We are about six or seven weeks into the new year and the struggle has been REAL. There are days when I just don’t want to do a thing. Staying in bed feels like the best–or at least the easiest–option.
Thankfully, my need to pay bills and raise my kids forces me to get up and keep things moving. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.
And I want to be clear; I love my life. My husband still cracks me up and adores me, my kids are pretty awesome, and God has blessed me beyond measure. Despite the challenges I face daily, life is pretty good.
But you don’t need to have a crappy life to wake up feeling like you just CAN’T. You don’t have to hate your circumstances to feel like adulting is the very last thing you want to do. I don’t feel like adulting right now. I want to eat cereal and take a long nap. But I’m up and writing because life is about more than doing what we feel like doing. I mean, isn’t that what we tell our kids all the time?
If you’re a busy mom like me, though, you are probably looking for some concrete help and advice. What the hell do you do when you don’t want to do anything? And by anything I mean parent, work, exercise, cook, start a business, meet deadlines… pretty much ANYTHING.
Well, here are a few tips that have helped me pull it together in the last two weeks. Hopefully, these tips can help you find some motivation when your motivation is non-existent (like mine was). I don’t want your struggle to go on any longer. I certainly think mine went on for long enough.
Talk to a friend or two.
I started the year off sick and tired…literally. The sickness eventually went away, but the tiredness stuck around. Honestly, I am still tired. At 30 weeks pregnant, I think I have earned the right to be tired as hell, so I am okay with that. But in being so sick and tired, I also closed myself off to the world a little bit. I wasn’t really calling anyone and my focus was on my health, my kids, and my pregnancy. After a few weeks of this foolishness, I realized that I needed to stop the madness and call a friend. After speaking to my best friend and a few other close friends, I started to feel like the fog was lifting a bit. I could breathe a little better. It made me realize that although I can do a whole lot on my own, I need them. We are not meant to do this alone. And although my husband is awesome is so many ways, talking to him just isn’t the same as talking to a good friend.
Find a way out.
Before you start packing your bags and preparing your solo Hawaii getaway, read on. Sure, a getaway to a Hawaii would be awesome (I LOVE Hawaii), but I know that may not be possible right now. It sure isn’t a realistic option for me. But I do believe you need to get out of your house. As an entrepreneur, I work from home a lot and I work alone a lot. I love it, but sometimes it’s lonely and difficult. But whether you work outside of the home or not, you will benefit from just getting out of the house to connect with friends. Go have lunch with girlfriends. Enjoy a girls night out. Do something that’s fun and carefree and try not to do it alone. It will lift your spirits. I met with two friends last week for lunch and we all talked about goals, accomplishments, and next steps. We are all entrepreneurs so it was perfect. That 90-minute lunch gave me LIFE and I walked away feeling energized and full of hope. Sometimes we just need that.
Make small changes to your eating habits.
Feeling unmotivated + chocolate and chips will set you up for a pretty crappy mood. I wish I was joking but I’m not. If you feel tired and in need of a mental boost, you should try to change what you eat. Now trying to make drastic changes during a difficult time is probably not the best idea, but little changes can help. Cut back on sugary drinks and increase your water. Add more veggies to your meals. Eat fruit when that sweet tooth strikes. Sure, these minor changes won’t lead to massive results, but they will certainly change how you feel from day-to-day. Even if it doesn’t result in immediate motivation, it will certainly help stop your lack of motivation from getting worst.
Give a few things the boot.
Nothing leads to a lack of motivation more than doing TOO MUCH. Cut a few things out. When you have too much on your to-do list it can sometimes lead to paralysis. Why do anything when you feel like nothing is getting done, right? I understand because I’ve been there. But time has also shown me how to let things go. I just can’t do it all. I had to decide to pull back on this blog and post a lot less because keeping up with everything felt like a sure way to end up insane. I don’t want to be insane. I’m sure you don’t either. So make a list of everything on your plate and start crossing out things that can either wait or just don’t need to happen… ever. You will feel so much better and with a manageable to-do list, you will start to regain your motivation.
Make plans for the months ahead.
Looking ahead stresses some people out, but if you are not one of those people, it’s actually a great thing. When you plan for the future, you stop focusing on what’s not going right today. I recently started mapping out our summer plans and I am even planning two events for the fall. By focusing on the good times ahead, it helps me focus less on how I feel right now.
Ask for help.
I know it’s hard. Moms are warriors and we do so much. I get it. I am a warrior (my name actually means warlike), too. But I also know that soldiers don’t win wars alone. They need help. They need support they can trust. So stop trying to be cute and ask for help. Your husband, your neighbors, your friends, your mama–just ask anyone you trust who is willing to lend a helping hand. With baby number three on the way, you can be sure that I m asking for help and accepting help whenever I can. I don’t plan to do this alone. So when your motivation is low and dealing with life just feels hard, ask for help. The people who truly love you will help–no questions asked.
Rest… but not too much.
A lack of motivation is often the result of a lack of sleep. If your days are crazy and you are sleeping less than eight hours a night, your body may just need more sleep. How can you possibly increase your motivation when you are exhausted? Shoot for eight hours, even if you need to cut back on a few things to get it. And if you are in a situation where eight straight hours is impossible (I know this will be the case for me after the baby arrives), ask for help and get naps in as often as you can until things get better. Also, if you are sleeping way too much (10 or more hours a day) or you have insomnia, consider seeing your physician or looking into therapy. A change in sleeping habits is often a sign of depression or something more serious so don’t ignore what your body is telling you.
And even if your sleeping habits are great, if the tips above don’t help and you can’t shake the funk you’re in, therapy may still be a great way to go. I am not in therapy right now but I have been and it’s made all the difference.
So mamas, what’s your next step? How do you plan to get your motivation back?