Telling Your Funk to "Funk Off"


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Last week, in my “Wine(d) Down Wednesdays” email, I mentioned being in a funk. And ironically (or maybe not-ironically), I’ve been noticing even more of my gal-pals feeling similar. Instead of disregarding it, and hoping for the best, I decided to dedicate an entire post to it, and see if there is some action (or maybe less action) we can take.

Depression. Helplessness. Defeat. Over it. Funk. Whatever you decide to call it, it’s real. And in a society where everyone seems to be “dealing with it”, I want to talk about how we can deal with it in a different way, because “dealing with it” isn’t always the only solution, in my eyes.

different look, same feeling

“Being in a funk” looks differently for everyone, but I define it as feeling “less than”. You’re not overly-excited about anything; maybe you get anxious, worried or frustrated easily (me, currently). It’s hard to slow down, mentally, when physically, you just want to lay around. As my loving grandma used to sing, “I don’t want to set the world on fire”, and to this day, I can hear her singing this, whenever I’m in a funk.

Now, I can see that my grandma was probably vocalizing to me that she, too, was experiencing a funk, but she did such a good job of covering it up, and that’s, primarily, what I want to discuss, today. Covering. It. Up.

Sure, maybe it appears like everyone you know has their shit together, on the regular. But let’s be real: The majority of those around us don’t feel like setting the world on fire, either; we just don’t know they don’t!

So why is everyone covering it up? In a “picture-perfect world”, my opinion is that we feel like we have to. But I’m here to disagree.

Reasons For the Funk

How are you viewing yourself?

How are you viewing yourself?

First, let’s discuss the reasons you’re in the funk, in the first place. Chances are, a lot of it (but definitely not all of it) is due to areas of our control. Trust me, this is a GOOD thing!

  • Social Media: Yes, I know, I talk about this too much, but that’s because it’s a struggle for me, and I’m sure it’s a struggle for you, too. You keep tabs on someone you know (maybe someone you graduated with, or someone who’s doing what you want to be doing), and think they’re doing “better than you”. Girl, how do you know that?! Here’s the answer: YOU DON’T! Just because someone’s life looks “picture perfect” does not mean it is. Chances are, they struggle with the same insecurities as you; they just cover it up in a different way. Remember, social media doesn’t portray real life. And the next time you find yourself comparing to someone else (and falling down the rabbit hole of feeling funky), stop! You have a choice. You can A) block, or delete them B) reach out to them for inspiration C) Write yourself a list of reasons why your life is not their life.

  • You’re staying in a place that no longer serves you: And yes, this could be a post of its own, completely. Let me just say this: I’ve been there. I’ve stayed stagnant for too long, and in turn, I became a not-so-great version of myself. Whether you’re in a relationship, location or job that no longer serves you, I get it; it’s hard moving forward, especially when you don’t know what moving forward entails. Just trust that while staying stagnant might seem like the easy route, it’s not necessarily that way. Staying stuck will just take more of a toll on your emotional, mental and physical self. Remember, you’re never alone. Reach out, whenever you need. I’ve overcome it, and you can, too.

  • Money: I’m laughing as I write this because this is part of the reason for my funk, currently. And I’m positive it’s the reason for many other’s, as well. Worries about money, payments, LIVING… yeah, it’s shitty. While creating a budget, and learning to be more “responsible with your money” is the goal, it’s not always the answer… or not always the ONLY answer. Yesterday, I was reminded: “There’s more to life than paying your bills”, and it’s so true. Think about the bills that money is paying (or even attempting to pay): Your cat got spayed, so she (and you) can feel better. You purchased those flowers for a friend, and made their day. You went out for a delicious dinner, and laughed a lot. You bought a new pair of yoga pants, so everyone in class could stop seeing your ass, every time you bent over. Sure, we all blow our money on things we shouldn’t, and that is definitely something we can all work on improving, but remember that you have a life to live, and enjoy, too. That counts for a lot!

