How to go from sad and powerless to chill and encouraged
Recently I had a week where I felt very disappointed in myself. I felt that I was not productive enough when I worked from home. My breaks were too long. That’s mainly Netflix-related to be honest. When I take a lunch break with ‘Ah I am allowed to watch this episode for 15 minutes…’ You and I both know how that ends. I felt powerless and sad On days that I ended up watching episodes for 1,5 hours, 70% of the rest of the day was productive. But. That didn’t feel that way. I felt restless about the break. A lot of ‘’I should haves’’ were bugging me. ‘’I should have taken a walk instead. WHY am I always falling for this?! I should have more control over my day. I am useless.'' These thoughts resulted in feeling very powerless and sad.
Now, I feel very different about it. I feel motivated and strong! And I want to share what helped me so you can apply that as well. The key is to reduce the impact of the negative emotion. There were a few steps I took that week. It started with: I want to feel different. I don’t like this feeling. Then I took a step back. I pictured myself working during the day. I put myself in the role of an external consultant. Objectively looking at the situation, advising what can be done differently. Not emotionally involved, just checking the facts. The objective consultant in me came to a few suggestions.
I started tracking my time with an app. I felt like I did not do enough, but what are the facts? Based on that I see that 80% of my days are effective. 80%! Not fair to focus ONLY on the 20% right?
I started to work in cafe’s way more. The distraction is in my home. When I work somewhere else I am way more productive.
I went to the gym. I totally didn’t feel like it. But I just started packing my things. Walking to the tube. And when I was on the rowing machine my perspective really changed. Doing something physical was very, very effective to step out of the negative emotion.
I started to talk with people about it. My accountability buddy for example. And she helped me realize that I am productive during workdays.
At the end of the week I felt way better. My thoughts are now: ‘’Sometimes it’s challenging for me to work from home (but that’s fine and a lot of people have that). I can reduce my breaks a bit. How can I help myself doing that?’’ Thinking this feels sooo different! I feel chill, powerful and encouraged. So if you feel trapped in that negative emotion: find ways to step out of it. And that doesn’t mean that the emotion doesn’t exist anymore. And also, you don’t have to go from feeling negative to feeling ONLY positive and cheerful. It’s just about reducing the impact of the emotion a bit. And that takes probably a few steps. That’s fine. Just try out what works for you. When do you feel sad and powerless? What would work for you to reduce the impact of that emotion?