We have all had those times when things just don’t feel right. You’re lethargic & closed off. Normal day-to-day occurrences are just mundane & it’s a chore to get out of the house. I’ve been there! (And, that’s putting it mildly!) Whether it’s just a rough patch or a full-blown symptom of depression (which goes through its own cruel cycles), there’s still something that can be done. . .
So, what do you do when you find yourself in such a funk? Here are five ways that I have come up with that help me when I finally recognize my situation:
- Make time for things that interest you. Even if things don’t carry quite the same appeal to you now as they once did, you still can find a small spark somewhere. Whatever hobby it is that you have rationalized away for not having enough time or being too expensive or not being able to get away, that’s the interest I am speaking of. It is important to have something that is yours & no one else’s. . . Something that just makes you smile. . . Something that, once is all done, makes the tension (that you didn't even know you had) melt away. Make it a priority. Find a way. For me, it’s my blogging & writing in general. I took a small hiatus from it, rationalizing that I just had too much on my mind to be here & that my thoughts were too dark to be sharing. I thought, “Who would possibly want to read that?!” In reality, though, blogging probably would've been one of the best things I could have been doing for myself. (Another thing for me is also starting to be cooking & learning & growing confidence in the kitchen, but don’t tell anyone I said that! Ha!)
- Get organized. The clutter around you can & will contribute to the clutter within you. Seriously. Think about it: Can you properly relax in a messy room? Or do you feel better & more carefree if you can sit down & relax & not feel like the walls are closing in on you because of the mess that is left about? Develop a system to get your household chores done as efficiently as possible. You don’t need to have a house that looks like Martha Stewart was just there, but keeping up day-to-day is crucial. Find that balance. (For me, fine-tuning our budget is also a part of getting organized. I love my spreadsheets, but there are all kinds of software out there – or even just using only cash in envelopes could work, if that's more your thing. Having a plan for our money takes just one more thing out of my already-overloaded brain.)
- Be social. Make it a point to get out of the house for a recreational purpose at least once a month. Meet up with a friend for lunch or a walk in the park or to meet for coffee. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you’re being social about it. If your friends live far away, or if you are finding that your friends aren’t really friends at all, get out & meet new people! Join a club, take a class just for fun – something! I know; I know. This one sounds super scary when you’re coming out of a funk like this, but, trust me, it does wonders! (There were two things that helped me in this department. One was one of my best friends virtually kicking my ass into meeting up with a couple of the gals in Las Vegas for the weekend. That broke my “hermit” cycle! The other was a Facebook group I recently joined — & subsequently was asked to help admin – that was formed specifically for women that were seeking to make friends with other women in our area. Look for your opportunity! Seriously, people. It’s that important.)
- Get moving! Figure it out & move your body. Get up off the damn couch. Don’t worry about your weight or people watching you or any of those things. Just focus on MOVEMENT on a CONSISTENT basis – at least two to three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes. An exercise machine at home while you watch the morning news or your favorite prime time show. . . That pilates DVD you bought that still has the plastic on it. . . (Oh. Was that just me?!) . . . A brisk walk or bicycle ride around the neighborhood early in the morning or as the sun sets at night. Whatever way you decide to do it, the key is to form a habit & just move. Don’t worry about your weight or which size of jeans you fit into. Those are results & you cannot control results; what you can control are ACTIONS. So, seriously, move! (I am working on this step currently, to be honest. I don’t know what my hang-up is, but I have all the tools in front of me. I just need to flippin’ do it!)
- Know what you’re putting in your body. You don’t have to be a “health nut” about it. . . And I would never utter that dirty four-letter word (that begins with a “D” & ends with a “T”) around here! BUT, you can still be more aware of the foods you’re putting in your mouth. When grocery shopping, stick to the outside of the store as much as possible – that’s where all the fresh produce, meat, & dairy are; the center of the store has all the boxed & processed stuff. Seriously. For the most part, this is the layout of nearly every grocery store you go to. . . Pay attention to this the next time you’re there. More fresh fruits & veggies & less things that come in a packages that tell you all the “nutritional facts” about it. Less labels are actually a GOOD thing! Make it at home instead of buying it in a package or a jar whenever possible. (I make a DELICIOUS pizza dough, for example! Mmmm mmmm.) Don’t know how? See #3 above! Go take a class! Google it. Don’t be afraid of a few failures in the kitchen – those are what get you to the successes.
I am sure there are plenty of other things that can help pull you up out a funk, but these are the main things that I am focusing on to help me out of mine lately — & this last period of depression for me was a doozy! I kid you not. It’s not over, but I am heading up & out a little more every day. What other things have helped you when you've realized you're in a funk?