How to Get Out of a Funk

It's been a rough couple of weeks. 

I have a bad habit of sort of disappearing when I'm having a hard time. It's probably not the healthiest. I've done it before in moments of crisis, and all it does is isolate me and let me sit in a cycle of suck. It makes me believe my inner voice that is a constant spin of "everythingisterrible." 

There's no one event. It's just...everything. I am completely overwhelmed at school. It spills over to home. I work and work and work and never really feel ahead and then I come home and just feel...paralyzed. I have a million things I want to do, but I'm just overtaken by this bone tiredness and ennui. 

I'm upset that I got Shingles again, but catching it early and slamming it with medication (that, yeah, made me feel bone tired and out of it) made it a LOT less painful this time around. Which meant I didn't take any time off for it. Probably not a great move. I missed some Pilates classes because of it, but then was like, "I feel so much better!" and went off the nerve pain medication for our anniversary (more on that later), and then felt shitty again on our actual anniversary (Halloween) and had to go back on. 

But then, I had a really bad day on this past Monday, and I was completely exhausted from my tough caseload and a week where we were facing a TON of tests and we're shortstaffed and don't have a test center for accommodations, so I am taking it upon myself to help out and read tests during my prep periods. (Yes, I can hear the sound of so many hands slapping foreheads at this. I realize it's not up to me to fix everything, but I feel this weird compulsion of I'LL DO IT that serves me not at all.) I came home, exhausted and cranky, writing my daily email to one students' parents because of the heavy heavy behavioral component, and my laptop started dying so I got up to plug it in in my office and then...

I tripped on Eggi, who was sitting next to my chair, and slid out of my puffin slippers, and tried to grasp at something and grabbed my chair THAT HAS WHEELS and fell with all my weight on my left arm into the knife edge of my desk. It SUUUUUUUUUUUCKED. I started crying right away, and then it became howling (because of course it was Shingles Side of my body), and then I no joke cried like Sally in When Harry Met Sally for about an hour. Bryce held me and then when it didn't abate at all, he said, "This is so not just about your arm." He then said, "THAT'S IT, you're going to go put pajamas on and your office is off limits and you're going to read and do a puzzle and take care of your damn self this evening. ENOUGH." 

My arm hurt so bad that I had tingling and numbness in my left hand, and had to skip Pilates all week because I tried the stationary bike and it left me tingling and shooting down my arm and I really didn't need to be balancing on equipment like that. 

2 days after I did it

Ooh, pretty colors. Today, almost a week later.

Wait, the title of this is "How to Get Out of a Funk." So far I've just told you how to get solidly stuck in one. 

Fast forward to this weekend... yesterday I felt just blah and then angry that I felt blah, because IT'S FINALLY THE WEEKEND AND MY TIME TO RECOUP and I keep feeling shitty when my body has permission to let go. I spent some very mopey time on the floor of my office (the carpet's really soft and Eggi came by for some purry pets) and did some dusting and organizing, and then was like... ENOUGH. 

So here are my tips: 

1) Get off the damn floor. It's great for about 5 minutes, any longer and you start sinking into it and your thoughts go haywire and just keep you down there. GET UP. 

2) Put some makeup on. I love how makeup can make you feel more put together, not BETTER per se but just, decorated, maybe? Not everyone loves the makeup, but I do and it's sort of like coloring. On my face. It makes me feel brighter and happier. 

3) Get out of the damn house. Get outside. Do something physical. We went to this trail behind our local SPCA, and it is like a little hidden gem. You go up a huge hill past the rescue horses and some paddocks and then a memorial garden, and then you enter this beautiful golden wood that then goes down into a basin that is ALWAYS filled with a magical mist when we go. Which apparently is every early November. It's quiet, there's no other people, the light is spectacular, and in early November it's crisp and exhilarating. 

Wearing my "Stay Sexy...Don't Get Murdered" t-shirt (My Favorite Murder Podcast)

4) Connect with people. Don't hide away like an injured forest critter. It's not good for you. 

