138. Emotional Marathons (+ Rest)

by | Mar 9, 2023

Do you ever feel like you have just run an emotional marathon?

Sometimes it’s even hard to recognize when we’re in the middle of it because we’re in it – we’re in the thick of it – and we sort of become desensitized to it.

But when it’s over, we’re exhausted. We’re drained.

And interestingly we don’t rest. We head straight to the cookies or we watch Netflix for days.

On the podcast today I talk about these marathons and how to take better care of yourself when you’re in them and when they’re over so you don’t self-sabotage and start adopting habits you’re not happy about.

I’ll see you there! xo, Janeen

>> CLICK to WATCH on YouTube



[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey my friends. Welcome to the podcast. I am super excited to be with you talking about emotional marathons and rest today. But before I dive into the content, I just want to give a little shout out, a specific shout out, if you are brand new to the podcast. I wanna welcome you here. This is a podcast that is specifically for moms who either love to get things done or want to get things done, but are tired of feeling burned out all of the time.

[00:00:32] So I have a background in wellness and health. I’ve been a personal trainer for decades at this point. Literally decades, . I started teaching plant-based nutrition back in the early two thousands. I teach yoga. I’m a mom, I have four kids, and along the way I had people ask me, How are you getting all of these things done?

[00:00:54] And I didn’t realize that I had kind of created these systems to help me get things done that mattered [00:01:00] even with all the things that I had going on in my life. So over the last couple of years, I’ve really pivoted in my business and really making a focus of productivity and how to get things done.

[00:01:11] And I do have, I do have plans on bringing all the wellness things back. I do. So hang tight if that’s something that you’re really interested in, but this is where people start. You have to start with the productivity piece.

[00:01:23] This was the question I asked myself. These women are burned out. Where should they start? Should they start with food? Should they start with fitness? Should they start with lifestyle? Should they start with productivity? And the answer is, in order to get things done, and to feel peace in your life, which is what we all want,

[00:01:44] you have to solve for the burnout first. It’s the first thing to solve for. So if you are feeling burned out right now, I have something really special for you. Over the next several weeks, I am actually teaching a live workshop. It’s live.

[00:01:57] You only have to go to one of ’em. It’s gonna be amazing . [00:02:00] It is called the Five Productivity Mistakes Busy Moms Can’t Afford to Make, especially if they are feeling burned out and behind. So if that sounds like something that you would love to join me live for, please sign up at workshop.janeenalley.com, or you can just go to my website, janeenalley.com, and you can click on any of the calls to action over there and you can register for it there.

[00:02:21] My website, by the way, is under construction, so there’s just a very simple, very simple homepage there. You can, like I said, click on any of the buttons on that page. It’s a very short page right now, and you can join me live for that workshop. It’s gonna be amazing, and I hope that you are there with me. Okay, so let’s dive into the content of the podcast today.

[00:02:40] So do you ever feel like you’ve just run an emotional marathon? The thing that’s fascinating about this is that sometimes we don’t even recognize the rollercoaster ride, the emotional rollercoaster ride that we’re on in our lives because we’re in it. We’re in the thick of it, and oftentimes it doesn’t come

[00:02:58] overnight, We kind of [00:03:00] ramp up to it . So over time we have a tendency to become kind of desensitized to it. Until the rollercoaster ride stops or things slow down and there’s space that starts to open up on our schedule once again. So that’s how we kind of know, like, oh, looking back, I was kind of on this emotional rollercoaster or inside of this emotional marathon.

[00:03:23] So, I kind of define it this way. Emotional marathons are periods of time when our emotions are very intense. They’re very powerful, and these emotional marathons can happen for a lot of reasons, of course. One of my one-on-one clients just bought a house. And it’s hard work finding a place to live, whether you buy a house, whether you rent a house, whatever you do. You feel like you have to be on it all the time in order to find a house, right? You don’t feel like you can really take a break from house hunting until you’ve found the house, right? , especially when the market’s hot. If these houses are selling like hot cakes, you don’t wanna miss out. You got a little bit of [00:04:00] FOMO looking for that house, right?

