Do you recognize that feeling of waking up and not wanting to get up out of bed. That nagging feeling that pulls us down and discourages us. To make things worse it is the first thing you feel and think of that day. So we decide to stay in bed a few more minutes, maybe grab our phone and delay the day for a bit longer. We allow ourselves to create a space for the excuses to come in that ‘make us feel better’, ‘I need to rest today’, ‘I do not have much work to do today’, or ‘No one will notice if I get up or not’.
Maybe you do need to rest. Maybe you have been through hours of work and are almost out of energy. Or maybe we need to get out of bed anyway and put in the work. There is much discourse about if we should rest when feeling low on energy or if we need to continue grinding on our craft. Is there a good option here? Is it possible to do both? How do we decide what to?
We all have those days that we are low on energy and maybe even feel down, sad, or discouraged. Days that we do not feel like doing anything. I think it is actually quite normal to feel discouraged once in a while. The state you are in does not define who you are. So if you FEEL discouraged, it does not mean that you ARE discouraged. Once I realized this I could allow myself to separate from my feelings and look at them from a distance.
This means that when we are low on energy we should analyse ourselves and be honest with ourselves. If we know we need to do things that have a certain urgency, or if anyone is counting on us, then we have to get active. However, if we can allow ourselves to rest, we can recover our energy and start fresh the next day. Whatever we decide to do, it is important to keep in mind that we can either choose to do something that benefits our (mental) health or something that is unhealthy. Something that works for us or against us.
If we give in to a discouraging state and let the thoughts and emotions that come with it control our day, we have just lost a day. That is why it is important to be honest with yourself. When we wake up and feel demotivated to even start the day, we should separate ourselves from our state. If we would let our state decide how we would live out our days, we would be all over the place. by separating ourselves from our state, we can clearly think about what is best for us at that moment.
‘When you open your eyes in the morning
it means that God is not done with you’
– Steve Harvey
It matters if you have high or low energy. Having low energy can make you feel tired all the time and unable to complete tasks. It can drag you down, make you feel exhausted, cause difficulties to concentrate, and make you sleepy during the day. Having high energy does not only elevate your state, it also makes you better at problem solving, makes you more creative, productive, and effective. So it benefits what you do and how you feel.
We can get energy from resting, if we rest efficiently. What I mean with resting efficiently, is taking rest to restore your energy. This means resting your brains as well. Did you know that your brains use up about 20% of your total energy every day? Maybe think twice about resting while playing an intense video game or have your mind occupied about work, while lying in bed. Resting does not work that way. At least not efficiently.
This brings me back to the most important point of this post’s topic. It is about you being honest with yourself. If you allow yourself to take a rest because you are having an off day, that is totally OK. Take that rest, recover that energy, and get back at it again. Allow yourself to take a step back once in a while. Now the tricky part is when you convince yourself you need to take that rest, when you do not really need it. Then you are not being honest with yourself. You are just being lazy.
‘The only break anyone can afford to rely on is a self-made break’
– Napoleon Hill
If you decide to put in the work during an off day, that is OK as well. We can feel good by achieving what we wanted to achieve during a day. It can give a sense of fulfilment and we make some progress. Even if you cannot concentrate. Sometimes it is enough to go through the motions and get things done. Or you bless yourself with a character building day. One in which your body and your mind is working against you and you still manage to get things done. I believe that when you are in a good state, you get the chance to push your limits. When you are feeling discouraged, you get the chance to build character.
So if you are having a down day it is good to rest. Allow yourself to enjoy a rest to restore your energy. It is also good to keep going, even if you are just following the steps. The most important thing that applies to both options, is that you are being honest with yourself. Ask yourself if it serves you and do not be too harsh on yourself. It is important to be in control of when you take a break and not let your state decide that for you.
Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below or send me an e-mail! I encourage you to share your experience or thoughts!