It was late spring, and I'm not sure what did me in but I found myself deep in a funk. It was a parenting funk, a personal funk, a writing funk. I felt unmotivated to do things that I was normally motivated to do, and I felt like I was in a bit of a dark hole with reaching and training my kids. I don't really recall how long it lasted because I didn't realize where I'd been until I was starting to see the light of day.
Everyone's different, but I thought it might be helpful to share a few of the things that helped me get up out of the bit of darkness and rest again in the light, where I thankfully am hanging out for the most part these days. This doesn't mean I still don't have dark days, because even though I haven't really struggled with depression, I do have days and weeks that feel like funk-ish. Now that I've given myself a few months' distance from that time, I can see how I crawled out.
Disclaimer: This isn't a comprehensive checklist or anything (it's meant to be descriptive not prescriptive) but I do want to write it down for posterity so that next time I'm in a similar place I remember that these are some of little gifts of grace that boosted me up when I was down.
Firstly, it was important that I remained in the Word-- reading my Bible and really praying, even praying through the hard stuff, was key. Being alone (even with the Lord and my Bible) wasn't the complete remedy for me though, probably because as an extrovert I do charge up by being around other people (small children don't necessarily count-- they tend to have the opposite effect on me).
Quality fellowship is huge for me. Being around people who will encourage me and speak truth in my life always builds me up. Things like a bonfire in the culdesac, working on three-part harmonies with the girls from my church music team at the beach, having a picnic dinner with our community group, asking friends to pray for me. These things helped.
In late May, I enjoyed a nice girls night out for a friend's birthday -- I don't subscribe to retail therapy as really being a thing for me, but spending time with good girlfriends, talking, eating, trying on expensive lovely things-- there was something very therapeutic about doing all that together.
Creative endeavors also perked me up-- sewing a simple handmade gift, playing my guitar, coloring with Hallee, working on my nature journal, trying new recipes. Writing is my primary way to express myself creatively these days but when I feel like I'm stuck in that arena, being creative in other ways helps a lot.
Good cuddles and family time, listening to Vin's soothing voice, hanging out with David and my parents, the beach. Those are solid helps right there.
And finally, I gave myself space. I wanted to feel motivated to write and blog but instead of forcing it, I waited until I felt ready again, and I didn't give myself a hard time about the silence on the page. I'm my own boss and editor here so why stress myself out? I began journaling in a spiral notebook--just writing whatever came to my mind or following a random prompt-- without the pressure to share, publish, and put it out there. I'm still writing in that notebook, at least a few times a week, and it's a good habit for me.
Sometimes my motivation for things I need to do or even love to do is low even when I'm not technically in a funk. But recently I was reminded of a tool that helps me snap my motivation back: it's starting something new. Sometimes things just feel too mundane. And while there's beauty in the mundane, sometimes an ENFP like me needs to grab onto one of the million ideas circulating in my brain and actually DO something.
So guess what? I did something! If you don't get my newsletter, you won't have heard the news yet... I started a new blog home to record and document our homeschool journey. If you feel so inclined, head on over to The Bennettar Academy and check it out.
So tell me, how do you get yourself out of a funk?