Shaking the Winter Blues
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Friday, January 25, 2019
By Joy & Charley
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My favorite blue throw covered my bent legs as I curled into a ball and snuggled into my spot on the couch. I swear this spot probably has an imprint of my rear end, as it's my prime location once all my days tasks have been completed. I honestly cannot sit down or relax if I haven't had a productive day. I just can't. I've tried. I need to have a long list of to-do's checked off in order to sit down whatsoever. 

 

But this day was different. I could feel it. And the fact that it was 10am and I sat in my favorite spot, curled up staring blankly at the tv told me that very thing...this was no ordinary day. For this Type-A, over-achiever doing nothing in the middle of the day is quite out of my norm. But there I sat with what seemed like 50 pound weight on me, and a million thoughts ran through my head. I'd like to blame the cold weather and darker days, but I know the truth...the blues can happen out of nowhere. And for me, lack of sleep and real food nourishment is a recipe for disaster.

 

I thought back to the past few days and re-played them in my mind. It was a great weekend filled with friends, family, food and fun. No catastrophe, nothing bad happened. I don't have anything to be sad about. Everyone has their health, the kids seem happy and content...Yet, here I sat. Somewhat sad and most definitely in a funk.

 

I hate being in a funk. I hate the feelings of being down for no reason. I wouldn't necessarily call it depression, but maybe it's a small form of it. If I could name it, I would call it feeling hopeless. It's that overwhelming idea that you are the only one that doesn't have their crap together and it won't ever change.

 

Feeling like I'm never going to get where I want to be, suffocates me and I feel like a complete and utter failure at life. I know this not to be true, but at times I can't shake the hold that is has on me, almost like a sticky sap dripping down an oak tree. It's just there and seemingly impossible to get rid of. It is so out of my normal to feel any sort of blue, but I'm reminded that most people struggle with some form of depression. I know people that really struggle with weeks and even months of living in a funk. Gratefully mine never seems to last more than a day or two then I jump back into the productive positive Carla. I jump full force into problem solving mode. 

 

And I was thinking about why my mini-blues don't seem to last as long as other people, and I've come to one solid conclusion. Sitting in the funk, and I mean LITERALLY SITTING in the funk will only pro-long it. I can only NOT work out for so many days without it mentally messing with my mind. And that fun I had all weekend with friends led me to over indulge in foods that I try to stay away from. Eating crap for days on end always leads me to mental despair. It's like clock work.

 

And I've made this conclusion: feeding my body well helps me not to fall into the blues and physical activity helps me to get out of them. It has nothing to do with trying to lose weight or being thin and everything to do with the endorphins that are released during and after a work out and the nutrients my brain needs from nutritious food. Moving your body until you build up a sweat will release happy chemicals in your brain. I know there is probably a ton of research to back this up, but I'm speaking from personal experience. Eating well and exercising helps reduce anxiety, fear, and anxiousness--not to forget the feelings of inadequacy. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

 

The minute I am feeling like a loser, failure, and like I'm behind in life is the minute I know I have to make working out and eating well the main priorities in my day. Doing so removes the funk and sets me back onto solid emotional ground. Don't have the personal motivation to do it on your own? Call a friend, invite your spouse to join you. I set the time of my work out the night before so it's already scheduled around other priorities. I also found writing out a head of time what I'm going to eat helps me stay on track. Hands down works every time. 

 

Blessings!

XO

Carla

 

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