I’m definitely happiest when I’m at a level 10 – lots of work, lots of projects, lots of things to keep me in the mood to move forward (I didn’t choose to have ‘ex nihilo nihil fit’ inked on me for eternity without good reason) – but at the same time, I do recognize the need to evaluate priorities. Eventually it gets to the point where all of these *things* need to shift. Maybe because the project itself is over, or because something else needs to take center stage, or I’m just bored with this hobby and want to do something else.
But here’s the kicker–I’m not always the most cognizant regarding what my mind and body are telling me. If I’m feeling blah, I never used to attribute it to something specific in my life (other than the weather. I usually blame the weather). It’s the same when I get into a creative rut. If I can’t write, or worse, I feel that everything I write is crap, then something is off balance. I’m more in tune with myself now to know that when something isn’t working, I shouldn’t blame the weather or pick fights with my husband; I need to go into reflective mode, and that takes a few different forms:
- Choosing a new fitness goal
To be honest, I work out mostly to offset my love of cheese (on which I refuse to compromise), but by refocusing on something like improving my mile or increasing reps, I find that clarity usually comes with it. Right now I’m building toward a 5 minute plank (a challenge initiated by a friend). Why plank? Why not?
- Reconfiguring my time
Happy hours are my favorite ways to cool down after a long day at work, not necessarily for the alcohol, but just to talk with friends and decompress with commiserating souls (plus, happy hour usually equals cheap dinner). I also love weekly bar trivia, dog park dates, networking groups, etc. When I feel like I’m too busy for these things, I know it’s time to look at what’s eating my time and figure out how to remedy these things. I appreciate my alone time, but I’m energized by interaction and conversation.
- Make it a challenge
This piece of advice comes from my mother (anytime I complained about being bored in class, her response was to ‘make it a challenge’–to find something interesting in it to make it through). It’s advice that I use in my professional life (they say that boredom is a mood and productivity killer) and it works to not only re-engage, but also forces me to become a little more invested while boosting my mood, too. Plus, I like challenges, so it helps me define what I need to work on and define my strengths.
SO. Those are three things that help get me back into my groove.