“I’m tired of the grind.”
“I feel like all I do is work, take care of the house, take care of the kids.”
Between demanding meetings, virtual work drama and external home responsibilities, your’e tired. But what is a person to do … you have financial, professional and personal commitments. It’s not so easy for most to just ‘land’ a new job or up and move to shake things up.
Here, I offer mental wellness tips to help yourself get out of your head and become more grounded.
I’m Tired of the Grind = I’m Tired of My Life
You may never state aloud “I’m tired of my life” to anyone or to yourself. People may assume the worst, like you’re lazy, ungrateful or you’re a bad parent. But stating “I’m tired of the grind” is easier. It’s safe and feels more neutral. However, the meanings of these two phrases can stem from the same place: a desire for change, wanting some things to be different than they are.
You tell yourself, “If only I had a better job … less responsibilities … smarter colleagues who work as hard as me … etc.” The list can go on, and I’m positive that you extroverts have been particularly affected by COVID. I personally know many extroverts who feel stuck and isolated working from home, as if in solitary confinement.
While tempting to dream of a different, better life, I offer a word of caution. That caution is to recognize when you resist reality. Resisting reality can take many forms; common examples are statements that start with:
- I just want (more time in the day)
- I wish (my job weren’t so boring)
- Things would be better if (my kids listened to me)
- Life would be better if (I could travel again)
- If only COVID would go away (things would be normal)
- I can’t wait until (I get my raise)
- I’m tired of always having to (clean up messes)
- If only people would (do the responsible thing)
- I’d be happier if (I could take a vacation)
You get the drift. These classic mental examples of wishfully thinking are what it looks like to resist reality. Now why is that important to know?
Permission to be Human
As you recognize and acknowledge wishful thinking, i.e. resisting reality, you also come to understand its impact: how it makes you feel. And when you connect the dots between resisting reality and feeling miserable about it, you take ownership.
Why would I want to take ownership over wishfully thinking? Because ownership equals authority.
Whether emotions, thoughts or home projects, taking ownership (i.e. responsibility/accountability) opens up the mind to creative authority over the issue. Thought ownership is a bold practice of coming to terms with yourself, promoting separation of thought from the thinker.
After separating thoughts from the thinker, you pleasingly discover it’s okay to be human.
When you give yourself permission to be human, a sort of magic happens. You impartially allow thoughts to exist without judgement. There is no guilt or shame when admitting, ‘it’s true, my life would be easier without kids’, or ‘I’d rather not cover for my sick colleague,’ etc.
Authority, or thought ownership, is the ability to embrace thoughts and allow space for them to flow with NO self-judgment. And this opens the door to enlightenment.
Enlightenment is Freedom
Enlightenment, if you were to google, has myriad definitions. I’m going to use my favorite definition of enlightenment thanks to the Happiness Podcast by clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Puff: enlightenment is the radical acceptance of what is.
Enlightenment is the radical acceptance of what is. Let’s recap – How do you lead yourself to enlightenment? How can you get away from, “I’m tired of the grind?”
One, recognize thoughts and moments when you resist reality. Two, own them. Create distance between thoughts and the thinker. Three, permit the thinker to exist as a human with zero self-judgment.
Finally, as a last step, I encourage you to embrace the below statements with an open mind. Which resonates the most, and how you can work with the ‘grind’ instead of against it?
- I’m starting to realize that every person has their own grind to manage for themselves.
- It is true there are ways in which I can change my grind, but I choose not to.
- Others would love to have my grind over their own.
- I’m open to believing that managing my grind will someday pay off and I will be grateful.
- It’s a privilege for me to navigate my own grind.
Let me know which one resonates the most and how you can work with the ‘grind’ instead of against it?