These are the months where I can easily find myself in a FUNK.
Even if we have been seeing the sun and warm temps a little longer here in MN, I can already tell that I want to crawl into my bed a LOT earlier and sleep the days away.
Most winters I can feel the funks coming on. This one is no exception. But I loathe that feeling. Where you sort of get yourself in a pattern of talking about how icky winter is and how you can’t wait for spring. And how your mood is off and funky.
So, I’ve actually been thinking ALOT about this through the summer, of all seasons. I notice that I always feel best with a little movement in my day. So, while I was happily walking and moving more in the summer because it’s easier, I made a sort of plan for winter this year. And I’m rolling it out a little bit right now to see how this all goes.
Typically, during summer, I’d lift about 3 times per week, of sort of intense training program or moderately intense program, depending on the week and the load. A lot of walking during the week just to be outside. And a few separate sessions of short kettlebell swinging/snatching days, usually, again, to be out in the sunshine.
To be honest, at the moment, I don’t have the drive to do all that. Plus, right now….I just don’t want to do all that. I did a lot of work all last winter, and then took a little break after the RKC, but still actually managed to keep quite a load of workouts going during the summer. So, I sort of want to slow it the heck down for a while. Plus, my body says slow it the heck down right now (which is funny, because last fall/winter it said go balls to the walls).
But how do I do that and keep movement in to keep the icky winter feelings at bay? So far, I’ve REALLY dropped the volume of my training program, and picked just five things I want to work on (maybe I’ll write a separate post about that soon too). I’m doing that program in the 50-80% of my normal weight ranges, only I’m doing it about five days per week. So, I’m getting my lifting in, but the intensity each day is not as great (actually, it feels super EASY), and I’m done with my lifts in 20-35 minutes. This might sound like a lot of days in the gym to some people, but I own the gym….so I’m there at least that many days per week, and many of those days I have these tiny little time frames of downtime where I’m in between clients or classes, so actually this fits in sort of perfect for the moment.
In addition to this, I’m also trying to keep a lot of walking outdoors into the mix as I can. Outside seems to be a huge thing for me, even if the sun isn’t shining. Just getting the fresh air for a bit seems to help, but it REALLY helps when the sun is shining. So, I’m shooting for about five outdoor walks a week. Mostly because I need that dose of movement to help me feel less funky, and mostly because the outside thing really does seem to help me with that. This is sometimes easy walking, sometimes brisk walking, and already has seemed to help tremendously.
Writing. Writing blogs, writing in my gratitude journal, writing in my regular journal, reading a short devotion and THEN writing. Just plain writing. Not typing, writing. Writing is relaxing for me and helps me sort through things somehow, even if I’m not writing about what I’m feeling. So that really has helped me.
Re-learning a skill. I played piano for a lot of years. Life happens, and you get busy and have a kid, and find other interests, and some of those old skills fall by the wayside. I’m spending a few minutes at the piano twice a week. This is interesting to me, because I have a habit of only playing things that I can make sound good, and not playing anything else. Or completely avoid those songs that require “counting” because I don’t already know what they sound like. So, I’m trying to improve on things that I have never improved on in the past. And, huge learning here…..playing piano is exactly like movement. In movement, you can hide a lot of flaws and weakness by going fast. You can do that playing the piano too :). You really only “own” movement when you can slow it WAY down. Same is true for piano!
Wednesday is now self-care day. It is super easy to avoid self-care stuff like journaling, devotions, or whatever the heck is a part of your self-care practice. I actually learned this skill from my coach through the RKC. Dedicate ONE day and one session to “check-in” and see how you are feeling. Of course, for that training plan, it was more physical self-care than anything. So I’m making Wednesdays self-care day for body and mind. Wednesdays are the days I will do soft tissue work when needed, all the OS resets, foam rolling, and a good stretch, as well as checking in with my mental state too….the journaling, devotions, having quiet time, etc. I also have a few restorative yoga playlists saved on Youtube as well, should I need some inspiration. My thought is that even if I miss a string of days of my normal routine, at least once a week I’m making an effort to get back to my happy place.
So, here is my recap:
- Move often – for me it is easy lifting and walking about five times per week, for you this might look different depending on what YOU like.
- Writing – again, this works for me. If you hate writing, it probably won’t work for you, so find something that YOU love or that relaxes you or helps you center.
- Learn or re-learn an indoor skill. Not everyday if that’s overwhelming, maybe a time or two per week. Keep it light and fun if you can, so you look forward to it instead of loathe it (and then avoid it).
- Dedicate one day as self-care day for body and mind. So that if you avoid some things alllllll week, at least you have one day where you know you will nail it and get closer back to your center.
I plan on checking in on my own winter funkiness with you all this year. I think this is a topic that tends to get avoided because people feel like they are fatally flawed if they get the funks during this part of the year. Nope, it really IS a thing. No need to feel weird about it. There are ways to help manage it. Sometimes that might mean seeking out your health professionals advice, and sometimes it might be as simple as prioritizing things that help you find your center.