[00:04:01] And there is this element of scarcity in the search. You don’t wanna miss the house and you’re always asking, okay, is this the one? And then you place an offer and you’re under contract. So exciting. And then you start finding out things about the property that may not be awesome, right? You might find out that there’s mold, for example, which is not exciting, and then you’re super bummed, and it’s not like being regularly bummed when you’re on this emotional marathon or when you’re on this emotional rollercoaster because it seems like you’ve got really, really high highs and really, really low lows, and so you’re not just like regularly bummed.

[00:04:33] You’re so bummed, . It’s super low. . And then of course, not just mold, but also timing of the sale. There’s lots of ups and downs with all of that, whether or not you’re gonna be displaced. And if you are, buying a house and you have to sell the house that you’re in in order to move into the other house, that can also be kind of stressful, right?

[00:04:53] And so there are times when that is a little bit off. And then every property, of course, has [00:05:00] its quirks. Even if you’re building a house, the house that you build is going to have its own quirks, right? It’s kinda like dating. You’re dating houses, in your house hunting. I’ve had lots of conversations with this client about dating houses.

[00:05:12] Okay? Are you able to live with that? If you find something in the house that you’re just like, well, it’s not amazing, but I think I can live with it. . Okay, so not only all the things with the house, but then you’re back and forth with realtors and insurance agents and inspectors and loan officers and all the things.

[00:05:29] So it’s exciting and it’s exhausting. And you’re overwhelmed and there’s so much anticipation and excitement in thinking about living in this place. And then there’s despair and hope and feelings of self-doubt. Did I make the right choice? Like all of the things that would be an example of an emotional marathon, right?

[00:05:48] And when we finally come up for air, we feel like the dust has settled, after a month like that or even a couple months like that, what do we feel? , we feel kind of [00:06:00] blah, right? It’s kind of sluggish and slow and we’re tired and we’re run down. We don’t really feel like doing anything except maybe eating, eating all the treats, , right?

[00:06:11] That’s my interpretation. It’s not as intense, right? It’s just kind of blah. The cortisol is not flowing like it was when you were in the middle of that intense house hunt, and of course, that’s just an example. We can be on emotional roller coasters and inside of an emotional marathon for many, many things, but we’re tired, right?

[00:06:28] We’re confused and we tell ourselves things like, I should feel excited, or we should feel differently than we feel. We can also go through emotional marathons with feelings that are intense, like with grief or something where we feel these waves of grief. And there are times when these emotions aren’t as intense.

[00:06:48] We kind of come up for air, we can take a deep breath and we feel blah maybe for a minute. And even in these moments of feeling blah between these waves of grief that we might feel, and grief, [00:07:00] again, is just an example, we tell ourselves things like, but I should feel sad. And when we don’t feel sad all the time, then we feel guilty.

[00:07:09] Okay. But blah is kind of uncomfortable. It’s amazing how uncomfortable feeling blah is,. And we judge the blah. , we tell ourselves we should feel excited or I should feel sad, but not blah . It’s so, it’s incredible to me, even after these emotional marathons that I’ve lived through, where I am almost hyper-vigilant in a lot of really self-care things because I expect the rollercoaster, I expect the wild ride, right?

[00:07:36] And so even after that’s gone, I am surprised that I kind of let my guard down and I might overeat for a couple days before I snap myself out of it. I’m like, wait a minute, wait a minute. What are we doing? ? Right? It’s surprising to us when we feel blah. And so when things aren’t intense, it’s amazing how we buffer through those things.

[00:07:57] When I am, like I said, in [00:08:00] the middle of that rollercoaster, I am intentionally leaning on a lot of my systems and routines in order to stay hydrated and energized and healthy through it all to support myself. And then when it’s gone, it kind of feels like. , like I said, kind of like you’re confused for a minute and kind of feeling like I’m not sure really what to do now with my time that this is done.

