I don’t know if it’s the winter blues or my usual depression rearing it’s ugly head more than usual lately, but I just can’t get out of the funk I’m in. I have been dealing with a lot of stress lately- some blog related, some life related. My world is busy and spinning and being a mom of two little ones who stays home, my job is to keep it together. There’s not time or space for me to have a meltdown. This funk I’ve been in has gotten out of control when I realized I hadn’t done anything to get it together in over a week. I haven’t written anything on here, I haven’t been keeping up with cleaning my house, I hadn’t even really done been grocery shopping. What’s wrong with me?
Every day that goes by that I don’t snap out of it, I feel worse. That’s when I decided today was going to be the last day of this and I needed to put on my big girl pants. Several people around me have been telling me how they are also feeling bluesy so I thought I would make a list of the things I do when I’m not feeling well. I hope these tips help someone else out there as much as they help me!
1) Give yourself a deadline. When I’m just not feeling motivated I like to assess the importance of what it is that I have to do, and give myself a reasonable deadline to get there. My rut began last Monday and I gave myself the rest of the week to sort it out. I didn’t have anything important scheduled on my blog and I didn’t have anything that pressing in our daily schedule so I gave myself permission to check out for the week. When I still wasn’t feeling inspired by the end of the weekend, I knew I would have to pull it together this week.
2) Make a to do list. Sometimes being in a funk can be related to being overwhelmed in life. My website was up and down with hosting issues for a few weeks in January and I really threw a wrench in the content I was hoping to share. I became so far behind I didn’t know where to start to catch up, and every day that passed was another day I could have been posting that I became further behind. Organizing my life on paper always seems to help me sort through my thoughts and gets me going in the right direction. That way when you’re ready to get going again, you have a starting point too.
3) Clean the house. The worst I feel the more I tend to neglect my household duties. This compounds on itself and if I am still feeling down a few days later, chances are I haven’t been keeping up with the dishes, I don’t have any clean laundry, and it becomes even more of a hassle to catch up. If getting behind on chores makes me feel bad, I try not to compound the problem. During the funk that I am/was currently in, it was so hard to know where to start because our house was already in shambles. I find that loading the dishwasher or starting a load of wash is a great place to start. Both are unpleasant chores for me so when I start there I feel especially accomplished.
4) Get up, get cute, and get out. What’s even worse than feeling holed up and depressed is also looking like a pile. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s necessary for life that you wear makeup on a daily basis (and I don’t) but when I feeling really down it’s such a boost for me to get dressed up, put my face on, and get out of the house. It’s winter and I can’t always get outside for fresh air because most days are too cold to hang out outside, but I can certainly get out and get a scenery change!
5) Get out alone. It’s the easiest to recharge my batteries when I am by myself. If I am in charge of little people or if I have to focus on anyone else besides myself, it’s just hard to regroup. It could be shopping at the mall, but even a solo grocery trip helps me. If I don’t have the luxury to be by myself, I will try and make a scenery change for the kids like a trip to the zoo (winter exhibits anyone?).
6) Do a social activity. This past weekend, my family went to Disney on Ice near us. It was really neat to attend and even though I don’t know (or care to learn) how to ice skate, it made me admire the talent these individuals have while they are working towards a common goal of putting on the show. It was really fun to get out and do something different and be social. As much as I value my alone time to unwind, having something to get amped up about is equally exciting to me. Seeing so much talent in one place also made me reflect about what I’m doing in my life right now that’s important and makes a difference.
7) Buy something pretty. Retail therapy is real but don’t go too crazy. When I’m in a funk I will often buy myself a little splurge item that I had my eye on anyway. Last time I was at Target, I regretted not picking up this tray so later today when I go out I’m going to treat myself.
8) Pamper yourself. This one’s easy for me because I seem to have so much in terms of beauty and body products. Once the kids go to bed for the night, it’s important to have some self care. I like to shower at night because I can take my time shampooing and shaving, and it’s the only time of day I feel like is just for me! One of the posts I’m working on right now is actually on how I like to keep my skin as moisturized as possible, my current favorites being mostly organic body products. It’s a time consuming ritual but makes me feel so good that it’s always worth it.
9) Make someone’s day. The quickest way to happiness for me is to make someone else’s day. I am blessed to have more money than I need to make it to the next paycheck, more “stuff” than I need to live, more food in our pantry than we need to eat. There is so much we can do to make someone else feel good. Yesterday, the girls and I went to a local nursing home to hand out Valentine’s Day cards and it was so much fun. Today maybe we will put together a gift basket for a friend. The sky’s the limit and this is where your creativity can come into play.
10) Declutter, call in help, and reboot. I am so sick of this funk that I am absolutely not giving myself any more permission to feel badly. I’ve pinpointed that the main issues I’m dealing with are a never ending winter, an ever growing pile of clutter, and a lack of motivation that’s keeping me away from the gym. It’s a vicious cycle of depression, laziness, and poor choices and I need to quit making excuses and knock it off already. My mom is coming for the weekend to help us declutter and reboot and by the time Sunday rolls around, mark my words, I’m going to be a new woman!
How do you shake off the winter blues? I’d love to see your tips below!