How to Pick Yourself Up When You Feel Emotionally Drained
I'll admit, I didn't have the greatest year. I was at a job that was not a good fit for me and as much as I tried to stop it, it leaked into other areas of my life, affecting my overall motivation to even leave my apartment some days. When you are feeling emotionally drained, it has an effect on your energy levels, motivation and creativity. As a creative person... it's the worst. It's a helpless feeling — no matter what you do, you just can't pull yourself out of that hole. Fortunately, I made a few changes and I'm starting to feel back to normal again. Maybe some of them can help you, too:
1. Take a vacation
I'm the worst at taking time off. Unless I'm sitting on a beach, where I can't physically access my laptop, it's really hard for me to not be doing something. Even if it's only for a couple days, get out of your apartment and do something different. I tell myself that I can push through my work without a break, but I end up being useless in the long-run.
2. Help your body feel better
Getting into a solid gym schedule helped me feel better. I know everyone gives this advice, but when I slack on my attendance at the gym, I can feel it in my body, which ultimately effects my emotional well-being. It also has a connection between how well I sleep at night, too.
When I was at my worst point, I hadn't picked up a book in over a month. Whatever it is that inspires you, (doesn't have to be reading) schedule at least 15-30 mins a day and dedicate that time to you. I like to schedule at least 30 minutes of reading before I go to bed each night because it keeps my mind fresh and it's something I enjoy.
4. Make plans to look forward to
Instead of having weeks with uncertainty, it can help to schedule plans. Even when all the energy you've had is to move from the bed to the couch, don't let your time throughout the day get away from you. Creating concrete plans holds you accountable to follow through with them.
5. Remember that you'll be just fine
Only you can decide what is going to make you happy. For too long, I would listen to the advice of others who didn't know me well enough, tell what they thought would make me happy. Saying "no" does not mean you are a bad person, if you know in your gut it is not right for you. Listen to your gut, it will guide for in the right direction.
6. Work on freelance projects that energize you
Even though I felt exhausted some days, I still made time on evenings and weekends for my own side projects. It was important to me to keep those 1 or 2 projects on the side that kept my creative juices afloat.