Tuesday, October 4, 2016

12 Essential Graces For When You're Feeling Punky

I know I'm not the only one feeling a bit punky in recent days.

I'm hearing that you are, too.

*

Maybe you're mending from some physical malady like I've been.  Or perhaps exhausted with joy over a huge milestone ... or grief over a loss that's left you stunned.  You might be making your way through a series of depleting transitions, or filled with dread at what might happen in the days ahead.

Perhaps chronic illness is taking its toll ... or you realize that you've slowly gotten crispy around the edges with burnout or compassion fatigue.

Over our heads, over committed, overwhelmed, overloaded, overwrought, overcome.

Sometimes we're so busy tending to everyone and everything else that we unknowingly begin to neglect our own precious bodies, minds, and souls.  Yes, we're called to love others as we love ourselves {Matthew 22:39}, but we often forget that the 'love ourselves' mandate gives us the grace and the fuel to effectively reach out to those around us.

So if you're feeling punky or a bit out of sorts these days, here's 12 graces that might give you a hug of hope, a dose of sanity, a nudge toward healing.

*

1.  Call it what it is.
Sometimes we've gotta stop running from what is true about where we are and speak it right out loud.  Or write it down somewhere.  Hearing our weary voice utter raw truth or seeing it in scrawled in black and white allows us to name what ails us, see how it's impacting our reality, and offers us an invitation to choose our next steps.

I am  _____________  and it's left me feeling  _______________.  I am making the choices to  _______________,  _______________,  and  _______________  so my body, mind, and spirit can be strengthened. 


2.  Get some sleep.
Far too many of us are just plain sleep deprived 'cause we're not getting the long term rest we need, day in and day out.  Sleep is not an option.  It's imperative, it's life-giving, it's healing.  Curl up and take an afternoon nap.  Or go to bed a half hour earlier.  If this is an ongoing challenge, there's probably a medical component going on and your doctor should know this is plaguing you.


3.  Eat healthy & drink lots of water.  
You're craving comfort food, but all those carbs and sugar will do nothing but drag your already taxed body lower.  Surround yourself with real food like fruit and vegetables and eggs and groceries that don't have an ingredient list that's as long as your arm.

Display the healthy stuff front and center in your fridge and cupboards.  Put the junk somewhere inaccessible to you.

And yes, just a little bit chocolate is good for what ails you.


4.  Shower & get dressed in something comfy.
If you find that you're living in your pajamas, if bedhead is your new look, it's time to refresh yourself.  There's nothing like a warm shower to make you sigh with relief and feel a bit more human.


5.  Cut way back on social media.
We're obsessed, we're addicted.  Social media's many attractive tentacles can easily breed an exhausting spin cycle.  Comparison, dissatisfaction, jealousy, FOMO {fear of missing out}, and feeling 'less than' all combine to create an endless toxic striving which can easily morph into an unhealthy anxiety.  Talk about feeling punky.


6.  Get some fresh air.
Our tendency is to burrow down and closet ourselves indoors.  It's amazing what opening the windows can do for body and soul.  Breathe deep as you walk down the path to get the mail or sit on the patio in the sun.


7.  Don't isolate.
Solitude is one thing.  Isolation is a whole other ball game. Turning into a hermit benefits no one and invites depression to come join you.  Tell people what you need ... it might just be an occasional quiet companion to keep you company and nothing more.


8.  Feel free to say, 'no thanks.'
Wisdom is knowing when to say 'no.'  When to take a sabbatical, when to get a replacement, when to decline an attractive invitation or a long-awaited opportunity.

There's a season to take the pressure off and perhaps that is now.  And please don't allow people to send you on a guilt trip or make you feel like you're obligated to give extensive reasons for the choices you make.


9.  Putter or do something creative.
Staying in bed morning, noon, and night is a bad idea.  Move around each hour, clear a counter, take care of a task or two, give yourself a change of scenery and the opportunity to feel like you accomplished something of value.  And a good book or two make fine companions when you're feeling out of sorts.




10.  List 3 gratitudes each day.
Even in this unsettling season, there are always things to be grateful for.  Keep a little gratitude journal.  Counting your blessings and giving thanks to God and to those who've blessed you is not overrated.  It's a lifeline ... and has the power to refocus you when anxiety and fear come to call.  'From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another' {John 1:16}.


11.  Connect with God.
Pray yourself awake in the morning and pray yourself to sleep at night.  Unpack your heavy load with the One who has borne your griefs and carried your sorrows.  And in the process, pray for another soul.  You won't have to look far to find someone in even worse shape than you are.

Read a simple Psalm, sitting reflectively with the Psalmist and the One who ministers to our deepest hurts.  Or check out Elijah's story of spiritual battle, physical depletion, and emotional exhaustion ... and glean from his recovery story in 1 Kings 18 - 19.


