Questions to ask before giving up.
It’s post-midterm season, the weather is changing, daylight savings is in less than a week, and people are getting sick. The next best thing to look forward to is the holidays. If you’re like me, this is the point in the semester where you kinda just “lose motivation” and forget about the goals you set in the beginning of the semester, when you were actually pumped to start!
Relatable? #thisisreallife LOL.
This post is dedicated to my friends and family who are enrolled in school or have just started working in the “real world”, post-grad. You’re pretty drained from midterms and you just want the holidays to come, or you miss being in school because work has become a routine. The following questions are adapted from Catherine Sigit, Personal Therapist, and her volunteer team, “Everything is Awful and I’m not Okay, questions to ask before giving up” handout. I’ve received this from my counsellor in the beginning of the semester, and never really looked at it until now. I’ve added some of my own ideas related to each point, marked with an asterisk (*). Hope you find these helpful! 🙂
Are you hydrated?
If not, have a glass of water!
Have you eaten in the past three hours?
If not, get some food – something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus? Granola bars are pretty cool too!*
Have you showered in the past day?
If not, take a shower right now! (or as soon as you get home!)*
Have you stretched your legs in the past day?
If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the strength* for a run or a trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s not too great*, drive to a big box store (eg. WalMart*) and go on a brisk walk through the aisle you normally skip. Don’t worry about people thinking you’re odd. We’re all odd anyway, so chill and do you boo!*
Have you had something nice to say someone in the past day?
Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.
Have you moved your body to music in the past day?
If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs form friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them. Spotify and YouTube are so accessible, all you need to do it type in the playlist you’re ears are missing, and BAM! Get up and dance!*
Have you seen a therapist/talked to a trusted friend* in the past few days?
If not, hand on until your next therapy visit/break and talk through things then.
Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand?
That may be messing* with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.
If daytime: are you dressed?
If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pyjamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress. Get your style back in action! It’s Fall! Layer up and give yourself a pat on the back with what you come up with 😉 !*
If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep?
Put on pyjamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear or body pillow* and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes – no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, then you can get up again; no pressure.
Do you feel ineffective?
Pause right now and get something small completed, whether its responding to an email, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. GOOD JOB! (Getting your bag ready is an incentive to get yo butt to the gym! Why put the effort in if you’re not gonna follow through?*)
Do you feel unattractive?
Take a selfie! Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.
Do you feel paralyzed by indecision?
Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.
Have you been over-exerting yourself lately – physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually?
That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether its physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.
Have you waited a week?
Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.
Copyright Sinope (eponis.tumblr.com) and Catherine Sigit, 2015.
As featured on Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/catherine-sigit/everything-is-awful-and-i_b_8751418.html
I truly do hope some of these points help you find some motivation this week as the last question is one I’m personally trying to challenge myself with. Lately, graduation, course relevance to life, and volunteer leadership roles have been my focus, or at least attempting to be, I find myself getting caught up with not being “enough” or not doing “enough”. I think we all do this from time to time, and I pray that our focus may be on the One who provides all of our needs.
Our grades and achievements in this world are not eternal, but that’s not to say we shouldn’t care. (A lesson I’m trying to relearn again). For the bible says,
So whether your eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
– 1 Corinthians 10:31
Our focus must be on the things that truly matter. What ACTUALLY matters, though?
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about the things that are excellent and worthy of praise…then the God of peace will be with you
– Philippians 4:8, 9b
I challenge you to ask yourself the preceding questions and attempt to answer them as honestly as possible. Take intentional time to reflect on where you true focus is, or where you want it to be. I encourage you to take practical steps on seeking God’s will in the direction you decide to take, wherever you’re at. Do share which question(s) stood out the most to you and I’d be more than happy to read and respond to your comments!
Pray for me, too, to find where God wants be to focus.
Here’s one of my fave feel-good songs! 🙂 Get up, clap, sway, and just dance!
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:13