Being in a Funk (And Dealing With it)
It’s been a weird couple days/week for me. And by weird I mean I’ve been profoundly unproductive. And for the last couple days I’ve been trying to motivate the countless chores, errands and responsibilities I need to take care of -- ranging from needing to take my car to the dealership, making a doctor’s appointment, to writing a 300-word story that I should’ve finished yesterday. But instead, for the last couple days I’ve found myself in a total funk--to the point where I’m finding myself waking up way too late, and going to bed way too early because I’m doing nothing of importance. Wasting time makes me feel absolutely suffocated by anxiety. I feel utterly worthless, like I’m not taking each day and living to the fullest. So today is Sunday, I have a million things to do, and I’m perfectly okay with knowing I won’t get everything done. But the first thing I’ve done is get out of my house, get a change of scenery. For me, that’s as simple as sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops, drinking my favorite latte’ and people watching. And most importantly, I knew I needed a spot to just get some writing done. Both my required writing for work, and my required writing for me. So my first piece of advice is just take a moment to do something you really enjoy, but that’s also stimulating. Because after just writing this paragraph, I feel already a cleanse has begun in my body.
Admitting You’re in a Funk
But the thing is, maybe my problem is that I wasn’t letting myself stew (for a lack of a better word) in this funk without guilt. Sometimes you just get stuck, and you know in your head that you need to get through it and wake up--but it’s easier said than done. And I’m in this state right now--it’s not exactly uninspired (I have endless lists of things I want to write about), or boredom, or even self-consciousness exactly. It’s more just being in a funk. Temporarily. It’s the kind where I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel but I’m refusing to move forward.
I’m admitting it now--I’m in a funk. For a lot of reasons. The one being that I’m still an awful self-motivator
Summer has become a weird season for me. And I think that’s a big reason why I’m in this funk. I feel like summer used to be the representation of everything pure, young and free. It used to be, that when May and June came along, the countdown began to so many things--things that are guaranteed to give me happiness: summer camp, trips abroad, trips with my dance group, or just get-togethers, parties and roadtrips with friends I haven’t seen all year. But now, the summer feels a little less innocent, not to mention that since two years ago, the summertime just reminds me of a time of loss and trauma in my life. And just in general, summer is no longer a 3-month break--even if I didn’t have this summer internship, I would still be pushing myself to make these 3 months count with my writing, my work and my studies--because time never stops. So it’s hard. I want to keep believing that summer will be there for me--to be a warm time that wraps me up and keeps me happy no matter what. But that’s not the case anymore, there’s no guarantee of happiness whether it’s sunny out or there’s snow on the ground.
Especially in the summer, I've been having a lot of trouble self-motivating myself to take full advantage of my free time. And it's not that I have lack of inspirations--there are are a million projects I want to start, workouts I want to try and articles I need to finish, but it's so hard to actually plan out your days without having a set schedule of some kind. So I've been trying to plan out my days, whether it's through bullet journals or keeping a calendar and regular lists. But in the summer, it's really hard to find that balance with knowing when you need to take time for yourself, when you're actually just wasting time and putting yourself deeper into a funk.
Enjoying Free Time While Not Getting Yourself in a Funk:
Make lists -- Journal them, put them in your calendar, keep them in your fridge. The biggest issue I have with making lists, is that although when I make them it helps me organize my brain, often times
Read some books! --This is a productive, while also relaxing activity. Do it for at least 20 minutes., Admit it, you're not reading nearly enough.
Avoid binge-watching all day -- Put a limit on how many episodes of your favorite show you're going to watch. Yes, at first it'll feel like you're giving yourself self care, but 12 episodes later you will feel like a literal potato and hate everything. Find a balance.
Go outside!!! -- It's the summer! Why aren't you outside? Sit on your porch, go to a coffee shop patio or just go for a much-needed walk. Whenever I get some fresh air I always feel myself getting more inspired and getting out of a funk.
Drawer of Grievances
Something I’m a pretty good expert in is being completely and totally aware of all the things I’m anxious about. But the bad thing is that I’m worried about all these things, worries, responsibilities all at the same time. One metaphor my dad taught me (which he learned from a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte) is think of your mind as a large vanity with lots of drawers. What my dad always told me, “you can always focus on one thing at a time, like drawers--if you open two at once, you can’t see the one underneath”. So basically the idea is, don’t try and handle too much at once in your head, because that’s how you fuel your anxiety and overall frustration. So while thinking of this metaphor in my head, I’ve made a list of some of the things that i’m worried about right now--so I can put it in perspective, and force myself to just go one line--one drawer--at a time.
Things I’m Freaking Out About: A List:
My messy room
All the clothes I still need to get rid of
Not meditating/doing yoga enough
Watching too much TV
Haven’t finished that story yet
Still need to get my car fixed
Still need to make a doctor’s appointment
Still need to set up my calendar for the month
Need to find a job at some point
I would try doing this. With each line, I felt just a tiny bit better. Because to myself, this isn’t a to-do list really. It's more just a list of things I’m worrying about--and letting myself express it.
List of Happy Things:
In contrast, it’s so important to focus on the positive. I’ve always been a person who takes joy in the little things, especially when it involves people I’m close with, fond memories, dipping my feet in the Lake, eating chocolate, etc. So here’s a list of things from the past week that I’m honestly proud and happy about. The other part is also looking forward to the good things to come. Because there are always good things to come.
Reuniting with old friends
Planning collaborations with new people
Made a first visit to the beach
Planned a trip to Denver for the end of June
Keeping up with my blogging routine
Getting positive feedback from my internship
The weather is FANTASTIC
Starting to feel content and cute about my style
A wonderful boyfriend who’s incredibly patient with me
NEW MUSIC & OLD MUSIC