  • Hormones: Last week, I cried twice, in on hour. Once, after Ryan asked me why I didn’t understand the importance of creating a box around part of our basement floor (yeah, house projects suck), and another, after my dog had pissed on the floor (for the second time that week). During the second cry, I was determined that I wanted out of this version of my life (because it just wasn’t what I wanted); one hour later, I was fine. My period came three days later. Often, our bodies take control of the reins, and we are left gripping onto the sleigh, for dear life. Track it. Are you noticing your funkiness around certain times of the month? How long has it lasted? There is absolutely a thing as your hormones being out of whack, and often, that can be resolved by supplementing with food and healthy supplements. That, I can help with, too!

  • Health-Related Issues: Did you know inflammation causes funky feelings? And a lot of that is caused by how we fuel our bodies. Often, the first solution (which we’ll discuss later) is to supplement with something that will cause us to COVER UP our funk. But what if, instead, we tried to get to the root cause? How are you treating your body? Eating a diet rich in inflammatory-foods can cause more feelings of funk, as well as not moving your body enough. Remember, our bodies are meant to self-heal; often though, we don’t give them that opportunity. HOWEVER, it’s important to remember that sometimes, we really might have an imbalance, and sometimes, seeking a medical professional’s help is a wonderful option. Just remember, you have options! You’re never alone. This, too, shall pass.

Dealing vs. Healing

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In conversations with many of the clients I coach, we talk a lot about physical action vs. mental action. Usually, the physical ways of dealing are easy; we know what action can be taken, in order to cope with those funky feelings. It’s those ways of healing (that take some mental power) that usually are a bit more difficult. Take this as an example: When we’re stressed, it’s easier to go for a walk (and hopefully rid yourself of some of that stress) than it is to shift your mindset to a happier, more positive place (and hopefully learn how to cope differently, in the future).

Dealing and healing are both important, but healing will help us, hopefully, not have to deal, as much (or as often), in the future.

Taking Control

One of my wonderful friends mentioned that when she’s in a funk, she tries to figure out why; most of the time it has to do with her job, so she just focuses on the positive, which is having a job, in the first place. Then, she tries to put her energy elsewhere.

Often, defining what we are and what we are not in control over can be so rewarding (and helpful)! Maybe our job is the main cause of those funky feelings, but maybe we can’t change that situation, currently. That’s okay! Recognizing that area of control (vs no control) is helpful! It allows us to put things into perspective, and then focus on figuring out the best plan of action, for the right now. When the majority of our energy goes into worrying, stressing or driving yourself nuts (maybe thinking about the job you don’t love), that’s how you’re going to feel, worried, stressed and nuts. Instead, if you focused on doing more of what brings you joy, and what IS good, the tables turn.

Gratitude

In my full time job, we have a specific session that focuses all on stress, and one challenge I always like to make to my members is to practice gratitude, for one week. Whether it be physically writing down, or thinking about what they’re grateful for, each day, I ask that they do this. A week later, they all come back feeling more positive than the week before. Why? When our energy goes to what’s going WELL, instead of what ISN’T, perspective changes - the funk changes.

What are you grateful for? How could you practice gratitude, in this next week? Let me hold you accountable. Do it, just for this week, and drop me a line to let me know how it went.

Taking action

Laughing with your gal-pals is always important!

Laughing with your gal-pals is always important!

We’ve talked mindset, and gratitude, and in my opinion, these are super important, when it comes to feeling funky, because they focus on HEALING. But I am also well aware that taking action (and finding best practices of “DEALING”) is important, too. Who better than my friends and family to come to the rescue with best practices for dealing?! Below, you’ll find a handy list of options. Again, try them out, this week, and see how they work.

