Dictionary.com gives this definition for malaise, a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy or discomfort.
That totally describes my feeling today. As you know, I spent most of June traveling. Then this past weekend was a holiday weekend. So it feels like a long time since I’ve kept regular working hours. Because of this, I’m finding it hard to get motivated.
Now I pride myself on being a go-getter when it comes to my writing/work schedule, so this unexpected set-back caught me by surprise. I couldn’t resist trying to find the basis for my lethargy and the results surprised me.
I found three issues that seem to be the basis of my malaise.
- Disrupted Routine: I’ve discovered writing takes a certain set of mental muscles—and mine are woefully out of practice.
- Insecurity: yep, you read that right. I’m the poster child for low self-confidence when it comes to writing. I find myself fighting against that voice in my head which insists everything up to now was blind luck and I’ll never write another publishable word again.
- Mental Fatigue: I’ll be watching the clock and taking frequent breaks during my workday to stretch and walk around my house or neighborhood. I’m convinced exercise is the key to breaking through this roadblock.
- Disrupted Routine: for this, I’ll be very dogmatic with my schedule. Watching the time I spend on specific tasks will help me make up lost ground in the quickest way possible. This kind of discipline will also help build back up my writing muscles.
- Insecurity: this one is a little trickier. I’ll be building in rewards for accomplishments—like lunch or coffee with a writing buddy or a trip to the local bookstore. This will help me begin looking for my successes, as well as easing me back into a regular routine.
So how well does this work? I’d love to tell you this is a foolproof answer, but I’m just starting this part of the journey and I really don't know. I started this post early this morning and am writing this paragraph at 7pm, so I can say these strategies have worked amazingly well for today. You’ll just have to stay tuned to see if it continues help me refocus and regain my momentum.
What about you? Have you ever dealt with a similar issue? If so, how did you ease back into the real world? Any advice . . . warnings? I’d love to hear from you.
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