[00:08:21] It’s amazing how we can sometimes get a little bit addicted to these intense emotions. You think about adrenaline junkies, right? You think about somebody like Evil Knievel who does crazy things on a motorcycle, Bla isn’t an emotion that they like very much, and so they seek out these adrenaline kinds of activities.

[00:08:39] One of the things that I have read about Is there are a lot of people who have recovered from a drug addiction or from an alcohol addiction that now do these ultra-marathons or these ultra events because it kind of stimulates the same kind of high and the same kind of drive towards something that they still need in their lives, now they’re just channeling that energy [00:09:00] into something that is healthier for them. But what’s fascinating is I might, you might not relate to ultramarathons or Evil Knievel, but we also do this with stress.

[00:09:11] I want you to think about this for a second. When I talk to women who feel like I’m just so busy all the time, when we’re not, we feel like we need to be doing something. We feel like we just can’t relax.

[00:09:23] It’s like you sit down on the couch and your brain is still going. That is a sympathetic nervous system response that we have. We feel like we just can’t relax. It’s kinda like that buzzing, anxious feeling like, I need to be doing something all the time. And so we make our lives very busy. Think about that for a second.

[00:09:45] Are you doing this? It’s funny because if you’ve listened to me or other people talk about becoming peacefully productive for a while, "I’m so busy" might be a phrase that you’ve intentionally stopped saying to yourself, but you might find others. It’s [00:10:00] funny how our subconscious mind kind of has these loopholes sometimes.

[00:10:02] Instead of saying, I’m so busy all the time, we might say things like, oh, I’m just slammed, or, I’ve got so much going on. It’s not, I’m so busy. It’s not that exact phrase. , but it’s the same thing. I mean, you say those phrases to yourself, it feels the same way in your body. You have that same emotional response that comes up.

[00:10:23] Okay. I was actually coaching someone on this a while back, and she was just like, oh, I just have so much going on. I just am really stressed out. I feel so overwhelmed. And I asked her, I said, well, what exactly do you have going on? Just so that I was really clear on what her circumstances were. And she listed a few things.

[00:10:40] She has kids. and she homeschools her kids and she was actually surprised at how much white space she had on her calendar when she actually articulated to me what she had going on.

[00:10:51] Cuz I wanted to know like, what does your day look like? What does your morning look like? What does lunchtime look for you? Tell me about your afternoon and your evening. Like, tell me all the things. And she’s [00:11:00] just like, well, and then the kids play. And then I am, I’m not sure what I’m doing. . Okay. The problem is never, ever,, ever, ever, hear me say this,

[00:11:11] the problem is never what it is that you have going on. It’s the way you are talking to yourself about it that makes you feel stressed. And this can be addicting. It’s so funny how our subconscious brain works this way. We have to work to believe thoughts that help us to feel at ease and to help us to feel more peaceful when it comes to getting things done

[00:11:34] and you might be thinking to yourself, but how can those two things coexist? How can you have a lot of things going on and still feel peaceful. It’s amazing how many people even just think about getting things done or think about what’s on their list, or start making a list of all the things that they have to do and their blood pressure starts to rise.

[00:11:51] Again, it’s not what’s on the list, it’s the way that you’re thinking about it. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s because you’re thinking, oh my gosh, I have [00:12:00] so much to do. Okay. But you can change those thoughts, still have the same list, and feel very peaceful about it. And for me, this was really the key to stop that feeling of being stressed.

