Have you ever been sitting around feeling…
Bored, and then,
Overwhelmed…because it’s all too impossible.
…and you don’t even know why you feel this way? You just do. And you find yourself looking in the refrigerator—AGAIN. Or going to Facebook—AGAIN. Or doing that other thing—AGAIN. Searching for the THING that’s gonna make you feel better.
Yeah, me too.
And when I do that—it’s usually because I’m in a funk.
Locked in a blasé-yuck-box.
KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK
The coach in me would say (even to myself) to figure out what circumstance led to the ick feelings. But truth be told, sometimes it feels like too much work—and sometimes that type of work doesn’t even apply. Especially if it’s not a repeating pattern that causes unnecessary personal pain which could require diving into a “thought-wheel” —something I teach to clients.
Sometimes our junk is just in a funk. And when I recognize this in myself (usually because I’m staring into the fridge) there’s a quick trick I can use. Not even sure where the idea came from. Surely it’s a concoction of ideas gleaned and remixed from many. Perhaps it will work for you too.
But FIRST, it takes a bit of prep work (this will be worth it—trust me).
PART I – PREP WORK
You need two sheets of paper and something to write with. Pen, pencil, crayon…?
On one sheet list these categories with space to write underneath: 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 1 day.
On the second sheet, list activities you do that make you happy—give you a feeling of peace—contentment. Focus on the stuff that NURTURES your heart, mind, and soul. Be random. Just list. Don’t think.
As you make your list, try to keep the focus off of food related activities. Remember, food need not equal “happy” every time, unless it looks like one of these:
- bake a batch of cookies and take to a loved one or pass out as a senior center
- meet up with a friend for a quick tea or coffee (notice I didn’t list a venti Mocha Frappuccino, because, hello! that’s a gazillion calories)
Also try to keep the focus off purchasing/shopping related activities. Retail therapy is not a soul nurturing activity. Again, there are exceptions, like going to the dollar store to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
DIVING DEEPER WITH YOUR LIST
As you spend time on activities, think about the stuff that restores your spirit. Re-energizes you and/or soothes your soul. A couple of areas to focus on are:
- Mental/Physical Rest
- Mental/Physical Activity & Learning
- Connect with Nature
- Spirituality Activity
- Simply “Fun”
- Value/Improve Personal Relationships
- Show Gratitude
- Connect/Give to your Community / The World at Large
- De-Clutter / Clean / Organize Chaos
Personally, my best go-to-actions are related to creativity. Be it some art journaling, playing with watercolors, or simply walking around the yard taking pictures. I have funny books I can turn to, play piano, or turn on some heavy-beat-music and dance like I’m a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance” (which by the way I’m REALLY glad you cannot see these performances—but I kid you not—it will get you out of your funk it you take your “performance” seriously).
And while you’re thinking about my dance moves, consider how wonderful you feel when you go for a walk. Or whatever activity you do that moves your body. List those too.
List the things that activate your brain. Playing a game? Watching an instructional video on YouTube on napkin-folding…and then DO IT.
Sometimes what makes me happy is taking the time to write hand-written notes to friends—just because. I also load them up with glitter and relish the vision of how they’ll respond to the flying glitter upon opening the card.
Sometimes I’ll just pick up the phone and call a friend who can give me perspective or a prayer.
Another go-to activity are those things that reconnect me to my Maker—something to reignite, remind, and restore my knowledge that I am a loved and precious and important child of God. Stilling myself into breathing and prayer is important. Focusing on favorite scripture works too—Psalm 139 is always a winner. I’ve also learned that many of my activities above are spiritual-connection-makers. Because my focus is on showing love to someone else. Or taking in the wonder of nature and co-creating with my Creator. It makes the funk become blurry and small. And then it just disappears.
PART II – GROUPING
Once your list is nice and long, begin to assign time values to them.
For example, “Art Journaling” (a definite defunker) gets a 30-minute value (and a 1-hour value). Coffee with a friend, 1-hour. Intentional breathing/prayer, 5-minutes (because I have a small attention span in my own thoughts—this is no place to attempt marathon mediation or that endless “prayer throne” thing I can never do). Walking, 30-minutes and 1-hour. You get the point.
From here on, it’s up to you about how fancy you get. For me, I have my activities listed on index cards, placed inside a box with dividers for the time categories.
And when I start to feel any of those funky-feelings, I rummage through the cards. Like a recipe box. Looking for the very thing that will satisfy my appetite for well-being.
Do I have an hour to give myself, or only 5 minutes? Or maybe I need an entire day of rest and adventure to rejuvenate my soul. Whatever it may be, I just go into that time category and look for the thing I need. Knowing these activities have made me feel more wholehearted and well before–I can trust the outcome.
Regardless of how you do it, all that matters is that you have these things handy and available. Because when you’re in the funk, you tend to have no healthy-soul-soothing ideas to cure what ails. A box of ideas is a great and healthy diversion for your heart, mind, and soul.
It can be the very thing to help you get the junk out of your funk.
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