I woke up this morning in a bit of a funk. It was one of those mornings where you don’t quite feel like you’re part of the world, your head can’t seem to quite get with it and in the game, and you’re filled with self-doubt.
These mornings aren’t uncommon for me, personally, though recently they’ve been fewer (for which I am extremely grateful). No matter my self-doubt though, one thing I absolutely do know is that I’m not alone in experiencing bouts, mornings, days, weeks, like this.
Jump to 10 Ways to De-Funk Yourself
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Before we get to far into this post, I want to just make clear what I am and am not trying to say/claim.
These days might be the result of depression or anxiety, both of which I deal with, and I by no means want to say that what I have to suggest will clear any of that up. In fact there are plenty of blogs and articles out there that will claim to cure depression without actually knowing what the throws of it feels like.
This is not one of those.
I want to talk about the days when you just don’t feel right in yourself, but you have energy. When you’re feeling doubtful, but not the deep soul-devouring anxiety that nothing is right. I might even go so far as saying when the boredom and tedium of daily routines are catching up to you. This post is for when you feel like that.
However, if you are feeling deep in the depths of depression and/or anxiety, I absolutely invite you to try any of these. I of course make no claims that they work (though there have been times that they’ve worked for me when I’m getting close to my worst), and I know that when you’re so depressed you can’t even get up that these suggestions are probably worth being given the finger. But the invitation is there.
However, when you have the days when you just don’t feel right in yourself, when it’s out of the blue, but you’ve got the energy, then these suggestions are for these times.
What does this have to do with Tarot?
A few years ago I went through a situation that left me drained of any self-confidence that I had. I didn’t trust my intuition, even though it was screaming at me. I heard it daily, hourly, every minute, and every time I expressed it to someone, I was told I was be dramatic, over emotional, crazy (literally one of the worst things you can call someone in my opinion).
I was caught between being told on repeat one message, and externally being bombarded with messages that that voice didn’t know what it was talking about.
I was right of course. Intuition is always right.
But the damage was done. I lost trust in my intuition, even though it was right, even though it was proven right.
I was still practicing Tarot, and while reading for other people was not a problem as far as knowing what the cards were saying, I didn’t have the confidence to do it. I read for a very select few.
I continued reading for myself, but soon found there was no point. I didn’t trust what my intuition was telling me, so I couldn’t make heads or tails of what the cards were saying to me about me—and if you’re a reader who reads for yourself, you know how muddling that can be.
The self-doubt led me into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety that took me nearly half a decade to start climbing out of. And you’re damn right it affected my reading.
Self-care is so important when it comes to anything, but especially when it comes to intuitive-based practices. If you don’t have trust in yourself, then you lose touch with everything.
So when you start feeling like you might be having a foggy day, an off day, a doubting sort of day, look after yourself. Take note. Take note on how long it lasts, what helps, how often it happens, and so on. This can be a precursor.
When you do get to this point, I have suggestions.
We forget that we are human-animals. We need the outside. We need fresh air. When you get cozy in your space, or you get sucked into a pile of work that’s inside, it’s easy to not want to go outside—especially if the weather is less than ideal.
But part of life is experiencing the outdoors, and remembering that the weather has a life of its own. Go walk in the rain, or the sun, or the biting cold wind. Bundle up, bring an umbrella—but the key is not to think about the weather being crappy. Observe the weather, experience the weather. Unhunch your shoulders as you make your way through the sideways rain and ask yourself what you can learn from this experience, if it’s really as bad as you think it is,
The point of this is to get you moving, to get you doing something. The fresh air is good for you. But it’s getting you also to test your instant reflexes and why you think something might be as bad as it is. If it isn’t actually what you think it is, why not? What is your experience?
I know that we aren’t all in a position where nature is on our doorstep, but going along with suggestion 1, if you can go out for a walk, go somewhere with trees or at least grass. Go to a dog park if you can, or a botanical garden, or walk along a river.
If none of these are options for you, go and treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers (yes gentlemen, I’m talking to you too about this) and split it up in several vases to put in every room. Or, go get yourself some house plants. I just got two small succulents for £1 each to put on my desk (note, I generally really hate succulents, but these I’ve found to be quite pleasing). The added greenery, even from across the room, has really influenced me in positive ways.