12.  Call your doctor.
If you're feeling punky for more than 2 weeks, please call your doctor.  Punkiness often comes with very real physical ailments that need to be tended to.  It might also be helpful for you to connect with a counselor to work through some of what led you into this difficult season to begin with.




Read more:



COMING SOON - A Guide For Those Who Care About Someone Who's Feeling Punky


*

How do you battle punkiness?

*


*

visiting Holley's on Wednesdays

49 comments:

  1. Go do one of your 12 things you listed…I vote for a nap…and a small piece of chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good chocolate trumps pain meds any day of the week!

      ;-}

      Delete
  2. Wise advice. I was just thinking that I need to get an early night tonight- and I agree about the chocolate too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And how 'bout hot chocolate before bedtime?

      ;-}

      Delete
  3. I am definitely feeling kind of punky these days Linda! I also struggle with drinking enough water every day, so thanks for the gentle reminder. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May your writing be a path out and away from the punkiness, Nicki. Sometimes, it's exactly what we are called to do.

      Delete
  4. Great list! I tend to do some well--and others--NOT so well! And it all happens in bits and pieces. The only thing I might add--is do something spontaneous for someone else in need, want, or pain. AMAZING how much better things look when I quit naval gazing!
    Blessings, My Friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes. Naval gazing is highly overrated {especially when brand new stitches are in view.} Let's hear it for the joy of spontaneity, of giving without thought of receiving.

      Thanks for bringing life and hope today, Lulu. It's been a bit quiet around these parts ...

      Delete
  5. Thank you, Linda, for a powerful post. I must admit I didn't have time to read it all the way through so I printed it out. It sits on my kitchen table and when I get home I will read it. Thanks for your visit. You're a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this was a bit wordy!

      I appreciate your grace ... and that printer, too! Enjoy.

      Delete
  6. You have some very good advice here, Linda. Thank you.

    Especially the last one about calling, or visiting, the doctor. The last time I visited the doctor, as soon as he saw me, he said: "Lie down on the couch!"

    I asked him why?

    He said: "I want to vacuum clean where you're standing!"

    Then when he finished he said: "Cleanliness is next to godliness!"

    "Not in my dictionary!" I replied.

    When he finished examining me he asked: "Do you get very sharp pains at the back of the knees in the morning?"

    "No," I replied, "why do you ask?"

    He said: "Because I've had them for the past week and I thought you'd know what it is."

    "Speaking of pain," I continued, "I get a sharp pain in my eye whenever I drink tea."

    "Take the spoon out of the cup first," he said.

    God bless you. Keep smiling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, no truer words have been spoken, Victor.

      mmm ... maybe I'll cancel that next doctor appointment ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  7. Oh, how I can relate to this post, Linda! There's so much encouragement and strength that we can draw from doing any one of these. I am trying to do several of them, though I want to get outside with the cooler, autumn winds in the air, but haven't been able to for the past few days. It's my favorite time of year, but I will have to be content for now to look at it from my window. Thanks for your encouragements here, my friend. I hope you are feeling better this week. Praying that's the case!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been lifting you high in prayer, too, friend. And you're right ... embracing even just 1 or 2 of these graces for ourselves can make a world of difference, a huge shift in perspective.

      And don't forget the chocolate!

      ;-}

      Delete
  8. Hi Linda! There is so much power and wisdom in being able to say 'no'. I think so many of us, especially women, overextend and volunteer to our complete detriment. We may not want to let anyone down, but in the end, it's us who get tired and punky.
    Love the sleep advice too. Getting 7 -9 hours a night repairs and restores while we don't have to do anything! Such a deal :)
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Ceil. Our people-pleasing tendencies can boomerang around and knock us flat. The older I get, the easier it is to say, 'no, thank you!'

      Aging has its benefits ...

      Delete
  9. What a great list, Linda! And I do almost all of them! ;)

    I'm glad you also listed a gratitude journal. I think that is key to fighting "punkiness."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! He is so very worthy of our praise!

      Delete
  10. Hi Linda,
    Great to see you up and around again! :) You have here the perfect prescription for what ails us! So what if we're stressed about a hurricane?! :) Just kidding -- this too will pass! So glad you're doing okay! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, the hurricane! A dear friend is driving down there even as we speak to get married!!!!!

      Delete
  11. I find that having a gratitude attitude really helps me over those slumps that visit now and then. Being thankful is a positive action in itself, so our minds are turned away from the negative almost immediately.
    Wonderful advice, Linda! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gratitude Attitude. I love how you've coined that, Martha!

