“I don’t want to do this anymore! I’m ready to plaaayyyyyy!” My son was no longer on the edge of a tantrum; he had fallen into the abyss. He was there. He had 20 minutes left until his schooling was finished and I just watched him fall out. Then I laughed. I know that sounds horrible as a parent, but that’s just where I was, but not for the reason you might think.
You see, I had been working at my home desk since 7:30am and I truly lost count of the number of times I said, “Listen to your teacher.” “Get back to work.” “You’ll get a break soon.” Nothing relieved his angst. Between emails, virtual meetings, and taking phone calls, I was stopping every 3-5 minutes to say those sentences to my 6-year old who was completely OVER school. I can’t blame him, but I was still frustrated, and I was tired of saying the same things over and over. However, by the time 1:56pm rolled around and my son went full throttle, all I could do was laugh. I realized something when I watched my son:
I act the same way!
Have you ever just had enough? Well that’s where he was and I completely understood. I know exactly what it’s like to be fed up. For me, this feeling comes when I’m stumped on something that I can’t figure out and nothing else around me is going well. Confession: it occurs by day three of trying to solve a problem for the 100th time. That, mixed with being overwhelmed by the rest of life will cause me to secretly fall into the abyss. That’s when I mirror my child and guess what? It’s okay! That feeling simply means that I need a break because I haven’t given myself one in a long time. Ever felt that way?
The truth is that when we constantly give 100% without some downtime, we can burnout. We get tired, frustrated, apathetic, depressed, and just (in the words of my child) don’t want to do it anymore. But, it doesn’t have to stay that way. During those times, take a walk, take a nap, or plan for your own downtime. We all handle stress differently, but it’s important to have options to handle that stress.
Also, give yourself permission to “fall out” every now and then.
If you can’t give yourself permission, you now have it from me.
Keep leading and stay safe,