  • Listen to music: light, heavy, old-school, new-school, etc

  • Go for a walk

  • Text, or call a friend and/or family member

  • Resist, and then pay attention to what we really need

  • Go outside, and walk, ride or drive to random places

  • Create new experiences

  • Read, and sink into another character’s life, for a bit

  • Make a cup of tea, and be aware of all five senses, while drinking

  • Be gentle with yourself

  • “You” time: mani/pedi, face masks, essential oils, bath time,

  • Reflection

  • Chocolate and pasta

  • Down-time: Netflix, sleeping, rest, no work, video games,

  • Working out

  • Cleaning the house

  • Reminiscing about days of old

  • “Pet time”: walks, cuddles or pets

  • Time spent with kids,

  • Focusing energy

  • Not spending too much time in your head

  • Reach out and help someone else, volunteer

  • Sulk, pick on spouse

  • Retail therapy

  • Creating things: teas, blankets, art, etc.

  • Show up without expectations, going back to the things we know we love

I think the most important thing to remember, here, is questioning about your method of dealing. Is it healthy, or maybe not so healthy?

Sometimes, it’s easy to cope with things like food, drugs and alcohol and for the short-term, they might be exactly what we need (and no judgement here, seriously). But take it from someone who coped with alcohol too many times: it’s not going to help make you feel better, long-term; and it’s going to make it a whole lot easier to sit in stagnation.


My aunt left a wonderful reminder, about dealing with funk, and that was that sometimes, it’s important to remember that we have to go through the funk, instead of around. Healing is a form of that. Nothing lasts forever, and neither will your funk.

xoxo,

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2018 Highlights: What Makes a Good Year

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This morning, my dad texted me and asked about my “2018 highlights”, as he was writing the family’s, yearly, Christmas Letter. I love my parents, and I love the idea of a Christmas Letter; being able to keep tabs on your closest friends and family. However typically, these letters are more used as an excuse to brag about whose family is doing what. And braggy holiday letters are great, on the years you’re really rocking it, but what about the years that are just ordinary? How do your “highlights” reflect those years?

How do you reflect on a year that hasn’t been out-of-the-ordinary?

I thought about this, this morning, because 2018, for me, has just been one of those ordinary years. AND ORDINARY ISN’T BAD! But as I began to think about all of the things I hadn’t done - the trips I didn’t take, the money I didn’t save, the prospective jobs I didn’t get, I got sad and then as I got sad, I got irritated with myself. Why do we have this constant drive to be superior to everyone else?

Instead of moping about it more, I decided to take action, and come up with my own version of 2018 Highlights (feel free to use these in the Christmas letter, Dad)! lol


2018 Highlights

  1. I’ve listened to my body. In the last year, I’ve become much more in tune with my body; I’ve switched up routines, rested (when my body asked for it), and included (and excluded) foods, based on what my body was asking for. Don’t be mislead though; I’ve also pigged out on food and booze, on occasion. Each time, my body has reminded me why that’s not always the best option. You live and you learn. Just remember that your body always does let you know how it’s feeling, and you can learn from it, if you decide to listen.

  2. I joined an awesome Pilates community. Exercise is daunting, I know! Especially getting started. But instead of letting those feelings of concern wash over me (which tend to deter you from working out at all), I continued to focus on WHY I wanted to exercise, and join a new community. REGARDLESS of the why, it helped motivate me to start. I went, for the first time, with a couple of friends, and the accountability helped. SWITCH UP YOUR EXERCISE! It’s fun, and if you’re like me, you’ll get the opportunity to make some awesome, new friends by doing so.

  3. I didn’t save any money, but I didn’t make many frivolous purchases either. Instead, I’d ask myself about the reason behind that purchase. Was it good for my body? Would it help me feel better? Which leads me to Number #4…

  4. I’m working on changing my money mindset. At 28, sometimes it’s easy to question how you’re doing life (especially when comparing yourself to others your age, who seem to have it all, and are doing it all). Trust me. We’re all in debt, or have been in debt. It’s hard to make it on your own, and your wealth doesn’t determine your worth! Money comes and goes, and will continue to do so, the rest of your life. Instead of constantly worrying about not having enough (or putting more on your credit card), be thankful for the money you DO have, and the opportunities you DO have.

