Admittedly this is my most challenging time of year. This time in winter when the days are just starting to get longer, there’s more light, and some days are downright beautifully crisp, clear and sunny. Such a blessing as I am truly solar powered!
To me the sunshine is delightful, desperately needed, and yet usually associated with a biting cold that is tough for me to handle nearing the end of January and into February. I find my mind tends to dredge up negative, my body feels achy and stiff and the desire to stay in bed for WAY too long is just so alluring! Why can’t we just hibernate like bears?...
I know my signs of winter 'funk' arriving. It happens every year. I know this, I can count on it and so I prepare both mentally and physically with the needed support from the tool box I have built up over the years. This year is, however; unlike any other I have experienced before. Why?
Well, let’s face it, 2020 was filled with some good stuff including opportunities to look at, think about and learn new ways of being, seeing, reacting and acting, as well as and hopefully appreciating the concept of time and timing. It was also filled with tons of SHITTY things! Stress levels are beyond imaginable for many people. For me, there are certain types of stress that push me a bit, but just enough to propel more forward in a really constructive and productive way. While others, come and slap you in the face so hard, if feels like my head is going to snap right off to the side. This pandemic has been one of those hard slaps for me.
The emotional ups and downs that have come from my own personal challenges, and feeling the emotional upheavals that happen around me with others experiencing things they never have before, is a lot for this girl to handle. Instability, work, money and financial obligations, family, health, fear, anxiety, mental strain beyond – it’s all been put to the test this past year and will continue to do so for the next while. Stress….what stress? Wait a minute, just about everything has some element of stress to it now.
I admittedly hit a wall last week. I had had enough! I just don’t like any of this. It’s not right, it’s not fair, it just plain sucks! That’s it – I’m in a FUNK and I don’t want anything to do with anything or anyone! “How do ya like them apples?!” I DON’T! Period. That’s precisely how I felt last week. Damn it! All this is beyond my control and it SUCKS! Period.
Rant done. Now, take a deep breath and SNAP OUT OF IT Jo!
Right, okay, inhale…..pause……exhale…..pause.
Insert about 14 yoga practices…continue…
In my toolbox…
For the most part, I am pretty functional both mentally and some of the time physically. Despite some interesting changing happening in my body and my mind, I feel for the most part, I have the necessary tools in my toolbox (built up from 28 years of keeping my mind open and a keen desire to better understand what makes me tick) to keep myself moving & thinking productively and positively. So once again, I reach deep down and start rummaging around in this ridiculously full, wide, vast space that is my reserve of knowledge, comfort and healing support that I carry with me everywhere I go.
Number 1: As soon as I begin to thinking negatively. I inhale and ask myself, is this productive, kind, appropriate, necessary, real? As I exhale, I try my best to release stories, false thinking, inappropriate behaviours, fast reactions, anger and anxiety. Essentially – inhale the good shit and exhale the bullshit!
Number 2: Am I eating to fuel my body and mind productively, or have I eaten crap that isn’t doing me any good? If I broke down and ate an entire bag of lentil crisps and half a bag of bark thins, why would I expect my mind or my body to feel amazing the next day? Seriously, just eat your veggies, berries, chia seeds, sourdough bread and sauerkraut Jo – really – get your head on straight!
Number 3: Did I treat myself with kindness today? Have I checked in with how much activity I need today? Or am I letting my wants overrule my thinking and ultimately lead me a stray? What is productive, yet mindful and peaceful. Am I breathing fully and paying attention?
Number 4: Am I getting enough fresh air, sunshine and contact with Mother Nature? Thank you Titus for getting my butt away from a desk, office, out of the house and interacting with the gifts of fresh air, sunshine, trees, wild life, water, and life!
Number 5: Am I taking in all the nutrition I can – food, beverage, supplements, constructive visual, auditory, kinesthetic input (what am I seeing, hearing and feeling) that feed my body and mind well?
Number 6: Am I getting enough quiet? How is it most productive for me to meditate today? Do I need to sit quietly, do I need to be moving or eating or swaying with the trees for my meditation today? It’s more than just sitting cross legged lookin’ all stoic and peaceful, that’s for damn sure.
Number 7: Am I sleeping soundly? Am I waking feeling rested and ready to get up, stretch, move, breath and be productive? If not, how have my daily practices been to maintain a schedule and rhythm? When I’m out of sync, is there something that needs support, steadiness or mindful adjustment to bring myself back into a good rhythm?
If you find yourself in a funk, reach out to me and see how you can bring some more tools into your toolbox so that you can go from funk to ‘funk’tional again. Whether it’s through yoga, nutrition, lifestyle, supplement support, or just a listening and supportive ear – I’d love to hear from you.
In health & happiness,