Nobody jumps out of bed EVERY morning full of energy to tackle the day. And that’s okay. I’m a firm believer in balance. Life consists of ups and downs – or, in this instance, energy highs and lows. Which is fine.
However, there have been phases in my life where I felt like I was lacking drive completely.
I couldn’t get my ass out of bed in the morning, and once I was up, I couldn’t drag myself to actually do something. If I had to work or go to class, I showed up as late as possibly excusable, feeling like shit. I canceled dates and skipped meetings with friends. When I was home, I was in bed or on the couch all day, half-assing everything while I felt like my life was passing me by.
These downs are totally fine if they last for a day or two. But I have recently found myself in a phase like this that lasted almost weeks and I knew I had to get myself out of it. So I thought it might be helpful to share my steps and tips on how to get my drive and energy back.
First of all, if the symptoms I described above become critical and or chronical, they might be a sign of depression. Talk to your doctor, go see a therapist. There is a way out of this dark hole. Other problems with mental health can also lead to lacking drive. I am no doctor, and chances are neither are you. So consult an expert and get yourself some help. You deserve it.
Now, if your mental health is okay and you still feel like you’re lacking energy for no obvious reason at all, it might be a good idea to get a blood test. Have your doctor check all the levels for vitamins and stuff like that. (Again, no pro here, talk to your doc and they will know what to look for.) Common deficiencies include iron, vitamin D and vitamin B12. All of which will make you feel run down, powerless and lacking in motivation.
Now that we made sure there are no serious health reasons behind the tiredness, maybe it is simply time for a change. I used to think that routines are only good if you stick to them for months or even years. News flash: Nope. You can totally change up your morning or night or whatever routine every other month or even week. Ever since I realized that (which might be self-explanatory to some and surprising to others), I am way more relaxed when it comes to my routines, not following them, switching them up or creating completely new ones. Here’s an example: I would describe myself as an early bird, so I usually get up early, have a morning routine and get things done before the day starts. However, I currently have a phase where I sleep as long as possible and then have longer night routines, get everything done after the day ends and go to bed later. Whatever floats your boat on that exact wave of your life where you are right now.
For the longest time, I used to not believe in meditation. I thought it was for hippies and people with too much time. Weeeeell. I take it back. It is actually a very powerful tool for ambitious goal-getters who want to become more focused, more energized and more relaxed in a couple of minutes. If you have never tried meditation, I suggest downloading some sort of app or looking for other forms of guided meditation. That way, you won’t feel totally lost. And how can you judge something you’ve never tried before?
If all the things I mentioned still don’t quite rid you of that powerless drive-lacking feeling, you might have to get to the bottom of this. Sit down, feel, listen. Listen to your body and your mind, think about your life, what you do on a daily basis and the people you surround yourself with. What is blocking you? What is leaving you so empty? Once you identified the source, either get rid of it or find a way to change it.
And if you’re anything like me and usually do too many things at the same time, here’s one last universal tip for you: Take. Breaks.
(I mean it. Plan proper rest days every week or so, do nothing for a while, take a week off, shut off your phone and your laptop and your mind. You’ll come back so much more relaxed.)