  5. Ryan and I have had a wonderful year together. For as many times as I like to give him a hard time about not getting engaged yet, I honestly couldn’t be happier in my relationship. Ryan and I have been through a lot, this past year, but we’ve done it all together. Each day, he does things that remind me of why I’m with him, and each day, I thank God for bringing him into my life. But FYI: We’re getting engaged, next year, so stop asking in the meantime! lol

  6. We’ve begun to turn our house into a home. This has been the year of house projects, as we originally planned to sell our house, this fall, which turned into next spring, which has now turned into longer. But it’s okay! With the economy the way it is, and not knowing about the future, we figured we’d save some money, and live here for longer. The pups love the house, Mona loves the house, and now that it’s being fixed up, we love the house! As new carpet was installed, and we hung pictures on the walls, I realized just how homey this place feels! Sometimes, it’s important to sit back and realize just what you DO have; a warm, cozy house, filled with love and cute pets is just where I want to be!

  7. I get to work from home. My job definitely has its days, but really, whose doesn’t? Whenever I find myself getting irritated about something, I have to come back to the positives: No commute (especially in the winter), no real pants, slippers and the ability to help people become healthier. Two years ago, I told myself I’d be happy if I could get a full-time health coaching job, with benefits. That’s now been my reality for the past two years. Sometimes, it isn’t about what’s NOT happening, but about what HAS happened.

  8. I’ve met some amazing humans. This year, especially, has been wonderful for making new friends. A lot from work, pilates and more! It’s amazing how close you can become to someone, just by sharing some common interests (even if that initial interest is how much you’re loathing your job, that current day)! lol

  9. I spent most of my PTO days in Iowa. A few days earlier this year, and an upcoming week, for Christmas. I haven’t stayed in any hotels, or flown on any planes, this year, but that’s okay. I got to enjoy more than one Iowa, summer (week)night - grilling brats, drinking beverages, and spending hours laughing and talking. And in a week, I’ll get to enjoy time with my family and friends, baking cookies, catching up and taking time - no rush. To me, those are the most-precious times.

  10. I started this blog. And I mean, hey - that’s pretty cool! Here’s to another year of blog posts!


So, if you’re reading this, I challenge you to one of two things, this holiday season:

  • Stay away from “the brag”. Are you beefing up your holiday letter so it sounds better? Or are you legitimately proud, or excited about sharing something? If you were reading that same letter, coming from someone else, how would you respond?

  • Find beauty in the ordinary. Maybe you didn’t think your past year was anything special; maybe you don’t feel like anything great happened. Look deeper, and don’t try to compare yourself to others.


Bottom line: each year we’re here, on this planet, is bragging enough! Let’s all take a bit more time to appreciate the little things we have, and appreciate the company in which we’re connecting with.

Happy Holidays!

xoxo,

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The "Next Best Thing"

Hello lovelies!

It's been a while since I've made a post on here, and I have meant for that, with good reason. As with my topic for today's post, I believe that far too often, we push ourselves to do what's expected, and beyond; losing sight of ourselves and what's important. Creating weekly posts WAS good... for a while. Good when I had content to post about; felt the creative 'juices' flowing. However, what happens when those juices run out? That's whats rarely discussed, or even acknowledged. It's so common for so many of us to stay up-to-date, in-the-know, ready and constantly pushing toward the "next best thing". But what does this mentality do to your SELF? Your BODY? Your SPIRIT? Your BRAIN? Today, we're talking about never standing still, never being content. The affects of constantly striving for the "next best thing".

When was the last time you felt content? No to-do list. No worries. No desire and/or drive to be something or someone, or to work on something? I'll tell you when it was for me: Monday night in the shower.

