hectic and full on but nevertheless we only have a limited power supply, and even the Duracell bunny needs a new battery once in a while.
And sometimes, we just run out of juice, splutter and go nuts and then just stop working altogether and that’s OK too.
We just need to recognise that it’s alright and then listen to our bodies. We need to take time out. We need to charge up again so we can go back to being the amazing fabulous people we are: on top of our game and feeling on top of the world all new and sparkly! (or at least aim for that 😉 )
And depending on how full, active and adventurous your life is, well that determines how much of your battery you use up and you might need to recharge more often than someone else.
We’re all different.
We are all different brands and that makes us beautiful 😉
Just think about how much you use your mobile phone, and how often you need to charge it up! When your phone dies, your tool for communication stops until the battery is full again. We’re kind of the same. When our batteries are empty, we can’t focus or communicate efficiently either.
Think of yourself in the mechanical sense. If you push the engine too hard without respite then you’re going to wear your motor down more quickly. And when the mechanical stuff doesn’t work, how is the chemical stuff (all those endorphins, hormones, cells and squidgy stuff inside you 😉 ) how is any of that going to work properly? You’ll have some kind of overload, imbalance, or get sick and that’s why you feel like you’re having a meltdown.
For the computer whizzes out there: Your internal CPU just crashes, especially if you have lots of applications, tabs and software running all at once! Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves and push ourselves beyond our limits.
We need to learn to recognise when we are nearing empty though. We need to be able to recognise the signs so we can then actively do something about it. We owe it not only to ourselves but also to our friends and families.
When we are run down, stressed and anxious we tend to flip out at minor insignificant things.
We might over think everything and become paranoid or obsessive or think we’re going crazy and losing our grip.
We lose patience easily and snap.
We don’t smile as much.
We stop laughing.
We take our frustration, irritation and tiredness out on the ones we love the most because we feel free and comfortable to be our true selves around them.
We trust our emotions with our closest loved ones but it means that they see both our good and bad sides. But unfortunately, they can’t see what’s in our heads.
They just think you’re attacking them and are angry.
That they might have done something wrong or screwed up somehow.
They might think you’re having an episode and roll their eyes, they may judge you and say spiteful things back if they are running on empty too and they won’t really understand what’s going on.
In short: Confusion. Upset. Lack of respect. Apologies required once the storm has calmed down.
It helps to identify the things that are stressing you out or pushing you to your limits so that you can tackle them head on. You can then sit down, apologise if need be and explain why you’re feeling the way you do.
Communication is important.
It helps the people around you to learn more about how you tick, how to recognise when you’re running on empty and to be there to help you or give you space when needed.
It might also help you to find solutions and compromises.
It’s important to make time for solitude I think. Times to actively reflect on yourself, your emotions and behaviour and how others may be seeing you. I say actively because many people just sit alone feeling sorry for themselves focusing on all the negative problems (and I’m not talking about mental illness or depression as those are different things), but when I say actively reflecting, I mean put on your clear-thinking head, narrow down those things that are stressing you out and try to figure out a solution.
Identify the type of person you are and how you react. It’s OK to be you and to be different!
Once you’ve identified those things bugging you, firstly you’ll probably feel a hell of a lot better just for pinpointing them and if you don’t have an answer straight away that’s OK. You’re on the right tracks. Just remember to focus on the solutions not the problems. Actually, let’s say challenges rather than problems. It sounds positive and like we can overcome them more easily! (One needs to trick one’s mind now and then 😉 )
Write down the things irritating you. Then look at ways you can change them. Or try to come up with feasible solutions and then discuss those things with the people concerned.
If we don’t listen to or know what our hearts want then it makes it difficult for others to know how to please us and all relationships are about work and compromise in some way.
Whether with your spouse, your child, your pet, your parents, your in-laws, your friends or boss etc. we have separate and unique relationships with each and every one of them and if YOU don’t understand how you tick and the things that take more energy from you, then how are other people supposed to figure you out?
In pretty much any situation, I always ask myself:
[blockquote align=”left” author=””]“Am I happy?
Am I going in the direction I want to go in?
What do I want?”[/blockquote]
These questions can be applied to anything and as often as you like.
Daily, monthly, yearly.
Communicate with yourself first, be true to your own feelings and be honest with yourself.
It’s in those times of crazy, in the moments when we are on overdrive, that we learn more about ourselves and who we are, how we work and what it is we do or do not want.
Every experience is a lesson so what are you learning today?
Recharging our batteries sometimes means saying no once in a while to constant requests. Sometimes it’s teaching our kids to put the washing on for themselves, sometimes it’s recognising when your boss takes advantage and just finding a compromise. Sometimes it’s learning the art of delegation or coming up with a creative solution that fits both boss and employee. Sometimes it’s looking at things from your child’s perspective and doing more family oriented things.
People are not as scary as you think.
There are always solutions to every situation and challenge. You just need to sit down, clear your head, think logically, rationally even creatively, put those darn hormones, emotions and feelings in a box for now and focus on how to solve your issue/s.
I’m a fan of writing stuff down because it helps to clear the fog.
I also cry. It releases the stress and pressure 😉 and that’s OK. That’s just how I tick!
You need to stand up for yourself and take care of number one because if YOU are not doing well, then that affects others around you. How can you look after your family or friends or be a great partner to someone if YOU are not doing well? And no one else HAS to look after you. It’s nobody’s JOB except your own.
It’s your responsibility to be the best version of yourself you can be.
And it’s OK to love yourself and do things just for you.
You’re a beautiful person and you need to believe that and believe in your own worth!
When you believe that, you’ll inspire others around you and things will be easier! 🙂
I’m not saying go buy expensive jewellery or blow a load of money on material stuff to lift your spirits.
But just give yourself a break.
Recognise when you’re tired, when your battery is running down.
Be honest with yourself and take action.
Turn your phone off for a while.
Grab a hot chocolate (and have the cream and marshmallows!)
Hang out with a friend.
Take a walk in a pretty park.
Sit on a bench and people watch or daydream a little.
Go get that massage you wanted or bake that cake you always like.
Go to a yoga class. Meditate or workout.
Read a book or do a puzzle.
Or put on a movie and cuddle up with your loved ones instead of working on other projects.
Treating yourself or taking time out doesn’t have to be expensive: Look at free things to do in your area.
Nor does taking time out have to take a lot of time: Try doing something for yourself twice a week that calms you down.
It’s more about the break from your routine that is the important factor and recognising when you just need to stop and breathe.
It’s the time you spend for reflection, recovery and re-energising to reconnect into the beautiful crazy that is life and appreciate all the wonderful things the world has to offer.