Do you ever get into a funk? Of course you do! We all do! Funks suck so I want to share some tips on how to get out of your funk.
Ways To Get Yourself Out Of A Funk
You can’t avoid low moods all the time but if you’ve been feeling down for a while it’s time to do something about it.
Reach out to a friend.
Contact a friend and be totally straight with them. Tell them that you’re in a funk and you just need to talk. Talking about what’s bothering you is very therapeutic and your friend will be supportive.
Read something inspirational.
Whether it’s a book on your favourite topic or an article written by someone who excites you this can be a great way to get yourself out of your funk.
Do something physical.
Physical activity results in a release of endorphins so just get up and move. Maybe you’re already an active person but you’re in a workout funk. This is the perfect time to try out a new program.
Do something nice for someone.
Commit a random act of kindness! Doing nice things for others has a way of lifting your spirits. Hold the door for a stranger, give someone a compliment or even volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
Do something that scares you a bit (or a lot).
Sign yourself up for an event, join Toastmasters, commit to a 30 day challenge – anything that gets you out of your comfort zone. The surge of excitement you experience will totally get you out of your funk.
Book a trip. Even if it’s just a weekend at a B&B in the next town or city, a change of scenery can really help.
Explore your funk.
Take some time to think about what got you into your funk. It’s better to recognize and deal with stressful issues rather than bury them. In fact, burying them is really unhealthy and will eventually catch up to you in a very negative way.
Journal what you’re grateful for.
Take some quiet time to yourself and write down everything that you’re grateful for. Thinking about the great things in your life will really help to lift you out of your funk.
Life can be challenging at times and it’s not always easy to stay positive. It’s totally normal get into a funk once in a while and it’s perfectly okay. Just make sure you address your issues and ask for help when you need it.
Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Many people do and this time of year can make them want to hide under the covers until spring comes. Unfortunately you can’t do that.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
We all feel down now and then, but SAD is a depressive state that occurs every year, usually in the fall and winter. People who suffer from SAD may feel perfectly normal during the spring and summer months, but starting around October or November, symptoms of depression begin showing up.
Because this type of depression come and goes some people wonder if it’s just all in their head. Quite often a person who is experiencing SAD is not taken seriously but this is a real condition and can have a devastating impact on your life.
Researchers still don’t know the exact cause of SAD, but the factors involved are effected by the decreased amount of sunlight that fall and winter bring.
Internal clock: Some scientists think that decreased sunlight disrupts normal rhythms of wakefulness and sleepiness. This disruption leads to sad and depressed feelings.
Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that impacts mood and sleep. Levels increase when it’s darker so as the seasons change melatonin levels can fluctuate and may cause feelings of depressions.
Serotonin: While melatonin rises when the amount of sunlight drops, serotonin levels drop. Serotonin is what gives you feelings of well-being and happiness. Not having enough of it can cause your mood to drop.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
People experiencing SAD will have feelings of sadness or depression. You may feel sleep deprived and struggle to get out of the bed in the morning. It may be a struggle to get through the day because you feel drowsy all the time.
Low energy will affect your ability to concentrate, and this can affect your productivity at work and home. Because of the low energy, you’ll struggle to get things done, which leads to frustration and more feelings of depression. Typically, SAD sufferers will crave foods high in carbohydrates which will often lead to weight gain. Finally, your social life may suffer. When people are feeling depressed they quite often withdraw from their friends and family. This isolation can make you feel even more depressed.
Now for the Good News – Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Luckily there are treatments you can try if you think you may be suffering from SAD. Try experimenting with different treatments until you find one or a combination that works for you:
Light therapy: Bright light stabilizes out of balance chemicals in your body helping you to feel more like yourself. The best lights are those between 2,500 and 10,000 lux. Many people really benefit from this treatment alone.
Vitamin D3: Vitamin D is frequently referred to as “The Sunshine Vitamin” because your body produces it when exposed to sunlight. Because of the lack of sun in the fall and winter Vitamin D levels drop. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that has important roles in supporting mood & mental health as well as a healthy heart, cellular replication, a healthy immune system, blood sugar levels, and more!
