I was taking a hot salt bath the other day, and closed my eyes and relaxed. Allowing myself to not think about the endless chatter happening in my head, I just soaked and, for the first time in a while, breathed. As I lay in the steaming hot water (I like it scalding) I realized it had been a long time since I had sat quietly and just noticed my own breathing. Yes, far too long. We should be taking moments each day to stop, be quiet, and notice the rhythm of our thoughts.
Things have felt a bit stressful lately, and then I realized there are 2 days left of February. How is that possible? Somehow throughout our crazy ass days life just keeps going on. The question I ask myself is: is it all worth it? Are we enjoying ourselves? Are we getting enough sleep, downtime, and moments (or hours) to be playful? Or is the grind dragging you down? I was feeling uninspired, and that there just is not enough time in the day. And then…
I watched Jimmy Fallon. I was a fan of his show before, and I love that he is now taking over The Tonight Show. He is clever, ingenuous, creative, and not afraid to do anything. You might be thinking: “what does Jimmy Fallon have to do with getting out of the funk?” I will explain. We were watching Jimmy interview and continuously laugh his ass off with Justin Timberlake, and I was transfixed. They were hilarious. They had so much fun, were playing off each other, and it was never in a way of one-upping the other, it was a complete partnership of fun, creative banter, and trying to make the other laugh. We could not stop laughing. I WANT THAT. I want to bring more of that into my life.
While I am not hosting The Tonight Show, I am pondering what I can do in my own life to let go of the funk, be more playful, fun to be around, creative, and try to make others laugh. Life is too short without laughing so hard you cry.
I felt off last night. Do you ever have those days when things do not feel right, you feel out of sorts, but for the life of you, you cannot figure out why? Sometimes when I am in that space, I can get cranky, and other times I just feel quiet and introspective. As I was stretching after my run, I pondered if something had happened in my day that might have led me to feel this way. No dice. Nothing came to me clearly. How was I going to get out of my funk? I had gone for a run which usually helped. No luck.
As I continued to stretch the thought came to me, maybe your funk has to do with what you are not focusing on. Hmm. Interesting concept. I then remembered the different conversations I had, ones about specific internal work politics, which can sometimes irk me. I could review all that junk with you, but I will not bore you with the details. What was cool about this post-run/stretch was that when I shifted my thoughts to what I had not been focusing on, I realized I was not directing my thoughts to the right parts of my day.
When I enter that window where I can see my thought shifting the word that always comes to me is: gratitude. It is always that instant ah-ha moment that reminds me I have been mulling over the crappy stuff. If I were to reflect on my day I would say that I was grateful to catch up on a ton of work that I had not had the opportunity to sit and focus on for days. Sometimes it is the smallest of things that can start us down the path to move us from grump to a smile.
If only every day, we could have the clarity of thought to flip a coin and look at the other side. We can have that clarity, but do we do it? Now I cannot tell you that after all that I felt 100%. Instead I think I started the shift internally. Sometimes you have to see how to change course, call it a day, sleep well, and start fresh the next day.
Do you ever have those days that start out all wrong? Your clothes feel tight, or nothing you want to wear is clean, and to top it off you are having a bad hair day? Sometimes your funk permeates your entire day and all you do is dream about doing a few things that will let you unwind and block out the rest of your day.
What would your list of favorite things be to unwind from a hellish day? Would it involve your kids, your spouse, or an empty, quiet house? Does it involve exercise, a massage, or gorging on amazing food? Does your list change based on your mood?
A list of my favorite things to do to unwind (in no specific order):
Going for a long run.
Taking a long HOT bath.
Hugs. Need I say more?
Finding a new journal, finishing a journal, starting a new journal.
Completing a shit-ton of items on my to-do list.
Snuggling with Chris during a movie, on a lazy Saturday morning…whenever I can cozy up with him.
Finishing a book I cannot put down.
Coming home to a clean house (knowing I do not have to clean it).
Salt. Anything with it, most often in the form of chips.
Some days I can come home and pick one of these items off my list, and the mere act of shifting my focus or pampering myself will change my outlook and let me forget my funk. Other times you just have to ride it out, crawl in bed, close your eyes and wake up freshly the next morning.
How about you? What do you do to unwind after a funky day?