Feeling Punky . . . One More Time

One of the coolest things about blogging is that you're the boss of your blog ... and once you write something, it's yours forever.   And it's all good to crawl around your own personal archives and resurrect something you penned eons ago, dust it off a bit, and hit the PUBLISH button.

Right now I'm focused on a guest post I'm trying to figure out, so my brain is otherwise committed and preoccupied.  

And while those wheels are turning, this 'feeling punky' piece keeps coming to mind.  I wrote it a few years back soon after I had a tennis-ball sized cyst removed from deep inside of me.  

Thankfully, it was benign.  But the mending process left me feeling tapped out for awhile.

If you're finding this season to be an overwhelming challenge for whatever reason, this one's for you. 


I know I'm not the only one feeling punky these 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.

How are you feeling this week?


visiting with
Mary & Sue