I couldn’t put my finger on it for a few days but then I realized that coming down off the holiday high followed by the excitement of a new year coupled with gloomy weather made me feel like I was in a funk. I know I’m not alone, friends and relatives have mentioned it too. I’m generally a very positive person which makes the state all the more uncomfortable.
There’s funk (we love you Bruno) and then there’s a funk – much different. Every January 1st we share inspirational quotes with the message more or less to “make this year extraordinary” but those left me empty because truthfully I’m very content with the way things are going and the pace in my life and don’t feel any pressure to change it. But I still felt like I was in a funk last week, lacking in all creativity and energy, so I made efforts to change my mood. I realized I had to actually do something to lift my spirits, it wasn’t going to appear out of thin air. A few things worked.
Get Busy Sweating. The hardest part is tying the laces on my trainers, but exercise truly is the best mood changer, I always feel fantastic after a run or some weight lifting sets. Sweat is a go-to cure so I turned to my playlist of favorite jams and I got busy sweating. I’m not where I want to be fitness wise, but working toward my goal makes me feel better.
Get Busy Cleaning. I came home from weeks away in Las Vegas to piles of stuff and papers everywhere and the sight made me want to run screaming for the hills. I knew I had to conquer it in baby steps so I began by organizing my pantry last week. It took three hours, I killed two large spiders in the process, and filled several bags with things I wasn’t using (cookbooks, plates) and dropped them at the Goodwill.
My pantry should win the Most Boring Pantry Ever award, I’ve considered painting it or wallpapering it and photographing it with glass jars filled with flour and pasta with printable labels but then decided no that doesn’t work for me, mine is filled with everyday things like cereal boxes and canned goods and I’m totally fine with that because each time I enter it now I breathe a sigh of relief knowing where everything is and that every single thing in there serves a purpose.
I want this feeling for my whole house (don’t we all) so on Saturday I tackled my daughter’s room with her help (gah! it’s amazing what they accumulate). My linen closet is next, I figure if I can tackle one or two spots a week I’ll get that same sense of relief that came with the pantry reorganization. (P.S. I love how Jerry describes how we all have too many things – truth!)
Start Making Plans. I took a walk around my yard yesterday, at first glance it was so depressing in winter with so many barren branches but then I remembered it will bud again soon. The benefit was that in dormancy I can see where we might plant a tree or add some shrubs here and there. The same is true for the blank pad of paper that sat in front of me until I filled it with some things I want to do this year: Update the website. Transplant the olive tree. Make more art. Design more fabrics. Visit more wineries, etc.
printable to do list found here
I never know where motivation will come from, sometimes an encouraging TED talk or inspirational website, sometimes a book or article that kicks my booty into gear. Other times is the act of creative work, picking up a paintbrush or going outside with my camera. I think when you find whatever it is that helps you recharge – crafting, cooking, solving puzzles, whatever – those activities help you get your groove back.
Seek Out Laughter. When all else fails, I call up my sister or a friend who brings joy while I drink a glass of wine and chances are I leave that conversation feeling better than I did before the connection. Or I turn on a comedy that makes me laugh, that helps too.
What tricks do you use to pull yourself out of a funk? Do you get the same feeling this time of year?