[00:12:16] And almost unconsciously seeking out that. And the reason why this was happening to me. Was because for so long I equated my worth in producing, and I’ve talked about this before on the podcast. I’m not gonna spend too much time talking about this today, but one of the things I found myself saying a lot, either to myself or to my husband or something, was it was a great day,

[00:12:38] I got so much done. Yes, it feels so good to get things done and take care of business for sure. I love to take care of business and get things done. I love to check things off of my to-do list. I am somebody who even writes a to-do list midday, and I’ll even include things that I’ve already done just so I can cross ’em off.

[00:12:59] So I totally get that. [00:13:00] It’s fun. It’s fun to do that , but it wasn’t a great day because I got things done. It was a great day because of the way that I’m thinking about things. And for, like I said, a long time, I was equating my worth to my productivity. It was a great day because I worked my little buns off.

[00:13:18] I deserve to be here. I deserve to take up space on this planet because I’m worthy. No. When your worthiness is equal to your productivity, that’s gonna create a lot of misery for you in your life. It’s gonna create a lot of stress because you can never hustle hard enough to be worthy.

[00:13:38] Those two things don’t equate. You are worthy because you’re alive. Okay? And like I said, I’ve done other episodes on this topic, so I’m not going to go on and on about that today, but I want you to come back to blah with me for a minute. Usually when I’m feeling kind of blah, after an emotional marathon, this is when I am genuinely tired.

[00:13:59] I am [00:14:00] physically tired at this point. These emotional marathons can be very intense and even more intense than an actual race. I’ve run a marathon before, so I know I’ve done lots of long distance triathlons. I know what endurance races feel like at the end. And it makes sense that once we complete these big events that we take a week or two off of running to recover so our bodies have a chance to heal themselves and so that we feel rested and we feel ready to go for the next thing, the next event that we’re doing, whether it’s a marathon or whatever it is.

[00:14:32] But we don’t think to do this after an emotional marathon. We don’t think to do this because we don’t even recognize often that we’re in the thick of it. . This is just life. Sometimes it’s life all the time, my friends, and like I said, we do this because we become addicted to this cycle of feeling this stress in our lives because it feels like we are doing something to make it seem like [00:15:00] our lives matter.

[00:15:01] and I know for me, that’s not where I want my purpose to be found is in how stressed I was during my day; how much I was able to produce. I want to intentionally find purpose , not just checking the boxes off of my list.

[00:15:17] And what’s fascinating is when we get into this cycle of this emotional marathon and one after another, after another, and we don’t actually stop to process all that we have experienced and we’ve kind of given ourselves a high five, like, wow, that was a really big month for you. Way to go. Like we made it.

[00:15:34] Look at all those things that we did. We don’t stop to take a shower some on some days because we’re just so go, go, go. Or even go to the bathroom. Okay, . What’s interesting about me is I am very particular about my hydration, just on a regular day. I’m very particular about my hydration and I’m hypervigilant about it when I’ve got a full calendar, and we all have months like that from time to time.

[00:15:57] But the thing is, is when I’m go, go, go like this, I don’t [00:16:00] even stop to pee . So I hold it all day, you guys, I am uncomfortable all day. When I finally sit down to go to the bathroom, I’m like peeing for five minutes. I’m like, wow. Really you’re gonna do that to yourself, . So I start to pay attention. Like, we’re not gonna do that.

[00:16:13] We’re gonna take potty breaks tomorrow. Okay. But I know for me, after the emotional marathon is over, I’m feeling blah, blah for me is a cue. We can use this cue to ask ourselves what it is that we need. We often think we need cookies. That’s what we think we need. We finally need a break. We’re gonna sit down and eat all the cookies, or we’re gonna watch Netflix for like five hours.

[00:16:37] You sit down to watch reruns of Modern Family and you get up five hours later. How do you feel? My friends . Okay. I may or may not be speaking from experience . Okay. When I’ve done this to myself, I get up and I feel super groggy, I have a headache, it’s almost like I feel like I got hit by a truck a little bit, right?

