I’m experiencing what I like to call the middle of the year slump. I feel like I’ve lost my mojo, and I’m battling to find the motivation to make headway with some of my work and projects. I’m honestly feeling depleted, impacting my professional relationships and my relationship and responsibilities at home as a mother, wife, and friend.
Luckily, I know that motivation is a fickle thing, and sometimes you’re going to feel motivated, and sometimes you’re going to feel unmotivated. Motivation is a feeling, not an action. It’s not about doing something; it’s about feeling something. This makes sense because how you feel drives your actions.
If, like me, you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that you’re not alone. I have some advice for you (and me).
Cut yourself some slack
We’re all experiencing pandemic fatigue. In South Africa, we’ve been in various levels of lockdown for just over 12 months. We’re feeling anxious, exhausted and frustrated. We’ve had to maintain a constant state of vigilance, with no accurate indication of when covid-19 restrictions will be lifted, and we can return to “before” covid-19 life.
The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, and this burden looks different for us all. We’re dealing with financial pressure, grief, illness and isolation. The number of physical and mental health challenges is too long to list.
So, cut yourself some slack. The world is not as we know it. If you feel like you’ve lost a bit of your spark, and your motivation has taken a dip – you are not alone. Motivation is not a constant, and it’s pretty standard for it to come and go.
Take some time out for yourself, a couple of days to relax and let go.
2. Physical and mental health screening
That being said, if a short break and time out from what is going on around you do not leave you feeling revived and focused, there could be an underlying physical or mental health concern.
When we’re feeling run down and tired, it can be easy to get discouraged about our goals and lose sight of what we’re working towards. Often, when you’re struggling to be productive, it’s because you’re physically or mentally exhausted and not giving yourself the chance to recover, leading to burnout.
It’s important to schedule time with your doctor to screen your physical and mental health. There may be an underlying medical condition that you’re unaware of that’s affecting your energy levels and causing you to feel unmotivated.
You must examine your mental health as well. Sometimes changes in motivation are a sign that your emotional health needs a boost. Happiness and motivation go hand in hand. When you’re happy, you’re energised and motivated to move forward.
3. Seek out a therapist
There is a misconception that counselling and therapy are only for serious problems. We tend to associate it with mental health disorders like depression and anxiety and coping with traumatic life experiences. However, people seek therapy for a range of reasons linked to everyday life.
Therapy is helpful for life transitions like divorce, job loss and death of a loved one. It can also be beneficial in managing and balancing the daily demands of parenting, work and family responsibilities.
The point is that you never have to go it alone. Irrespective of the root cause of your dwindling motivation, you should at the very least seek out support from family, friends and colleagues.
Talk it out, and get your spark back.