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Gretchen Rubin

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Balanced Life -- No More Complaining, 'I Feel So Tired'

Posted: 10/07/10 05:20 PM ET

Unmade-bed

I'm working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone's project will look different, but it's the rare person who can't benefit. Join in -- no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday's post will help you think about your own happiness project.

For the last few weeks, I've been complaining constantly. "I'm exhausted," "I feel so drained," "I don't have the energy to go to the park/organize a family playdate/run that errand." I find myself sitting at my computer, unable to prod myself to open a document.

I'm sticking to my exercise routine. I'm going to sleep at a reasonable hour. I'm not sick. I've been trying the various tips I know about how to get a quick boost of more energy. I think that, from time to time, I just feel worn out. I need a lot of extra sleep. Then I feel better. It has happened to me before.

But, I realized I'm not giving myself an energy boost (or anyone else, certainly) by constantly repeating that I'm tired.

One of the critical pieces of information I've learned from the happiness project is that I should act the way I want to feel. If I want to feel more energetic, I need to act more energetic: pace when I talk on the phone, walk more quickly, put more energy into my voice. One of my favorite new resolutions is to Jump.

This sounds like magical thinking, but hard science show that the "Fake it 'till you feel it" strategy really works. The least productive approach is to do what I've been doing -- dwelling on my feelings of tiredness. No more complaining!

Of course, if this tiredness persists, I'll go to the doctor. But I think it's just a periodic bout of lethargy.

And with that last comment, I vow, I'll stop talking about how tired I feel. As Samuel Johnson observed, "To hear complaints is wearisome alike to the wretched and the happy."

How about you? Do you ever have to remind yourself "No more complaining" -- about what?

* I love time-lapse photography of nature -- like this short video of scenes around San Francisco Bay. It's called the Unseen Sea, which is a very powerful, suggestive, and imaginative name for it.

* Two apologies:

-- If you signed up to get a starter-kit for people launching happiness-projects groups, I'm sorry for the delay. I've been overwhelmed with requests -- which is thrilling -- but which means there's a bit of a backlog. Never fear, you'll get it!

-- If you haven't received your bookplates yet, I ran out and am waiting for the new ones to arrive from my publisher. As soon as I get them, I'll mail them out.

If despite this waiting, you'd like either a starter-kit or a personalized, signed bookplate(s), just email me at grubin@gretchenrubin.com. Write "kit" or "bookplate" in the subject line.

 
 
 

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