[00:16:56] What I do is I normally tell myself, I really wanna take a [00:17:00] bath. I wanna go to bed early. I’m gonna read my book, but instead I ran the clock past my bedtime hour, even,

[00:17:08] and so I tell myself at that point, well, I might as well just crawl in a bed. It’s too late to take a bath now, . But like I said, what we really need are those self-care things. We need that intentional downtime where our brains are not processing screens, they’re not continuing to push, they’re not creating to-do lists for the next day,

[00:17:29] we are just clocking out emotionally, mentally, and physically. So what does that look like for you? I know for me it includes a bath, like I mentioned, a book, going to bed early, just resting. Like legitimate resting. Not on my phone, telling myself I’m taking a break, but legitimately resting is kind of like rest for your soul.

[00:17:51] Like what does that look like? if we don’t cue into blah, we prolong our recovery from [00:18:00] that emotional marathon. We spin in these really bad habits for weeks or more, telling ourselves that all we need is just a little break, but we never take one . And the funny thing about self-care or these rejuvenated practices that we would like to do is we think that they should be easy, but I know for myself, sometimes these self-care things are more challenging than anything else.

[00:18:25] Sometimes I like to whine about my rejuvenating activities. I have several . I can give you some examples of. I love my infrared sauna. I have a little infrared sauna that I keep in my bedroom. And I love to hop in there and just meditate. It’s hot in there. It’s like 150 degrees and I am sweating buckets in there.

[00:18:47] But in order to get in there, I’ve gotta take all my clothes off. I’ve gotta just sit there and sweat, which means I can’t do day two hair the next day. That’s for all the ladies. . You guys know about day two hair. I can’t do day two hair the [00:19:00] next day. I have to take a shower and wash my hair again. And then the other thing is I got a.

[00:19:06] I get a shower. That’s the thing about getting in my sauna. It’s a self-care thing. It’s an amazing thing. I feel amazing when I get out of that sauna. It’s so good for me, but I talk myself out of it because I’m like, nah, I don’t wanna go through all the work . I don’t wanna go through all the work of self-care.

[00:19:24] I’m just gonna sit here and buffer instead. And that’s when you know you’re buffering is because anytime you’re buffering it’s a net negative. It creates a net negative for you in your life. And what I mean by that is there are other things that are going to be more rejuvenating, more restorative, that are actually going to, like I mentioned earlier, feed your soul, not continue to deplete.

[00:19:49] And there are certain activities, I know you know what they are for you in your life, but for me it’s being on a screen that is depleting for me. So I’ve gotta intentionally turn my phone off, [00:20:00] which is hard cuz I get fomo sometimes. , I’ve gotta intentionally heat up my sauna, sit in there and sweat buckets, and then take a shower and then go to bed.

[00:20:11] and like I said, it’s amazing the next morning, but I’ve got to really stay focused on that. I’ve really gotta stay focused on what it is that I want long term and how I can rejuvenate after these emotional marathons that we all go through in our lives. Like I said, whether it’s excitement, whether it’s grief, whether it’s any emotion in between there, that’s just intense and it’s got these high highs and these really, really low lows.

[00:20:33] Okay, so you wanna create this path of least resistance for yourself For sure with your self. make it really easy for yourself. But even then, you gotta be onto your story. You gotta be onto yourself and be like, listen, it’s hard to start. And I know sometimes it’s hard to heat up that sauna . Just do it.

[00:20:52] Just get in there and do it, and set up those parameters for yourself so you get those things done. So I hope this [00:21:00] one was helpful for you. Pay attention to those emotional marathons and really be very intentional with your self-care and make that self-care time for yourself worth it. Make it worthwhile. All right. Okay, my friends, we talked about a lot. If this was helpful to you, please share it with a friend. It really means so much to me when you guys share these episodes with people who you know, are struggling with some of these same things that you are also struggling with.

[00:21:26] I would appreciate it so much, and I know that they will too. All right, you guys have a beautiful rest of your week. We’ll catch you guys soon. Take care. Bye.


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