Have you ever experienced the accomplishment high only to get sucked down into the murky depths of low, vowing that one of these days you’re going to get off this rollercoaster ride?
The past few weeks I’ve focused on a big work project that at times left me feeling smart and satisfied, then quickly dropped me into feeling down-right dumb and frustrated with myself.
Just the other day as I plugged away at my laptop when a quiet, anxious voice crept into my head…“You’re never going to finish this,” she said.
“Oh yes I am,” I silently retorted as I determinedly typed away and pushed her nagging voice away. Until two hours later when that voice crept in again, only this time not-so-quiet and not-so-push-able.
“You won’t finish this project today or even this week. You better cancel the fun you were planning on having tonight. There’s no time.”
I paused, looking at the clock and thought, “Yikes, maybe that’s true. I better cancel my canoe practice tonight. There’s no time.” And this time that anxious voice lingered in my mind.
“There’s no time. Can’t get it all done.”
“There’s no time. Don’t stop for fun.”
“There’s not enough time. Panic!”
My body grew tense as I typed away and flexed my ankles up and down, as I do when panic begins to froth.
“I can’t get everything done. Why aren’t I faster? Smarter? Better?” Yadda yadda yadda! My mind ran away from me and the quiet, anxious voice blew up into a loud, nasty overwhelming voice. Feeling like a chicken with its head cut off, anxiously running around in circles, I did the only thing that works in these situations.
I sentenced myself to go take a nap.
I’ve learned that when my mind runs away with loud, nasty thoughts I need to take a Do-Over.
My Do-Over always consists of: releasing myself from work-jail, finding a couch, pulling the shades and plopping down for a snooze. Like any ornery child who screams and says mean things I find that a 20-30 minute nap in the middle of my work-day keeps me feeling happy, refreshed and free of panic-stricken anxiety.
Some people would say I’m lazy or undisciplined but I see sleeping as a way to play nice with myself and enjoy my busy life, rather than working mean and hard.
My Do-Over consistently helps me enjoy the heights of accomplishment and teaches me that I always have enough time to: get things done, have fun, take care of myself and enjoy the day because I always awake feeling refreshed and ready to keep going.
I’d love to hear from you!
*Do you have a loud, nasty voice in your head that tries to derail you? If so, what does it say?
*Do you have a reliable Do-Over that you don’t readily admit to, but that re-sets your thinking and keeps you motivated?
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Samantha Sawyer, M.A. SLP, Creator of Joy