As I stood under the water, hot drops falling on my chest, I was thankful. Thankful for the day; thankful for still having my puppy, Sheba; thankful for my life, and the ability to take a hot shower, for as long as I desired.

Gratitude

Earlier this month, I created a gratitude challenge; showing gratitude for a different item of your life, each day. The hope there was that by putting extra thought on what we already did have, we'd be able to become more appreciative of our lives, in general. More thankful, more content, and less striving for something "more".

Now for me, this challenge has been amazing. As a person who has always struggled with wanting "more", I needed an opportunity to put things in perspective. However (and I'll be completely honest), I was shocked at the amount of people that DIDN'T take part in my challenge. I know lives are busy. I know that some people DO practice gratitude, each day, without posting it on social media. But I began to think about this more, and began to see the correlation; people CAN'T usually practice gratitude when they're too busy thinking about the "next best thing". It's just not possible.

Social Media

I know I talk about social media a lot, and quite honestly, I always think I sound like a hypocrite when I mention how terrible it is for our lives, when I'm using a form of it to post this. Social media is great; it's useful when it comes to growing your brand, your business, sharing positivity and making connections. However, more-so than not, social media is the number one reason we can never feel content.

Now, I'm all-too familiar with the thoughts, too, "Oh, so-and-so's creating an awesome event; she's really growing her business; her photos always look so perfect; I MUST strive to be like her!"

So then, what happens after those thoughts are planted in our brains? They begin to grow, creating deep roots that are hard to let go of. We begin to create lists (mental and physical), fill up our calendars with to-dos, check and double-check others' social accounts, to make sure that OURS is starting to look more like someone else's. We begin to take photos, and Instagram stories, constantly. Taking and re-taking them, until we've reached the perfect one! We sit down (with our partner), at the end of a long day, and instead of soaking up that together-time, we're on our phones, our computers, constantly working, pushing on to achieve the "next best thing".

I'm sure reading it makes it sound just as crummy as writing it does. We've lost sight of ourselves. WHO EVEN ARE WE ANYMORE? Would you know, if you had no Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn account? Who would you be, if only the people you spent each day with, could see you?

Simplicity (Slowing Down)

I also recognize that in order to get somewhere, we need to 'hustle'. That's the way things are, in this day and age. But where are you getting to? When will you get there? Hustling, to hustle (with no end in sight) isn't healthy and isn't sustainable. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is nothing. Slow it down, pull it back and just be.

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I had a great conversation with a dear friend of mine, the other night. We were talking about joy, gratitude and the ever-constant 'next best thing'. "I know what I COULD be doing. But right now, sitting here, reading a random teenage fiction book (that has nothing to do with health, or bettering myself), or watching tv is what feels best - not doing anything, but BEING."

NOT DOING ANYTHING.... BUT BEING! Now, when was the last time you did that?!


If we're not careful, striving for that "next best thing" is always going to come up. And constantly striving to be something better or different isn't healthy. It's always going to win, if we allow it to. Here are a couple of things I'm trying, in order to prevent this from happening:

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  • Practice daily gratitude. Physically write down ONE thing you're grateful for, each day.
  • Create a weekly exercise plan, with a couple rest days. DON'T feel bad about not exercising on those days.
  • Take a night-time bath to unwind, and DO NOT use phone after bath-time.
  • Snuggle with my cat, in the chair, for at least 30 min. each night. NO excuses.
  • Eat without looking at my phone.
  • Talk to my parents (or anyone I'm on the phone with) without distractions. No TV, internet, phone, etc.
  • Sit in the chair, and mindlessly watch tv, or read a book, for at least 2-3 hours, per work-week. No work (physical or mental).
  • If your brain isn't working, don't push it to work. Take a break, or a nap or just stop for the day.
  • Stop worrying about the future. Create your calendar one week at a time.

In the famous words of John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," and this could not be more true. Slow down. Take a step back. Appreciate what you DO have, and remember that that's really all you need.

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