It’s been an interesting week here in Austin, Texas.  The first ice storm of 2023 rained down on the city this week and considering the driving skills of most Texans in ice, we have all been ordered to stay put in the safe recesses of our homes (assuming you have power, and if not it’s every man for himself…). 

The Makings of One Massive Frustration Funk

Not being able to leave the house for several days already had me in a funk.  We extroverts need to be let out of our cage.  Then a client offsite I had so carefully planned got cancelled due to covid.  There went my perfectly orchestrated client schedule and my trip to New Orleans I was so looking forward to that just happened to perfectly coincide with Mardi Gras (Throw me some beads, Mister!).  Unfortunately, no new beads for me this year.  Add to that a 5-day migraine which started on Monday and is only letting up now, and it’s fair to say I haven’t been an easter basket of joy these past few days.

My consolation had been old episodes of Married at First Sight (it’s addictive, I swear!) until we lost internet, so now I’ve been forced to work on this blog given I can’t stream anymore.  And I’m mad about that.  I need to know if Sonia says yes to Nick in season 4 of my show…if I were in her shoes, it would be a big resounding NO.  This morning tensions came to a peak, no yoga for almost a week, and I found myself in what I often refer to as an emotional loop of doom – an ongoing diatribe that repeats in one’s head like a bad Def Leppard song. 

It’s easy in these moments to feel like you’re right back where you started.  I was down on myself and life in general. 

I’m never going to figure these migraines out.  Rescheduling the offsite is going to put my work back with these clients, it’s going to jeopardize the progress we’ve made.  Why are these jeans so damn tight!  Why does the internet hot spot on my phone not work!  My ISP sucks!  Why did the cat just pee inside in the pot of succulents – Jesus!

And then my thoughts went to an even darker place. 

What’s the point of any of this!  Does anything I do even make a difference! 

You know that sticky, restless feeling when you’re mad with everyone and everything including yourself?  You can’t focus, you rush from task to task to keep yourself busy but nothing seems to help?  Yes, I was there.

And coincidently yesterday was Groundhog Day.  A coincidence I think not!

3 Simple Tactics to Fight Frustration and the Curse of the Groundhog

So I sat down at my computer and forced (yes forced) myself to do 3 simple things that I’ve often advocating my clients do (yes it is hard at times to practice what you preach!):

  • I put together a list of all the things that went well this week.  No matter how small.  No matter how seemingly insignificant.  The longer I wrote the better I felt. 
  • I forced myself to sit with the discomfort and allowed myself to be frustrated.  I told myself, “I’m frustrated right now, and that’s okay.  I’m annoyed as hell right now and that’s okay.  I’m having feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness and that is normal and that is okay.”  As I was saying these things out loud, I took several deep breaths.
  • After steps 1 and 2, I did a quick 5-minute guided mediation to tune into the physical sensation and ground myself in my body. 

Coaching Questions for Thought

  • What’s your go to behavior when you’re caught in the trap of groundhog day?
  • What emotions might you be trying to avoid?  Frustration? Resentment? Hopelessness? Apathy?
  • What do you think would happen if you stopped trying to distract yourself from them and just allowed them to be?

p.s. Just in case you were wondering, the little bugger did see his shadow. More winter to come – sorry folks!

Shelley Pernot is a leadership and career coach who is passionate about helping her clients discover their strengths and talents and find a career that utilizes them.  Reach out to me here for a free consultation to learn more about the coaching process and how it may benefit you!

I’ve recently been featured in Feedspot’s top 50 career coaching blogs.  Check out what other career coaching experts have to say here

  1. Natasha February 4, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Loved this on Shelley. Looking forward to seeing you both.