Many people take a lot of time off or they’re working during Christmas and New Year but it’s not at the same intensity and pace. What I find is a phenomenon that can often occur during this period of time is that some people, myself included, can experience some feelings of emptiness, restlessness, boredom and even some worthlessness.
I saw a tweet by Glennon Doyle where she was talking about it as a Productivity Detox and I think she used the word worthlessness as well. It is when we’re not in that production doing mode sometimes we feel like we lack a purpose and some of those feelings can come through that restlessness or worthlessness.
First of all, I want to tell you that you’re not alone because it’s quite normal to start to feel like something is wrong with you for feeling that way.
There is actually a tendency to try to fill the time gap with action. It could be running to Starbucks, going on your phone or trying to make plans just trying to outrun some of those feelings. So what I found super helpful is to normalize that many people are experiencing this. You also need to try to not always outrun it.
Now, I know this is hard but I want you to approve those feelings and not make yourself wrong for having them and then allow those feelings to be there. It can be really counterintuitive because oftentimes we want to do the exact opposite. However, I notice especially with boredom that the more you allow it you can be pretty creative and amazing things come through.
You just need to allow yourself to be bored without feeling the space.
My daughter was really bored last night and she was immediately looking for me to entertain her and to get her out of that feeling. I was experiencing it on a lower level as well so we just kind of let ourselves feel the boredom, feel that restlessness and go inward instead of always trying to have someone else try to get us out of it.
It’s really… really hard like I’m having to do this work myself so I know how difficult it can be. But sure enough maybe after a half hour or so, we were both doing our own thing. I was starting to have some creative ideas come through for my business and she was learning how to do crow pose by watching some yoga videos. Take note, this is not in that frantic I-have-to-get-out-of- this way but she was genuinely interested in trying to master that pose.
Learning to allow those negative feelings to be there is difficult but sometimes really cool stuff emerge on the back end. You can end up just creating new things whether you cook from a new recipe or you just do something that you wouldn’t have if you had escaped that feeling.
It’s okay to go through this Productivity Detox. It’s totally normal and you don’t have to feel bad about yourself for feeling that emptiness, that loneliness, that restlessness even the worthlessness.
Remind yourself that you are worthy no matter what because that’s already accounted for, it’s already a done deal. See if you can allow yourself to feel some of those feelings even for like 10 minutes without escaping them. I promise you, if you don’t let it, it’ll just be there waiting for you even you had that glass of wine, make that Starbucks run or do some work.
So learn to embrace that emptiness and let creativity emerge on the other side of it.
I hope this is helpful. If you’re struggling with this and you want a little bit more work around it, please feel free to send a connection call with me and we can set up a time to talk.
Have an amazing day and Happy New Year!
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.