So go get yourself some nature, in any way you can.
Yeah, I went there.
But it’s true. Often times when I’m feeling directionless and self doubt, it’s because my brainspace is expanding everywhere and focusing on too many things at once. It confuses me and I find that instead of getting anything done, I just mentally go round and round in circles.
Mediation centers that. If I’m doing it right, it forces me to focus my brain on one thing, which quiets all the rest. This doesn’t mean that the one thing I focus on is one of the things that’s been driving me crazy. But rather, focusing on breath, focusing on a card that I’d like to embody during the day, or focusing on a color corresponding to a specific Chakra, etc.
Doing this can calm the mind, especially when done for at least 10 minutes. Try and carve out some time during the day for this. There are plenty of apps to assist if you generally have a difficult time with meditation, as well.
Similarly to meditation, drawing a card from your deck and using it to focus on your message or advice for the day can be a really helpful practice. It provides direction when you’re feeling directionless, and can empower you when you need it.
There are a couple of courses that Lindsey Mack offers in her Soul Tarot School that can be beneficial for unlocking deeper inspiration in the Tarot (I also find listening to her podcast to be highly inspirational).
I find that for days like today, it’s good to have a deck that reads very positively. I like a good, down to earth, no BS deck for most days, but for days like this, more gentle decks are worth having such as The Wild Unknown Tarot, the Prisma-Vision Tarot, Angel Oracle cards—actually, any Oracle deck I find to be pretty positive-messaged.
To do this, try to center yourself. I know it can be hard on days like this, but spend some time sitting and noticing your breathing before you begin shuffling. As you do, focus on the question ‘What do I need to hear to elevate myself?’ or something along those lines—feel free to make it yours.
When you draw the card, try to employ the practices outlined in my Weekly Tarot Card Series, even if you know the card well enough. Observe it, noticing what sticks out to you, though don’t place any meaning to anything just yet. Spend a few minutes or more meditating on it, focusing on the card itself and trying to step into it. Imagine witnessing or being a part of the scene. What do you notice when doing this? Look at the element and the number. What do they mean to you? Take apart the symbolism and consider how they influence what you need to know right now. Finally, allow yourself some time to put it all together into the message you need to hear today.
Spend some time thinking about this message and how it applies, and what you can gain from it.
I personally find journaling to be a form of meditation. It forces you to funnel all your thoughts into words that conglomerate on the page. It puts my thoughts in order. Because of this, where possible, I think it’s important to write by hand. I think with typing you can go too fast, your thoughts can come out too close to word vomit, and you don’t get the chance to organize them.
That being said, I know that journaling by hand isn’t always an option for many. For those who don’t connect with writing for whatever reason, recording your thoughts verbally is a good method as well (pro tip: if you chose to do this, do it near those plants you just bought, they’ll love it).
You can journal on anything, on what you ate and why you ate it, how you slept, what you dreamed, what you’re worried about, what solutions to that worry might be, the card you drew, the walk you took—anything. But try to set a timer or a page count and don’t stop until you reach that point.
There’s a practice called Morning Pages in which you get up every morning and write out 3 pages. You start and don’t stop until you’ve reached at least those three pages. You don’t ponder what you’ll write about next, but just keep writing. Even if you’re writing ‘I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write…’ on repeat, it’s focusing your mind on one thing, and eventually you’ll get to a point where you’ll write something else.
I recognize this is a sore subject for many, and it can also be somewhat of a privileged/classist subject, but I want to make suggestions that are likely to be available to anyone and everyone.
Have a look at what you’re consuming. Are you drinking enough water throughout the day? What’s your fruit and veg intake over the last week?
These things drastically affect your mood.
When I haven’t had vegetables or fruit, my body tells me. I’ve been lucky enough to find ways of affording fresh veg and fruit, and was vegetarian for nine years. I personally find that since I’ve introduced meat back in my diet, it’s easier to forget to eat the green stuff and my body suffers for it. But so does my mentality.
