UWR 034 What to do when you are running a business and have one of those off days

In today’s episode, I’m speaking about what to do when you are running a business, and you have one of those off days. This episode is the audio from a Facebook live that I previously did, but the content is incredibly useful, so I wanted to share it with you here on the podcast. So let’s dive in.

Running a business can be a lot of things. It can be incredibly exciting. It can be incredibly rewarding. It can be incredibly uplifting, but there can also be days where it’s really hard. There can be days where you can feel quite low. There can be days where you don’t feel like getting on camera. You don’t feel like being on Zoom calls with clients. You don’t feel like doing all those things that you’ve time blocked into your calendar. You just don’t want to do it.

And there can be times where you actually feel even lower than just not wanting to do it. You can get to that point. There can be times where you actually get to the point where you’re like, doesn’t matter anyway. Why am I bothering? I can’t be bothered with this. You know, you can feel that sort of three out of 10 rather, than… hopefully you’re above a give usually, but you can get to that point where you’re feeling that kind of two, that three out of 10. I get where I just almost can’t be bothered to just put makeup on and be a functioning member of society, and be a human and have conversations, even, let’s face it, with my husband and my kids because I’m just like, “Oh, Oh.” Sometimes it’s just too hard.

We can have those days in our business, but the thing is that it would be lovely to be able to just switch the world off, and not take the 10 calls that you might have scheduled in your diary or whatever that is for you. Whatever that looks like. For me, that’s kind of what my days look, my busy days look like. It would be lovely just to shut that all down and not pay attention to any of it. But actually often we can’t do that when we’re running our business, particularly if most of the stuff still falls on us to drive the business forward.

We often cannot just go, “Okay, game over, don’t want to play anymore. I’m just going to take my toys and curl up in my bed.” We often can’t do that. So what can we do in order to raise up that kind of two or three out of 10 to a little bit higher so that we feel like we can function in our day? I think also it’s worth saying here too, that remember that life is 50/50 okay? 50% is great and 50% is a bit crappy.

Okay. And it’s okay, that life is 50/50, because that is just how the world works. So it’s not a problem that you have those two and three out of 10 days. As long as you’re having some eight and seven and eight days, then is okay because it’s about 50/50. But like I say, those two and three out of 10 days, we often can’t just switch everything off when we’re running a business, we need a way to cope with those and a way to deal with those so that we can actually move our day forward, and have a productive day. And at least get something out of the day. It might not be what we originally planned when we planned out our calendar or did time blocking, or whatever it is that you do to organise your day, it might not be that. You might have to adjust the plan a bit, but so that you can still feel like you are moving forward even if that is just the tiniest, tiniest shuffle forward, rather than perhaps the big leap that you had planned for the day.

So here is what I do when I am having those two out of 10, those three out of 10, crappy feeling days. The very first thing that I do is acknowledge how I’m feeling and accept that that’s where I am. I try not to. I say I don’t, I try not to judge myself for it. I try not to beat myself up about it, and make myself feel even worse, putting myself into that downward spiral, which I’m really good at doing, by the way. So I try and I try and be gentle and kind with myself and understand that, okay, I’m not feeling so hot today. You know, things are not feeling the way I want them to feel this morning. That’s okay. That’s okay. But what I then try and do, and I actually try and do this most days anyway, but particularly on those days when I feel lower, because I know on those days where I feel lower, this is the thing that I will avoid.

I will avoid lots and lots of things, but one thing I will avoid doing is going outside. And actually going outside and being active in nature, going for a run or a walk or a cycle or whatever, or gardening or whatever that is for you. Being active outside for me massively, massively helps. It massively helps to reframe where I am, give me some perspective and just give me that time out. It avoids me kind of piling on that self-loathing, because otherwise if I don’t do that, what I will do is I will basically open the fridge and start eating, or something like that. So it gets me away from basically that negative reinforcing pattern that I can easily fall into, and it gets me out breathing fresh air. Doing something that is good for me, fundamentally, and taking me away from that kind of funk that I get stuck in.

I used to think that it wasn’t a big thing for me. I used to think that I could be holed up in my office seven days a week, 24 hours a day almost, and I would be fine, but I’ve learned as I’ve grown older that actually that drives me insane and I need to get outside. I need fresh air every day. I love to run. I don’t get my trainers on as often as I want to, but that’s all choice. That is complete choice. I’m not saying that as if it’s anything else. And I think getting outside in nature makes a massive, massive difference for me and it makes me… you know, it elevates that day a bit. It may not elevate it to an eight or a nine, but it might elevate it from a two or three to a five or six, which I can deal with a lot better.

I can deal with a lot, a lot easier to do that. The other thing that works really well for me is just changing my environment, with changing where I’m planning to work that day. So if I’m planning to work from home, work from my home office, which I do the vast, vast majority of the time, then actually just going out to a local coffee shop, or if the weather’s nice, working in the garden, if your wifi reaches. That kind of thing can also help lift me up a little bit if I’ve got one of those days, if I’m feeling like, “Oh I just don’t want to do this, I don’t want to have today, can we start from the beginning?” If I’m having one of those days, sometimes just getting out off my desk going and working somewhere very close by, a local cafe or whatever, that can really, really help me as well.

It just changes your perspective, changes your environment and actually, it can help you refocus as well. So there are some big things that I try and do. So being kind to myself, not judging myself about it, being active in nature and changing my environment. I also heard an awesome one recently from somebody, I forget who it was, who told me that what they do when they are stuck in a kind of little bit of a funk, is they actually start their day over. So if they realise that they are not in a good place, what they actually do is they go, “Okay, I’m going to pretend that I’ve just got up.” And they get into the shower, they redo their hair, they redo their makeup, they put on a new change your clothes. They actually start their day again. And they kind of use the water in the shower as a sort of, almost like a cleansing ritual, washing away the negative energy that they have and actually doing it that way, which I think is pretty cool too.

Those are some ways that I use to turn round the day where I am feeling unmotivated, where I’m feeling like I don’t want to do anything, where I’m feeling like I just really can’t be bothered, into ones that are more positive. Of course, if you have these days much more often than you have good days, then you need to assess where you are with that, and where your kind of mental health is with that. I am of, course, not a therapist, not a counsellor, not a mental health practitioner. Therefore it would be somebody like that that you might need to see if you are having twos and threes way more often than you’re having any other number, because it could be an indication of a much, much bigger problem rather than just a short term kind of funk.

Of course with these it’s trial and error of what works for you. You know, I found that the big, big one for me is being active outside and getting that fresh air. And that’s the biggest hit for me in terms of pulling me up, but every person is different. For you, it might not be that. It might be something else. It might be the shower idea that I was speaking to with a friend. Find ways, basically, that you can help get to that place yourself, and that you can move yourself forward on those days to, at least turn them into, as I say, tiny shuffles forward, tiny wins, tiny movements. Because as long as we’re progressing forward, no matter how small those movements are, they are always going to be positive. We always want to be moving forward and pushing are pushing ourselves forward.

I hope that this episode has given you some things to think about when you have one of those off days.  Thank you so much for listening. Until next time, let’s find the clarity in your numbers, increase your wealth and get more money in your pocket.


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About the Author

Annette Ferguson 

Owner of Annette & Co. - Chartered Accountants & Certified Profit First Professionals. Helping online service-based entrepreneurs find clarity in their numbers, increase wealth and have more money in their pockets.