Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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. 

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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.

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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?





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visiting with
Mary & Sue

46 comments:

  1. Around here they call it feeling puny. :-) All good advice. Isn't it funny how something we've written years before ministers to us again?

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    1. Looks like you and Bill {2 comments down} speak the same language, Barbara! Kinda neat how our dialect varies from region to region!

      But our hearts are the same, aren't they ...

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  2. However I feel, I choose to rest and believe He's got it.

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    1. Amen. That choice is becoming more precious and necessary as time goes on ...

      Glad you're here to chat, Rebecca!

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  3. I rest in His hands Linda. i was feeling puny a few weeks ago(right around Christmas) but doubled the Vitamin C and raised the Vitamin D and kept going. Got some extra sleep which was needed and God blessed me. Didn't miss a day but took it easy. Hope the guest post doesn't get you down.

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    1. I just can't quite decide what to write about! So I write on a variety of topics in my sleep at night!

      ;-}

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  4. Great advice, Linda. Many will find this helpful. Thanx.

    God bless.

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    1. Trust me, I've had to learn the hard way ...

      ;-{

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  5. GREAT Advice--life giving!
    Blessings!

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    1. Ah, Lulu ... results from the school of hard knocks.

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  6. Not feeling punky at all. Two kinds of cancer, twice the victory.

    Bring it!

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  7. Such good, good advice, Linda! (We say puny here in the midwest, too!) These really are self care items we should all do anyway.

    I especially like your advice to do something creative and to list things in our gratitude journals - so healing for the spirit and emotions!

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    1. I'm standing corrected / enlightened by my mid-west and southern readers, Jerralea!

      PUNY.

      In my darkest days, I discovered sketching with pastels. It calmed my rattled system and was a peaceful way to while away the hours. The artistic results were not at all impressive, but it relaxed and recalibrated me.

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  8. Fortunately, I'm in a good place right now, Linda. Whenever the situations around me "gear up," I'm remembering my word for the year, "lean," and that's what I do - I lean into God for all I'm worth!
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. I love that you're catching things in the middle of the 'gear up,' Martha. Oh so important to discern and name what's happening before it grabs hold of us.

      Leaning on Jesus ... yes and amen. His name 'calms our fears and bids our sorrows cease. 'Tis music to the sinner's ears, 'tis life and health and peace.'

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  9. I understand that churning in the brain when you're deciding on what to write. Non-writers just don't get what we put ourselves through. :)

    It's "puny" where I'm from, too, so I'm glad to learn a new word today. And I'm feeling that way myself, mentally, but hopefully next week I'll get some R&R and feel back up to exerting energy again.

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    1. I knew someone would get what I was talking about! And we so want to put our best foot forward when appearing on someone else's site! I need to just sit down and get it all down in black and white. The post has rattled around in there for a few days and is finally waiting to make an appearance ...

      Meanwhile, I hope the days ahead offer you a respite, a breather, some grace and space, friend. Praying for you even as we speak ...

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  10. Linda,
    Great list :-) #1 is so hard sometimes but so helpful. Or if I borrow David's words and write out a psalm that helps. Happy New Year and I pray you get the rest you need, my friend. Love and hugs :-)

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    1. Writing has become not only a creative outlet but a deep consolation and a clarity builder. I hear exactly what you're saying, Dolly.

      So grateful to welcome you back and start the new year off with you. You continue to be a wise inspiration to us all ...

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  11. I love how you always encourage us to give ourselves grace, Linda. I was trying to work on a post for next week. Such disjointed thoughts filled the page and weren't coming together to make sense. I was pleading with God to give me the right words, but often He has different timing than I do. Finally I felt I needed to walk away, so I took a reading rest and did some baking. I really need to practice #1 more often. Thank you for all these insightful tips. Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Yep, walking away works for me! Let's encourage each other to take the pressure off to be creative on a certain day {a real creativity killer!} and to write when God gives us something to say.

      When you can't NOT write, that's the time. You're so right ... meanwhile, let's shut down the laptop and go live our lives!

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  12. Great tips, Linda. We do need to learn to take care of ourselves. We sometimes are so busy taking care of everyone else, we let ourselves get run down (or worse, in your case!) I love #9, by the way! :) Doing something creative usually makes me feel better.

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    1. #9 for sure, friend! I don't get brainstorms while staring at the screen, they seem to come right in the middle of living out the day ... or deep in the dead of night!