I'm kind of in a funk again today, probably because I can feel the crushing weight of all I have to do to get ready for the week later today, but I'm doing some book organizing and rearranging in my home office and that's making me feel better. I did that after school on Friday, too -- I am so ridiculously busy that my desk gets covered in piles of paper each week and it feels completely overwhelming. Friday I stayed until it looked decently clean, and it made me feel so much better. Doing the same at home now. 
And so, 

5) Do some organizing and decluttering. Decluttered surroundings really do help with having a more decluttered mind. 

We have a day off on Thursday, for Veterans' Day, weird midweek day off but I WILL TAKE IT. Having a sub shortage makes me feel like I can't take a day. I am going to have to get over that because no one else seems to have a problem with taking a day if they need to. And I am in a place where I feel like I need to make some changes or else I am going to end up in a world of hurt before December. But at least I have tips, some of which I learned while spending lots of time facedown on the floor during my health crisis that ultimately ended our parenting journey. Get up. Get out. Get dressed and do your face, even if you're just tromping around the woods. Harder....stop feeling like you have the power to fix all the things and everything will be awful if you actually stop and take care of yourself. Remember how good your body is at making you stop completely when you don't. 

Breathe. And know that awful times pass eventually. 


  1. These are great tips!! Excellent reminders! It's freaking hard right now. I am there with you. And I also cleaned off my desk on Friday! <3

    I am so sorry you fell so hard. I'm glad you didn't get hurt worse. I'm very thankful for that. I honestly had to scan the rest of the post real quick to make sure it didn't end with a broken arm before I went back and read everything in a non-skimming way. Whew! I was relieved.

    Organizing helps me feel better too. It's probably part having control over something, but mostly I just like aesthetics. Things can be cluttered as long as they're organized and aesthetically pleasing! Lol.

    I'm really glad your shingles didn't get worse. Your walk is beautiful! Give yourself credit. You're an educator working during a pandemic and you're doing a damn good job. Keep on taking care of yourself and maybe even take a little bit more each week for yourself. :)

  2. Ouch! I too was worried you'd broken your arm. And yay for Bryce recognising that you can't help anyone else, not your students, not their parents, not your colleagues, if you're not looking after yourself.

    I'm going to be frank. You know what your list felt like to me? Another list of even MORE things for you to have to do, on top of everything else. I get that they help, and each of them are great on their own. And if they do make you feel better, all of them, then that's great, and you clearly know yourself better than I do! lol But it really struck me that you've just put more pressure on yourself when maybe you don't need it. And your body certainly doesn't need it. Your list of tips felt like you were telling yourself to "pull yourself together" without much self-compassion. Even the language you used at yourself didn't feel very compassionate. I just wanted to stop and hug Jess-on-the-floor, not yell at her.

    For me, I know that sometimes I have to give myself permission to blob, to isolate, to pamper myself, when I need it. Sometimes a snooze on the couch or curling up in bed with a book in the afternoon is just as restorative as a walk in nature, or a connection with friends, and I don't want to feel guilty doing it.
    Maybe the make-up and the walks and everything ARE acts of self-compassion and work wonderfully for you, and if so, I'm happy for you and wholeheartedly support your approach. For me, though, they're all great "as well as" tips, rather than "instead of" for me.

    I hope your body recovers soon, and your other activities see you feeling restored. And that you have a great and well-deserved day off this week.

    Breathe. I'm breathing with you.
    Sending love and hugs.

  3. Oh Jess! Those are great tips for getting out of a funk. I hope you are (still) following them.

  4. So the arm injury looks really really painful, but I love the brilliance of this: "Remember how good your body is at making you stop completely when you don't."

  5. Oh. My. Gosh. That all sounds so horrible. Bryce is wise and so grateful he ordered you to You.

    You look refreshed in these pictures. I do think there is a ton of wisdom in your advice to get outside. Nature soothes.

    I hope the week was good to you and that the holiday enabled more healing and soothing.

  6. I'm late to the party (?!) but I want to echo everything everyone has already said. I absolutely do believe that when I don't slow down, my body will do it for me!

    And YAY BRYCE!!