Right on Schedule: Emotional Breakdowns a Week into New Habits

Yesterday was rough, and today started really rough. Ego depletion, rapid surging of worry and insecurity, a difficulty keeping my emotional state steady. I feel totally overwhelmed. 

Last week I had tons of energy. My sleep was great, my wake ups were great. Lydia noticed I had a restless energy about me, and she stated that it had happened before. Apparently there’s a trend I have that when I start a new habit, I get excited - I want to do more AND I then get into a slump afterwards - a feeling of being up to my eyeballs with work and a sensation of drowning etc.

I just went back into my logs and did find this trend to be true (when I recorded my emotional states). There are several habits where I had fantastic sleep, energy, and emotion in the first week of a new habit, followed by a depression and bad sleep, followed by a stabilization. 

This is really interesting and really REALLY important, practically speaking, and is exactly the reason why I wanted to record all this - to spot trends. In knowing I’m going to go through this I can distance myself from it and understand that it will take a period to stabilize it. It also makes forgiveness and setting really low completion thresholds a la TinyHabits incredibly important.

Why is this the case? My tentative theory is that Endurance reacts slower than Willpower. Willpower, according to the studies, depletes immediately - you do a task designed to deplete willpower (don’t eat that donut!) and then do an unsolveable puzzle and the time it takes you to get upset and storm out of the room on the latter task becomes noticeably less. 

The Endurance load only settles after a time - it has to by definition because it’s willpower across time! But it only settles to affect daily emotions later. 

As to why I feel all energetic in the first week ….well that’s beyond me!