      Go figure ...

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  13. 12 great tips Linda! We have so very much to be thankful for, and I think sometimes just looking at what is good in our lives, instead of focusing on what is not, and looking to the Lord always, helps so much. I also find getting outside, and just walking to be just about the cure-all for any "punkiness"! On a deadline to write is just tough, praying that the words begin to flow and come together cohesively for you in a beautiful way! Blessings and hugs :)

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    1. And those gorgeous photos you share are testament to the life-giving beauty in your neck of the woods, Marilyn!

      Refreshment indeed ...

      ;-)

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  14. Spot on - again! It's often helpful for someone to give us "permission" for these graces. Thanks for being you!

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    1. You're so right, Debby, about sometimes needing permission to lend ourselves grace and space.

      Sadly, we're often our own harshest taskmasters ...

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  15. Such a nice post! This is actually something I really needed these days. Normally the start of a new year was working good for me, but this year was somethin kinda different and I was deffinitely feeling punky.

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    1. Hi Kat! I'm glad you made your way here ... and that you found something a bit helpful.

      Welcome!

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  16. Oh Linda, I just always love coming here, friend! Such great suggestions! Getting sleep is so important, yet we neglect it. I've had a busy week hunkering down to do lots of writing-related tasks while my husband is out of town, but I've made myself walk away from the computer at a certain time, relax, and get to bed early. Also, your suggestion #12 is important! Just yesterday a friend was telling me she thought she had the flu when her fever continued, and her brother forced her to go to the doctor. Turned out she had a blood infection that could have been life-threatening! She was hospitalized and treated. It's so important to take care of ourselves...

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    1. Betsy, thanks so much for letting me know you love coming to visit! That means a whole lot to me this evening ... such an encouragement.

      Sounds like you're super productive in this season, making good use of your hours of solitude. Sometimes we just can't stop writing, ya' know?

      Meanwhile, I hope your friend is mending well. Sometimes it sure does pay to listen to our family members ...

      ;-}

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  17. Such good advice, Linda. Sleep, water and fresh air sound so simple, and yet they are so important. I went through a few weeks recently when my sleep was really disturbed because my mind just wouldn’t stop, and now that I’m sleeping better, it makes such a difference in how I feel. Thanks for sharing this list again.

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    1. You're so right, Lois ... without decent ongoing sleep we . are . sunk.

      So glad to hear you're back on track.

      ;-}

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  18. Still good advice and encouragement, friend! I wish you success with your guest post! Blessings on your weekend!

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  19. If I made a list, my #1 would be TAKE A NAP. At 70, I loose steam quicker and snuggling up with my pooch to nap gives me the boost I need to get unpunky. I believe my dog 🐶 taught me how to nap well. Never could nap in the past but I never used to know how to pace things. Have no choice now.

    Batten down the hatches and hope you don’t get the snowfall we are in for in NY

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    1. Oh yeah, Carol, I love a good 15 minute power nap in the afternoon! You bring up a good point about pacing ourselves. I didn't have to hit 70 to learn that ... you know I learned the hard way.

      Enjoy the snowstorm and the pooch!

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  20. Linda - What a wonderful list. Thank you! Maree

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  21. There has been a lot of punky funky ickiness around me lately. Lots of little children sick and lots of grown ups as well. I've been pretty lucky so far.

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    1. Yeah, there's some weird stuff going around out there, Kara.

      I hope your little ones are well!

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  22. Girl, I've been feeling punky for years! :) Self care is SO IMPORTANT and I'm glad you gave such good tips here. I have let a couple of these items slack lately and I need to get back on the wagon! Thanks for the encouragement xoxo

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    1. Please let me know how you're doing as you move ahead, Nicki!

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  23. A great repost Linda, especially for mid-January when the 'punky' can hit. It's #7 that can be hard for me. It's much easier to reach out when happy, content, then when punky. I want to wait until I feel better first, however that's denying the very medicine that can help.

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    1. Yeah, you're so right, Lynn ... and isolation ends up being the exact opposite of what we're really yearning for, some kind of meaningful connection.

      I absolutely hear what you're saying, friend.

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Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

Doesn't seem to be a place to leave your comment? Or your comment doesn't show up within an hour or so?

I'd love if you'd email me your contribution ... I'd be delighted to hand post it as soon as possible.

lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...

Linda