What to Do When Your Life Feels Out of Sorts
Life seems to goes through seasons – not just in the traditional sense – but in terms of how we feel. There are times where I feel completely balanced and at ease. I wake up feeling good. I notice that I’m on the receiving end of strokes of good luck or acts of kindness throughout the day. I feel better about my body when I look in the mirror. And I feel in control and more productive at work… And then there are times when I’m just out of sorts. I don’t recognize who I see in the mirror. I feel bloated. All I want to do is drown my feelings with food. Little things that wouldn’t normally bother me annoy me to no end. Work is overwhelming and I constantly feel like I’m struggling to keep myself above water. And every time I think I’m making headway towards re-balancing myself, another wave of chaos comes to re-submerge me.
But living your best life doesn’t mean you always feel your best. It’s important to acknowledge your full spectrum of feelings and introspect if there really are patterns or cycles that are impacting you in some way – good or bad.
I’ve definitely been in a funk the past couple weeks. In an effort to unpack why and pull myself out of it, I’m writing this post – both as a personal exercise (that I’m completing as I write this) and as something to share with you if you’re going through something similar.
Take a deep breathe (or a few). It’s like hitting a mental and physical reset button and prepares your mind to focus on what comes next.
2. Pinpoint how you feel, write it down, and reflect on why you might be feeling that way
Personally, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and unproductive. I think the “overwhelmed” feelings stem from work. My biggest project of the year is coming up and so my to-do list feels never-ending. At first I thought the “unproductive” feeling was also work-related. But after deeper reflection I realized that I actually feel unproductive or unsuccessful in other parts of my life… and in comparison to others. I haven’t made any headway on my passion projects (vlogging, blogging), in cultivating new relationships in my personal life, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I haven’t created the time or had the mental energy for these things. I’ve felt so overwhelmed with work that by the time I’m finished all I want to do is veg out in front of the TV. I’ve also felt a bit discouraged in my progress as well. For example, every time I want to start working on my vlog, I see other vloggers who just seem so amazing and together. Comparatively it feels a bit like – what’s the point? Why bother? What am I contributing to the world by posting this video? I essentially psych myself out and deflate my own confidence. By writing this out, I can already feel a sense of clarity. It’s like all these feeling were consuming space in my mind, and now that they’re out on ‘paper’ they are more tangible and less insurmountable.
3. Switch up your routine
If you’re feeling stuck, going about your usual routine probably won’t do much to change that. You have to shake things up! Inflate yourself with new energy and new perspectives. Since I won’t be able to do much to change my workload, I can change up how I work and be more conscious about creating time and space for the other things that I enjoy. For me, exercise and eating the way that makes me feel best have a huge impact on how I feel – so I know I need to get back to prioritizing those things. To start, I’ve signed up for a new hip-hop exercise class. Who doesn't love a good boost of endorphins in the morning?!
4. Practice self-care
As part of your routine, don’t forget to make time for self-care. Be deliberate in doing what you need to do to keep yourself feeling good. Invest in yourself by learning a new skill, start a gratitude journal, take up a skincare routine that makes your evenings feel like a trip to the spa, book a weekend trip for you and your friends!
There’s nothing wrong with feeling out of sorts, in a funk, or just plain stuck. Being proactive in figuring out the root causes of these feelings will help you start to figure out how to get back on track and feeling like yourself again. In some cases, the best thing you can do is let it pass (as they say, time heals all), and that’s OK too.