A few weeks back I sent out an email asking for topics to cover.
And I want to address one of the more common themes…
You see, several people wrote back with something along the lines of this:
“The pandemic is over. The world seems mostly back. And I STILL don’t feel like my old self. I feel tired. I feel burnt out. And I’m just not sure how to get my mojo back.”
Admittedly, this concern is bigger than mere fitness. But ever your humble servant, I have some thoughts and observations that could be valuable.
1) Things were INTENSE. For months/years. It’s ok to still be adjusting mentally/emotionally.
First off, I want to offer my full-throated validation to anyone who has not totally processed the past couple of years.
In some ways, it’s harder when it seems like the world and a lot of people have totally moved on. And it’s awesome that they have! But that can also be further isolating if you haven’t.
So it’s ok to say “Holy sh!te, that was a LOT and I’m still getting my bearings.”
That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. In fact, that makes perfect sense.
2) Many of us are legitimately doing “more with less.” That’s tiring!
Many of us are in a permanently changed personal and professional situation. We’ve had to be scrappy AF.
Maybe you now work from home part-time and have to manage young kids.
Maybe your job has a smaller staff so you have to pull more weight.
Maybe your employment situation hasn’t quite rebounded and you’re living off less income.
Learning to be resourceful can be fulfilling. You may be developing new skills, building new muscles, and tapping reserves you didn’t know you had. But it’s not without an adjustment. And it has a cost.
3) Psychological well-being benefits from consistent restorative practices.
Listen, I’m a FITNESS guy. I pride myself on staying in my lane over here. And in Point 4, I’ll address the fitness piece.
But as a student of holistic well-being, I’ve always found value in a framework from management professor Dr. Richard Boyatzis.
Dr. Boyatzis studies burnout among leaders. Specifically, he’s identified a cycle of sacrifice and stress that requires addressing with what he calls “renewal” activities. Dr. B makes a careful distinction between (physical) rest and (psychological) renewal.
While a full treatment is beyond the scope of this missive, the four primary renewal activities are:
If you’re not proactively filling your cup, it’s worth identifying which of these activities are most nourishing for you and doing your best to prioritize some of these in your schedule.
4) Finally, upleveling your physiology can uplevel your psychology.
This can be chicken or egg if you reeeeeally don’t feel like it. I totally get that. In fact, that’s why in some cases, employing the renewal practices above may be a better first step. They may unlock a bit more energy to take action on your fitness.
But it’s also true your psychology is a function of your physiology. That’s why optimal well-being REQUIRES some minimum fitness inputs; regular activity, adequate sleep, and a sufficient quantity of nourishing foods.
That’s obviously too general to be prescriptive. But most people have a handle on how they could improve on their current fitness habits.
And if and when you need more guidance on what to do? Or perhaps you already know what to do, but you need some help and support taking action?
We gotchoo boo. See below for some ways to get support from your favorite unicorn fitness cult of obnoxiously friendly and kind humans.
You’re perfect the way you are AND I’m always supporting your next level,
PS As promised, two ways to try out MFF: