Howdy strangers of the internet (& friends).
A few days ago I took a nifty little poll on instagram asking my followers what they wanted to read about on here. The results rolled in and the request was for “new stuff that wasn’t about old travels”. Noted. Luckily, my sweet friend requested to read about topics related to how I’ve been handling my mental health during covid. Being that I already share insights about my mental health, I thought “bet”.
This pandemic has lasted for so long, so there’s a lot to unpack in how I’ve been handling my mental health. So, we are going to start with what I am working on today, getting out of a goop, aka getting myself out of a funk (I’m using “goop” for referring to mild depression or funk because it just sounds more fun, please don’t sue me Gwyneth Paltrow). It feels most of us are in a bit of a goop right now, making the topic seem relevant and helpful.
Sometimes I fall into really good mood cycles and forget how easy it is to get stuck in a low mood. The past few weeks have no doubt been some lower than average vibes for me. I’ve noticed a few warning flags thrown at me, but just brushed it off as a “but it’s not like i’m doing or thinking *insert classical symptom of depressed*” situation. And today as I balled my eyes out after accidentally ripping (yes, ripping, no idea how) a trenta cold brew cup and spilling cold brew all over the inside of my car, including me and my phone, I thought “hmmm…maybe I am a little extra sensitive and grumpy”. So between the early onset of seasonal depression, the state of our world right now, mixed with my own garbage….I have slowly and surely spiraled into a bit of a goop . I feel like a lot of us humans are in this place right now too. The silver lining in a brain like mine (& with most human brains) is that i I have had lots of practice in pulling myself out of goops e, because I’ve had to learn to get back up after falling too many times. Which, is kind of badass, but whatever.
For me, the first step in getting out of the goop is acknowledging it. No surprise to anyone, I sometimes deny that I am getting into a depressive episode or that I’m already in one, until it’s slapping me in the face. Why, you might ask? Well kids, because quite frankly they annoy me and I have it scribbled into my brain somewhere that acknowledging it makes it scary (I know cheesy). The more I avoid it, the more persistent it becomes. So, I acknowledged it. I had a little pep talk with myself. Which included the mantra “you’re a bad b****”. Journaled some words. Meditate a little. What I enjoy doing and did for a bit today is reflecting on how I got here, without getting mad at myself or judging it…. because that’ll just make it worse. I found that it gives me comfort and motivation when I reflect further back to where I was a year or two ago and realize that at least my low isn’t as bad as it has been in the past and that now I am aware of it. Progress not perfection.
Somewhere between the reflecting and taking action I realized/came to a conclusion that a large part of my goop is coming from something deeper that I’ve been avoiding. I know, I know, seems superficial, but…….sometimes random things trigger those avoided emotions. Which, is normal for a lot of people. Remembering that whatever emotions I’m avoiding only have to be as big of a deal as I choose helps them not turn into a big deal.
I’m not going to say I felt incredibly better after acknowledging all of my goop & emoitions, because I didn’t. I will say it did make everything feel more organized and manageable……and even though it sucks, it’s not the end of the world or a crisis.
For phase two of getting out of my goop, I proceeded to spend 3.5 hours deep cleaning and re-arranging my room with the idea that a new set up and clean room will help shift my perspective on life. Was that cheesy? Yes. Did it work? So far, also yes. I would also like to add that even thought my intention was not a physical activity here, re-arranging my room was a workout for me, so I’m sure the unintentional endorphins from that helped my mood.
After feeling disgusting from hours of cleaning and not showering for longer than I am willing to admit to strangers on the internet, I thought a nice warm relaxing shower would be a healthy option for phase three of escaping the goop. Honestly, maybe all I needed this whole time was just a longer shower. Refreshing to say the least. I did settle back into sweatpants and a hoodie, but, they were clean! Also, it was like 8pm at this point and I had no energy for anything else.
I somehow managed to convince myself that a good meal was what I needed and that I couldn’t cook or leave the house, so I ordered food to be delivered. Bold move for someone who is ballin’ on a budget. I will happily announce that it wasn’t a “depression meal” either, it was green thai curry with tofu, so kind of the opposite. I also drink 64 oz of water. I am really proud of myself for this step and would argue this is a healthy option for everyone. Eat Food.
Even though they were small and simple steps, I do feel better and I felt inspired enough to share and write this. I’m sure some of you are probably thinking ok, you feel better now, but what about tomorrow? Well, from past experiences of pulling myself out of goops, I can tell you that these things do help and trigger a spiral upward for me. The timeline for the spiral upward, often reflects the timeline it took to spiral downward for me. persistence where persistence is needed.
For anyone who is struggling with their own goop, know that you’re not alone or crazy, even if none of this resonates with you. We all struggle differently. Which is why I shared the details of what my process of getting out of a goop looks like. In hopes that maybe some of what I share can help someone else, or at the very least make someone else feel less alone. Flipping your mood doesn’t mean being insanely productive to make up for all the lethargy, rest is okay.
I’m interested in keeping a small series of “getting of a goop”, let me know what you guys think about it!