In general, I am blessed with pretty stable mental health. On a mood scale of 1 to 10, I live 90% of my life around an 8.5. Fluctuation, for me, means bouncing between a 7 and a 9. A 5 is a pretty crappy day, and even then, it’s never really that bad. I’m not sure I know what a 2 or 3 would look like, or feel like; I don’t know that I’ve ever been there.
The more time I spend with people who live at a lower number, or who fluctuate more dramatically, the more grateful I am to exist where I do. That baseline high makes personal and professional troubles feel like small pockets of discontent, instead of blanket mood-killers.
But I do get funks, just like everyone else. Mine sometimes stem from feeling overwhelmed by all of the things I want to do, read, see, watch, and people I want to be with, touch, and talk to. I find myself jumping between gchats, text messages, and emails, trying to keep up. Planning back to back outings, double booking, and angsting over when I will get personal tasks out of the way. My life feels cluttered–cluttered with good things–but cluttered nonetheless.
So today I’m in a funk, and I will begin working down the list of things that help me come out from under the funky cloud. In no specific order, I will probably try:
- A manicure
- An evening cup of decaf coffee to be drunk quietly by myself with my new book
- Sitting in the sun
- Talking to my family on the phone
- Writing a very long email to someone who deserves a very long email
- Reading an article or essay I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t found the time for
- Picking up every goddamn thing on the floor of my room
- Making a list of really easy tasks, things like “unload dishwasher” and then checking of three of them
When I look at this list, and think about other things that would fit, it’s pretty clear that for me, defunkification is deeply dependent on simplification. The constant state of multitasking that we all live in (I have 9 tabs, 3 excel sheets, and 2 powerpoints open at this very moment) isn’t a natural fit for my temperament. When I need to detox, I do things that reduce the number of tasks/actions/items/people in front of me. Anything that forces focus (i.e. you can’t possibly do anything else in yoga except do yoga), is what helps me declutter.
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