So, you liked your work, you felt useful, contented and psychologically safe. Yes, you worked hard and you could withstand the pressure. But, over time the pressure mounts, the work becomes all-consuming and your attitude changes.
You find yourself becoming irritable, you are too busy for a social life, your work life consumes your personal life and you become emotionally exhausted, trapped and unhappy. Your motivation slumps and you find it hard to get up and start each day. Where once your work was an inspiring and motivational factor for your wellbeing , the opposite is now the case. You are emotionally exhausted, detached and drained of energy.
We are all aware of the benefits of useful work and a positive work environment. It is generally recognised that work is good for our health and wellbeing. It helps us build confidence and self-esteem. Yes, the Monday blues or occasional slump days are to be expected, But when we suffer a longer term motivational slump we need to take action ourselves, or with the help of others,to discover the causes of our emotional and psychological demise.
We are responsible for our own physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Often, however we are so driven, focused and determined to succeed that we fail to notice the impact of constant work stress on our physical and mental health. Some of us take more care of our cars than we do of ourselves. But like a poorly maintained car, a poorly maintained body and mind can crash to the floor. How did it all come to this?
Long term motivational slumps signify burnout where we have reached the end of the road. We have become overwhelmed by the constant pressure of work, deadlines and/or the needs of clients. In many cases we are so overwhelmed we find it hard to start our days and we get frustrated as we procrastinate about tasks we know are important but we cannot lift ourselves out of our motivational slump . This is more than a willpower dip and needs a lifestyle change to regain lifestyle equilibrium.
The importance of a proper work-life balance in this 21st Century is now being fully realised by industry professionals. Yet many of us still cannot accept the importance of a balanced lifestyle for our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Taking care of ourselves in stressful or pressurised work environments must be our personal, number one priority.
Where your motivational drive takes a nosedive what can you do to refocus your life and re-engineer a recovery of your motivation and inspiration? Firstly, it is an absolute imperative that you set boundaries between your work and personal life. Separate your work life and your personal life and disconnect your brain. Your personal life is your personal space where you should feel safe from the guilt of not working. It is the space where you should do other things to distract you from the constant focus on work issues.
Secondly, Ask yourself are you making good use of your personal life. Relaxation is not just being a ” couch potato”; it should also be about rewarding activities which can enhance your physical and mental wellbeing.
( Image by Skeeze from Pixabay)
Taking long walks, taking up running or regular visits to the gym is at the core of both physical and mental wellbeing. Understanding the word ” wellbeing” is important; it is about feeling well and that is your primary responsibility. Many of us who are career driven, ambitious and determined forget about self-care as our entire focus is on achieving our work goal and this can sometimes be all-consuming.
But you need to have the emotional and psychological strength and endurance to cope with a busy, demanding working life. You need to regain the strength to overcome your motivational slump and regain your capabilities to manage your work life successfully. Self-care is not about being selfish; it is about protecting a treasured gift-the gift of good health.
Doing what is best for you is not being selfish nor should it be a rare luxury. Neglecting yourself is a recipe for disaster but minding your overall health in stressful work environments is an act of survival. Your happiness is your priority. To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance- Oscar Wilde.
For some of us who feel swamped with work challenges lifestyle changes may be necessary for self-preservation. To assist the restoration of good mental and physical health, we can make some lifestyle changes to enhance our wellbeing and hopefully avoid the dreaded motivational slumps.
Some people really value the importance of 10 minutes meditation at the start of each day. This helps to keep a balance in life by focusing on positives. It is also important for wellbeing to engage with positive people as they exude positive energy. We are all influenced by people we spend time with. It takes a positive attitude to achieve positive results. A positive mind sees a positive world so be aware of what you feed your mind. Your attitude controls your life.
Lifestyle changes away from work must be matched by lifestyle changes at work. Repairing and restoring your motivation can only happen if you effect real and sustainable lifestyle changes when in your workplace.
Take lunch breaks with co-workers because talking is sharing and this can helps to lift your spirit while taking the focus off your work problems for short periods. Have the self-discipline also to take mini-breaks away from work.
At the start of each day decide what you want to accomplish that day. Be realistic and remember it is easier to finish a task when you make yourself take the first step. Get momentum back into your work life by reviewing positively what you have achieved that work day. No matter how small the steps, they all contribute to progress.
Try to be better than yesterday. Review what you do and get rid of redundant tasks by ruthlessly prioritising. If your workload is unreasonable then you must address that with your boss. Only you can effect change and you need to resolve to do so. Your health depends on you taking action.
Sometimes too, the only solution to a lengthy motivational slump ( which can cause long-term depression) is to look for another job . But you need to be uncomfortable in your current job to take that step to survive. If you do change jobs then match that change with a genuine lifestyle change which protects you and your wellbeing. Do not make the same mistakes again. You are your most valuable asset so your priority is to mind and value yourself.
Realise too that you may need the help of close friends or counselling because sometimes we are so overwhelmed we may have a feeling of helplessness. This is beyond motivational slumps so take the initiative to surround yourself with the appropriate supports.
Our fastlane lifestyles with 24 hour accessibility through modern technology can affect us in many ways . if you do not check yourself you will always be “on call”, always available and never switch off . There is extensive research which suggests that the ” always on ” employee becomes less productive through cognitive overload.
You need to allow time to break free from the burden of work if you want to remain effective and genuinely productive . You need to stay in control of your life and this means that you take positive steps to protect yourself by maintaining lifestyle equilibrium and work-life balance.
( Image by Gerard Altmann from Pixabay)
You must never be too busy to mind yourself. You can overcome long-term motivational slumps and you can prevent them happening again. You can do so if you want to. You may find the worst enemy or best friend in yourself- English proverb.
Your relationship with yourself is your very own responsibility; be your own best friend !