How to Overcome Feeling Meh in the Moment
I woke up at 6:16am this morning feeling pretty meh. I’ve done some workshops over the past couple of days, which people told me they enjoyed and found useful.
But I still went away with stories and questions about myself. I was replaying things I’d said, and judging them as good or bad. I was battling a bit of Imposter Syndrome – trying to finally convince myself once and for all that I do know what I’m talking about.
Add in the news of Trump supporters storming Capitol Hill, and worries about Brexit and record high Covid cases, and concern for someone I know whose elderly father is ill, and loads of washing up to do, and my daughter asking if she really has to log on at 8:30am to start her home-schooling, and then thinking I now have to create another workshop from scratch for next week and I still have my accounts to do for my taxes – and pretty soon my brain is all revved up. It just keeps going round in circles and the end result is a restless, anxious flatness. What’s the point of me trying to build this business? Can’t it just be the weekend already? It’s only January 7 and I’m already knackered.
This is meh in microcosm. And it’s only 7:49am.
Obviously, I’m not saying this to have a whinge. In the scheme of things, I consider myself to be an incredibly lucky person. I have a nice home, a loving family and good mates. I run my own business doing things I enjoy. I have what the psychologists say you need for satisfying work – plenty of autonomy, a sense of purpose, and the chance to keep learning.
And yet in the world we’re in right now, I’m still feeling meh at 7:49am. One of the main problems is our brains are not designed for this kind of stimulation. And constantly checking fucking social media while also listening to Radio Four certainly doesn’t help.
So what did I do?
I wrote. When I got to my desk my brain was still whirring, so I just started writing in my notebook. For 10 minutes, whatever came into my head, I put down on the page. About half way through, something in my attention shifted. I came out of my head a bit and back into the room. I could feel that my forehead, shoulders and jaw were tense, but there was a more grounded feeling in my stomach.
The writing was a mixture of my woes and also self-compassion. It was like seeing different parts of me on the page. The part that feels like my own best mate was saying things like, ‘Don’t burn out. Look after yourself. Be kind to yourself. Take the relentless pressure off yourself to build the coaching side of your business. It happens when it happens. Let that go. It’s just something to play with.’
I was also noticing urges and my response to them.
‘Gets the urge to check social media again. Today is not the day I need to check socials. Got nothing going on. All I need to do is contact one client – and I can email them.’
It feels a bit weird putting this on the page. But we all have these internal voices.
The super skill here is noticing.
From what I’ve said, it’s clear I still have an inner critic going on. That’s the part of me that was replaying the workshop. It’s where my perfectionism, procrastination and Imposter Syndrome come from. But I also have an inner coach - a best mate - that’s naturally developed over the years of me having my own coaching and working as a coach.
As I said, noticing is the most valuable skill here – and that comes from another part of us. We can call it the observing self or if we’re stretching it maybe even our true nature. This is the part of us that always knows we’re only ever living in the present moment. All of my anxieties, concerns and feelings of meh can only come from thoughts about the past or future. Neither of which I can control. In this situation, I first got a sense of my present observing self from that grounded feeling in my stomach.
After 10 minutes, I stopped writing and was already in a much better place than I was at 7:49am. And it was still only 8:10am!
The next thing I noticed was that I was feeling dehydrated. My body could really do with a big glass of water right now. On the way downstairs, I heard that my daughter seemed to have sorted herself out school-wise. I saw my partner in the kitchen and actually listened for a moment as she told me about her day.
Back at my desk, I remembered I’d made a plan for the day last night. I was going to spend a couple of hours thinking about next weeks’ workshop, make a start on my yearly accounts, and write the first draft of a coaching article about ‘The Cure for Meh’.
And that’s what this is. In the spirit of embracing ‘good enough’ over ‘perfect’, I’m publishing it as it is.
Current time: 11:47am
There's a part of me that still wants to go back to bed!