I woke up this morning and looked outside as usual and saw that the house was enveloped by fog. I could hardly see the forest that surrounds us, could not see as far as the lake that sits only a few feet away. Looking to the edge of the water, it felt like you could jump off into nothingness, a void.
So it is with dense fog, mysterious, seemingly empty but hiding life. I love fog and how it slowly dissipates as the sun pierces through it. This morning, it got me thinking about when we wake up and feel off somehow. You can’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong but you feel surrounded by fog and can’t see your way out. You are in a funk, a slump, a rut.
Most people have been there at one point or another and it is especially common now that most of us have not resumed our “real lives” yet and still feel unbalanced, uncomfortable with the ”New normal”.
Just like fog, a funk is generally short lived and the strange feeling shouldn’t last more than a couple of days. While it might be difficult to tell what triggered it, it could be a reaction to something that happened that we are not too happy about, whether we are conscious of it or not.
One good way to start working through this mental fog is to embrace it. You are not feeling well, so be it. Remember it is temporary. Show yourself some compassion, kindness and understanding, like you would do with a friend. Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t be afraid to sit with your feelings.
Here are a few basic reminders that will help make that period as short and as painless as possible:
Connect with someone
Since we are social animals, we need some degree of interaction with others in order to feel our best. It can be a neighbour, a phone call to a friend, a spouse. Make an effort to stay connected even when you are in a rut.
Move your body
Moving our bodies is important for our physical health and our mental health. No need to run a marathon, a walk, some stretching, moving around with music while cleaning are all good options.
Eat healthy foods
Our mood and digestive system are connected, so it is important to eat whole foods and limit your sugar intake, including alcohol since it is a depressant and can still affect your mood days after consumption.
Prioritize good sleep
Sleep is a necessity. Lack of sleep is responsible for low energy, forgetfulness and weight gain. Sleep is a priority.
Limit exposure to social media and news
Limit your media consumption to 15-30 minutes twice a day. There is just too much going on, too much information, most of it useless, too much negativity, all of it very distracting from any project you care about and that will get you out of the slump.
Remember that most funks are short lived. If the negative feelings seem to last much longer, if you feel you are out of control, that you cannot improve your mood, if you cannot remember any past happy moments, please seek help. Believe me, you are worth it.
This thirty-first week of daily sketching, I continued with the travel theme, except for Prodigy Dan. #217 San Giminiano is a Work-In-Progress I started over 3 years ago and I am determined to finish soon!
Dreaming of all these far away places is a definite mood booster for me!
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