We've all been there, whether we consider ourselves a "creative" or not. In a funk. Not feeling like ourselves. That was me for the past few weeks. I've been completely out of it and I'll be honest, it sucked. The worst part of being in the haze is knowing that you're in it, but not being able to change it. A friend of mine described the funk as almost like a depression. Scary, right?
Depression runs in my family and knowing that depression can be hereditary, I have to be very careful about letting myself get too deep into the sadness. I've always thought that instead of medicating, I could find ways to fight the battle naturally. This sometimes proves more difficult than I'd like, but in case you struggle with the same thing, I'd like to share some ways that I cope when I am in a funk.
Meditation I'll be honest, I have been a little skeptical about this, but when I found out about the Headspace app that only required 10 minutes of meditation a day, I felt like I should give it a shot. Headspace uses something called mindfulness meditation that doesn't feel burdensome or scary like you're totally going to fail by thinking about your to-do list while you meditate and it has even been shown to boost creativity. So far, I'm sold. I'll be honest and say that I haven't kept up with it every day, but even after just the first day, I was feeling a lot better.
Priorities I just can't get enough of these. But they are really one of my favorite ways to earn happiness in my life. By reminding myself of the things most important to me, I am able to re-focus, use my time more wisely and feel better about my path. When I am doing well at my top priorities, all the rest seem to fall into place. For example, being a good mother is top of the list for me, but being a good Instagrammer is not. I care about my online following very deeply, but the kids will always trump it. When I am a good mother, I am a better creative and in turn, a better Instagrammer.
Better Intentions It's hard for me when people say that healthy eating and exercise are the keys to happiness. Will those things probably make you happier? Yes. But it isn't that simple. Both exercise and healthy eating are habits that take a long time to connect with and putting the entirety of our happiness in the hands of those habits can be a lot of pressure. Instead, I like to go at life with good intentions. I buy the healthier food, but if I also happen to eat a handful of candy or one too many a lot too many chips along the way, I know that my intentions are good, that I am trying and that brings me to a better place of calm.
Just do it This one is a hard pill to swallow. When you're feeling like you can't create or write or get out of bed, sometimes you just have to push. You just have to do it. Even if the work is bad or even if you go back to bed 20 minutes later, you have to do it. When you are depressed or in a funk, this may actually feel physically painful, but the more that you do, the more you'll want to do. When I was in my most recent creative haze, doing anything more than I had to do felt like a punishment. I really, really just wanted to escape. But I was lucky enough to have a couple of people in my life who weren't afraid to say, HEY SNAP OUT OF IT, which helped push me in the right direction.
So now, I am out of this creative depression. I have no doubt that it will happen again. Mental health is not always something you can control, but it is something you can cope with if you have the right tools. Will these work for you? I don't know. I hope so, of course! But if not, maybe you have a different set of tools. If you have other ideas about how to get out of a creative depression, I would love it if you would share them with me, either in the comments below or via email.
*I am not a licensed doctor. I can only speak of my own experiences with depression and hope that my words find you and cane help you. If you feel you are depressed, please seek guidance from a professional and make a game plan for your health together.*