      It's just far too easy to be negative, pessimistic, always fearing the worst. Embracing gratitude has been a huge game changer for me along the way ...

      Delete
  12. Glad you are feeling better after your surgery! I'm just peeking around and catching up...hope that's ok. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how wonderful to have you back again ... you've been missed! Hope you had fun wandering around here. The conversations have been super ...

      Delete
    2. I meant what people were saying back and forth in the comments. Not that what I wrote was super.

      Yikes ...

      ;-{

      Delete
  13. Great list, Linda. Can add three suggestions?

    13) This may not be popular, as it involves pushups to muscle failure and a chinning bar. But there's nothing like getting strong to improve one's outlook.

    14) Cheap cigars and a feel-good movie.

    15) A hug from Strawberry The Baby Bullmastiff (I saved the beast...uh, best for last). Come on over...she's maybe never met you but she loves you anyway, and she gives absolutely unique canine hugs.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/10/your-dying-spouse-215-caregivers-bill_4.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 13. Ah ... no.

      14. Ah ... no to the cheap cigars but yes to a feel-good movie. {Nothing violent, thank you.}

      15. Ah ... maybe / probably. Does she bite?

      Delete
    2. No, Strawberry doesn't know how to bite. At all!

      Delete
    3. Well, that's a very good thing!

      Delete
  14. I was actually encouraged to find that I'm doing most of these things :) The {somewhat} cooler weather has encouraged me to keep my doors and windows open until at least noon! Great list! I know you'be learned the truth of these essentials first hand. Bless you, friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love an open window ... even mid-winter. Call me crazy ... it's ok!

      ;-}

      Delete
  15. Well said, Linda! I think pinky times are sometimes allowed by the Lord for us to reset our lives, attitudes, schedules, etc. We often hear or know it is a good idea, but just as often we don't make it a priority to do so. Wisdom here, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen. So well said, as always, Pam. Our reset buttons need to be pressed on a regular basis. Nothing like some downtime to make you realize how little you miss the craziness ...

      Delete
  16. Such beautiful advice, Linda. Thank you. I've been having problems today posting comments on blogs through wordpress. My anxiety is rising. I think I'll go take that shower and slip on my nighty and try to relax and forget about this problem for the rest of the day. :) Blessings and hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you call the anxiety what it is and have an immediate plan to switch gears, friend. Good for you for turning the computer off, taking a lovely shower, and donning your favorite sleepwear.

      You're just plain smart!

      Delete
  17. I need to work on so many of these, my friend. What an incredibly helpful list, Linda. I'm so excited to be in the "open the windows" season. It was crazy hot this summer. My house has been all shut up for months. The fresh air is so welcome these days :). Thanks for these much needed tips and reminders!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And finally, after 10 days or so, the sun is out and summer is re-introducing herself.

      I couldn't be more grateful!

      Good to see you again, friend ...

      Delete
  18. Hi Linda! I'm so glad feeling punky passes ... and when you're knee deep in it, sometimes it feels like it won't. You've identified so many self0care and self-help strategies. Puttering is so great and one of my go-tos! I can actually feel in my deepest places when it's been too long since I've created. That's when I grab my camera and go for a walk. Works every time! Oh, and I agree with Andrew ... a good visit with a dog is invaluable! We keep thinking about getting another one ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love to putter, yes! And snap some shots with the phone. Sunshine's the best med, for sure. I'm heading outside to soak it all up right now.

      And yes, let's hear it for self-care strategies that are just plain common sense ... and be savvy enough to weave them into our overloaded schedules.

      Delete
  19. Linda. This is an excellent thorough list.
    I need a list like this right now. So many gold points here. I liked what you said about compassion fatigue. I totally get that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fear that there are more of us that are grappling with compassion fatigue than really know what's going on in their depleted bodies, minds, and souls. I hope this weekend provides you rest, Somer ...

      Delete
  20. Linda,
    I found myself nodding in agreement as I read each entry on your list. Right on with me! Good practical advice! Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm glad these resonated with you, Lora!

      Delete
  21. Wonderful thoughts Linda... I agree especially with you on the social media one... can be such a total drain of energy. Hugs to you today, dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social media.

      {sigh}

      Need we say more?

      Delete
  22. All great tips Linda! I find making sure I choose people who are life-givers and safe to be in my space also helps me move through those times gracefully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn, absolutely. People who speak life and Christlike grace and hope, daily living that testimony only serve to encourage our spirits and build our character.

      Delete
  23. Even if it took 2 months to get here, Linda, I needed to hear this.
    saying no! A lot lately and it definitely has helped.
    Hugs and kisses to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For such a time as this, yes?

      I hope you've found something here to refresh your spirit, friend. It's so very good to see you here again ...

      Delete

'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda