This Is Why You Are Struggling Mentally, Emotionally, and Spiritually

Until you fix this, you can expect to suffer

Frank Vaughn
3 min readJun 30, 2023
Photo by Logan Fisher on Unsplash

You’re not feeling it lately, and it’s no wonder why. No matter how hard you try to grin, push forward, and act like everything is ok, you feel an inertia trapping you in your own head.

This emotional quicksand only sucks you in deeper the more you fight it, and you’re not sure how much more you can take.

And maybe life really isn’t so bad, but that is little consolation when you’re in your feels and your head just won’t power through to joy.

Here’s the thing, though: you really do have the power to change this. To pull yourself out of the quicksand. To take back control of how you feel from the things you’ve surrendered that to.

It really all comes down to controlling your own bandwidth, and here’s how you do that.

Learn When to Say No

You are one person with only two hands and a limited supply of energy. Ok, maybe you have a ton more energy than the average person, but it is not infinite.

Saying yes to everything spreads you thin among the various people placing demands on your life.

Unless you’re Ryan Seacrest, apparently, you can’t do everything.

You have to triage the demands others place on you, and you have to be somewhat brutal about it when you do.

I get that there are some things you just can’t say no to, but I also understand that there are many things you can pass on.

When deciding what your limit is and which things don’t fit within that limit, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I the right person to take this on?
  2. Do I need to do this, or is it just that someone else needs me to do it?
  3. Will I damage valuable relationships if I don’t do this?
  4. Will I damage my own wellbeing if I DO take this on?
  5. What’s the worst that can happen if I pass?

Sometimes, the most emotionally healthy and self-affirming thing you can do is just say no.

Jealously guard your own time.

Seriously Examine Who You Allow Unfettered Access To

This one is going to sound even more selfish; hear me out.

You can’t be everything to everyone. Many people, upon learning how generous and open you are, will take advantage of those qualities.

If you resolve to not only manage your own time, but also decide for yourself who gets to use it, you will find yourself much less pressured to spend yourself.

After killing myself for months answering every single email, phone call, text message, social media DM, I realized I was my own problem.

When it comes to non-essential relationships (distant family, acquaintance-level friends, co-workers who don’t affect your livelihood), you have to decide how much of your spare time you are willing to donate to them.

I’m not suggesting that you should be a frigid douchebag who treats people like you’re too important for them, but I am pointing out that you should treat yourself like your emotional welfare matters.

Again with the triage, ok?

You have to take care of the people that you are directly responsible for. The rest? Create some space in your discretionary involvements so you can personally breathe.

If everyone in the world has unfettered access to you at all times, when will you ever have time for self-care?

Unplug Regularly

Take vacation from your job. Turn your phone off once in a while. Fast from social media.

Carve out time every day to focus only on yourself.

Create non-negotiable periods of time where you refuse to engage anything but your own well-being. Communicate this diplomatically, but firmly, to folks who are used to you being at their beck-and-call.

Check in with yourself on a regular basis and examine the things in your life that are holding you back mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise.

An unhealthy you will eventually wear down to a fine point of uselessness to both yourself and others. A well-rested, emotionally healthy, focused you will feel better, engage better, and be a much more obvious blessing to others in the long run.

After all. If you don’t take care of yourself, who else will?



Frank Vaughn

Regional Emmy- and AP-award winning journalist and writer. Everyone’s brother.