I’ve had this conversation with three different people recently, which usually leaves me thinking I should blog about it.
Also, it feels very silly to have to preface this by saying that I’m not a mental health professional and that these tips aren’t meant for something serious like depression, but we’re living in these days when people are taking medical advice from essential oils salespeople instead of the Center for Disease Control, so . . . here we are.
How I get out of a funk
My son goes to bed at 8:00, so as soon as he’s tucked in, I wash my face, brush my teeth, and get in bed with my phone, computer, and a book.
- Delete Instagram app.
- Silence phone and put it far away.
- Print out a chart that breaks down a week into 30 minute increments.
- Put computer far away.
- Read until I fall asleep, usually by 9:00, and start the next day with a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, I *make* myself start the day without looking at my phone (ugh, why is this so hard? how did it become a habit in the first place?). Instead, I get up and do the following.
- Fill my HydroMate water bottle and get started hydrating.
- Light a candle.
- Put on the classical music station.
- Diffuse an essential oil blend I made that I call “uplifting” (it’s mostly citrus, and please don’t be confused that I knocked essential oils a second ago–I love them but also have the good sense to be vaccinated).
- Shower and get dressed in proper clothing, not just loungewear.
The 30 minute increment charts (example here) are meant to help you track your time for a week and see where you can be more efficient. I’ve used them for that in the past, but lately I’ve found that they make me hold myself more accountable with my time. Rather than recording and reflecting, I tend to start off making better use of my time just by having to write down what I did and not wanting to put things like “scrolled mindlessly” or “stared at the wall” (someone tell me I’m not alone here).
Honestly, what’s listed above is often enough to get me out of a funk and feeling a sense of purpose again. My funks usually come up when my house is in disarray and I have a bunch of nagging tasks hanging over my head, and utilizing my time more effectively cures both those things. Even so, these extra tasks help, too.
- Clean out something small and manageable, like a junk drawer, my car, the kids’ bookshelf.
- Dust and vacuum–not a deep clean, just getting surfaces cleaned up.
- Weed flowerbeds and clean up the front porch.
- Change up the tablescape on the dining room table (so fun and soothing for me).
- Basic white woman self care, like a sheet mask, Epsom salt bath, or–if I’m being perfectly honest–simply shaving my legs and removing who-knows-how-old nail polish because being low maintenance often means I just look disheveled.
Every now and then, a certain type of funk will merit a certain way to get out of it. When I’ve had it with meal planning and grocery shopping and just generally feeding these people, I clean out my recipe binder, find new recipes to try, commit to going to the farmers’ market regularly again, and get myself out of my food funk. When I’ve had it with toy cleanup being so demanding, I work with my son to clean out his toys and store what’s left in a way that’s easy for him to manage on his own. Paying attention to what’s causing the funk is usually the best way for me to find my way out.