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I woke up this morning feeling so energized…for the first time in a while.
It helps that I slept a lot.
I made good coffee and then ran.
Ah, and it feels like fall. The leaves are changing colors and it’s cool but not cold. I had this feeling rush through me as I started my run—more like a memory, of what it felt like to run early mornings in this kind of weather all the time.
It’s also been a while since I ran consistently. I’ve felt so tired and lethargic lately. I walk and stretch and maybe do a little yoga, but I haven’t felt like I could do much more than that (and I love to be active, so it’s been a bit frustrating).
I know not getting enough sleep hasn’t helped anything. But for some reason, when I know I have a lot to squeeze in, sleep is the first thing to fall away. It seems to be the first thing I sacrifice.
Yet time and time again, I learn that this doesn’t work and it doesn’t feel good. Sacrificing sleep (at least consistently) doesn’t ever really give me the benefit I think it will because I always feel so “out of it” that I can’t effectively do the things I think skipping sleep will allow me to do. I’m too tired to exercise in the way I like. I’m too tired to focus in my meditations in the way I should. And I don’t really have any energy to do anything in my “non-work” hours because I just want to nap and lie around.
I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t think any of us do.
But…sometimes it happens.
And even if we don’t want to, we have to accept that it’s happening.
When we’re feeling funky or tired or “out of it,” we just have to let ourselves feel it. Because it’s happening—and the energy of resisting or fighting that it’s happening just adds to our suffering.
In these moments, we need to be easy and gentle with ourselves—we have to show ourselves grace. It’s okay to not be able to do all the things we want to do, and it’s especially okay to not push ourselves when we’re not feeling our best. And it’s okay to not feel our best.
Sometimes we’re coping with a lot, or we’re lacking sleep, or we’re trying to balance too many things—and it can hard. But we’re doing the best we can.
In the past, I’ve judged myself for this kind of thing—for not being able to do the things I think I should be doing. But this time, I more gracefully accepted it. I felt disappointed that I didn’t have energy, but I could also understand why.
In these moments when we’re not feeling like our best, most active, most energized selves, let’s be soft with ourselves—caring, nurturing, and understanding. Let’s tune into ourselves and seek to understand what’s truly happening and why. Let’s feel into what we really need.
Let’s also do the things we know are good for us, even if we don’t particularly feel like it—like cooking healthy, nutritious meals even when we’re tired or resting or napping even if it makes a part of us feel “lazy.”
Let’s focus our intention on feeling better, without trying to force it in an inauthentic, unaligned way.
I don’t believe that trying to switch our perspective or feeling experience to a more positive, optimistic, good-feeling one is always “toxic positivity.” (Unless I’m feeling especially cranky…then I think it’s all crap!)
I think it’s natural to want to feel better and I think it’s okay to do the things we need to do to feel better. We like to feel good.
But we also need to do this with an element of allowance of what we’re really feeling.
The problem so many of us face in these situations is not wanting to accept how we feel. We can feel so much resistance to our not feeling good—which just makes it all worse. But if we can simply accept that we don’t feel our best, and bring a soft allowance to that, and a broader understanding as to why this may be happening, we can ease the tension. We can give ourselves grace. And we can softly accept what’s happening.
We can find an element of surrender within this space, while also holding the heartfelt intention and desire to feel better.
Sometimes we’re just in a funk. It happens.
It happens to all of us.
The best thing we can do for ourselves in these moments is to allow what’s happening to happen, show ourselves compassion and understanding while we’re going through it, hold the intention, desire, and active will to feel better, and also do the things that we know will make us feel better.
We can’t force it, but we can choose to do the things that nourish and sustain us, while at the same time being okay with not feeling our best.
And then one day…we’ll wake up after a good night’s sleep feeling alive, energized, and inspired.
And it will feel really, really good.