When I was really struggling financially, I was lucky enough to live in a place that put a lot of value on quality foods, and thus there was an abundance of high quality foods donated to the local food back that I utilized.
If you’re in the UK, I find that even having crappy vitamin capsules (the expensive ones are actually better quality for a reason, it’s not solely price gouging based on a name) from the pound shop or B&M or Home Bargains is better than nothing if for whatever reason you can’t get quality plant foods into your diet. I think I got some Vitamin D and Calcium tablets for 60p from Aldi and they’ve made the difference along with the dissolving vitamin drink tablets (90p) and fishoil tablets (£1). Also keeping an eye out for the ‘Wonky’ selection or the reduced section for deals is really helpful.
Anothing thing I found that really was fulfilling was foraging. It forced me to get out of the house, learn about my environment, learn about local plant life, gave me a varied and seasonal diet, and it cost me nothing but the highly important reference books that kept me from poisoning myself. These can be obtained from libraries or for fairly cheep on sites like Ebay and Abebooks. But definitely make sure you have a field guide handy specific to your area. however, I do recommend foraging–it’s a lot of fun.
When I was in the States, I used the Grocery Outlet to be really helpful.
Also, if you have a skill, like Tarot reading, check out local Farmers Markets toward the end of the day. A lot of times they’re willing to bargain on remaining produce and might do a trade. I used to work at the Farmers Market selling goat cheese and I used to pick up all sorts of reduced goodies at the end of the day.
Get creative, but keep in mind your diet.
When I was in high school I found this great spiral notebook that had a little red mushroom on it with white spits, and a cartoon ladybug humping it, thinking it was another ladybug. I thought it was the funniest thing and bought it while I was in Canada (thank you, Canada!).
That book became my Book of Things that Makes Me Happy. I bought some markers and write down and doodled everything that made me happy at the time. This included poems, song lyrics, quotes, situations that my friends and I found ourselves in, words I particularly liked (such as ‘prolific,’ which according to the SAT definitions is ‘abundantly fruitful,’ which pleased me), and so on.
When I felt like crap, I’d thumb through it and smile a few times.
Make your own Book of things that Makes you Happy. Collage, doodle, write, paint, press flowers, trace bottle caps—whatever. But put little reminders in there of what gives you joy.
This act does two things:
So, I might be preaching to the wrong choir here, but funk music is amazing. Go listen to some funk. Really get into it, and have a dance party with it in your living room.
Seriously. Go do it. Right now.
It’s not always possible or feasible to treat yourself. I understand that. But find something little that you enjoy that you don’t normally let yourself do, like getting a Mocha at your favorite coffee shop instead of settling for McDonald’s to-go coffee, or buying a magazine on your favorite hobby, or taking the train west an hour and exploring. Or it could be treating yourself to a new Tarot deck…
Remember, daily life can really suck sometimes—we don’t always have the job we want, we have regular demands that never let up, and it can just be hard to get out of bed sometimes. So give yourself a pat on the back for existing and not killing any one, and treat yourself.
Get yourself excited about something coming up. You can make the goal as big or small as you’d like, just so long as it’s achievable. It might mean saving up to go to Spain at the end of the year, or going and seeing the new Popular Movie release at the end of the week. It might be to do 10 minutes of yoga or meditation every day this week, or to draw one picture a day for a month.
Instagram is filled with weekly, monthly, and daily challenges. Participate in them!
The idea is what when you complete the goal, you feel better about yourself, and it allows you to set another goal for consistency, and then another goal to up the bar a little bit, and so on and so forth.
Completing goals feels good. I once had $6,000 in credit card debt. I paid it off, and when I did, I felt good. It didn’t matter that I had only spent $4k in actual purchases and the remaining $2k was just money I handed over for interest. I was debt free, and that felt really good. I organized under my sink can came up with a better organization system for our clothes in the bedroom. It felt really good to have that accomplished. I set a goal to do the #30DayTarotWritingChallenge—it was freaking hard work, but man did I feel awesome when I accomplished it.
Start small, and grow. That’s what goals are for, to mark growth, and that’s why they feel good.
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