Exercise: When you exercise, your body releases “feel good”chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals cause you to feel happy, confident and bring about a feeling of well-being. The elated feelings that endorphins bring are comparable to the feelings that morphine and heroin create. To release endorphins, you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes and this can be any activity that you enjoy. Contact me if you need an at home program with nutritional support and accountability!
You Are Not Alone
If you find yourself feeling depressed during the fall and winter you are not alone. Experiment with some of the treatment options and, if you’re not already, definitely start exercising 😉
Most of us have at some point experienced emotional eating. I was once an emotional eater and still struggle with it. We often use food to celebrate, to comfort ourselves or even to alleviate boredom. Once in a while is okay but when emotional eating becomes a regular habit that’s causing you to feel guilty and out of control it becomes a problem.
Are You An Emotional Eater?
Let’s take a closer look at what emotional eating is:
Emotional hunger will cause you to crave specific comfort foods. Try this out the next time you think you might be experiencing emotional hunger: ask yourself if eating something healthy like some fruit or vegetables will satisfy you. If the answer is no and all you can think about is junk food you’re more than likely trying to soothe yourself, or celebrate something. Your body doesn’t need it but your mind is telling you that you need it.
Emotional hunger most often leads to mindless eating. When you’re eating to deal with your emotions you can easily eat an entire bag of chips without even really being aware of it and without even really enjoying it.
Emotional hunger doesn’t go away just because you’re full. When you eat in response to emotions you won’t want to stop just because you’re full. You’ll want to keep eating to avoid the emotion you don’t want to feel. Unfortunately, until you deal with the emotion and allow yourself to feel it and just accept it no amount of food will help you. If anything, it will make you feel worse.
Emotional eating often leads to guilt, shame and regret. When you eat due to physical hunger you’re giving your body what it needs which is a good thing so you feel good about it. If you’re feeling guilty or shameful after you eat, quite likely it’s because you know deep down that you aren’t eating for nutritional reasons.
How To Combat Emotional Eating
It’s not easy but you can do things to help stop emotional eating. Here are some tips:
Identify your triggers. Do you find yourself eating in response to stress? Sadness? Happiness? Boredom? Figure out your trigger and have a plan for when you’re feeling these emotions. Maybe you need to go for a walk, or answer e-mails or talk to a friend. Have a plan for when you’re experiencing your trigger moods and be sure to implement it.
Tell someone close to you that you need their support. When you feel like you need to turn to food for comfort contact that friend and tell them what you’re feeling. The time spent conversing with this person may even outlast the craving.
Keep a healthy kitchen. We all have certain foods that give us comfort. Having them once in a while is okay but having them on hand all the time is a recipe for disaster. You might be having a craving for something that will calm you but if it’s not in the house you probably won’t go out to buy it. If you do decide that you’re going to go out and buy it walk to get there. This will give you some time to think and the fresh air might actually work to calm and soothe you.
Keep yourself busy. This is particularly important if you eat out of boredom. Don’t let yourself get bored – take up a hobby, start a blog, connect with friends online, adopt a pet, take a course to learn something you’ve always wanted to know more about. Find some sort of non-food activity that comforts you and helps you feel fulfilled.
You Can Do This!
Emotional eating can be very hard to overcome but you can do it. Think about how it makes you feel when you eat your emotions and decide that this isn’t good enough for you anymore. You deserve to be happy and feel in control. Decide that your well-being is more important than the short escape from reality that food gives you and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Eating the right foods is absolutely necessary to keep your body healthy but many people are totally unaware of the impact food has on your mental state. Research has shown that food actually does affect our moods. Eat the wrong things and you may experience fatigue, moodiness, anxiety and depression. Eat the right foods and you’ll not only keep disease away, you’ll also keep your mind functioning more optimally which means you’ll feel happier, more energetic and you’ll have a clear head.
Many people have food sensitivities and don’t even know it! They are unaware of the connection to the symptoms (tired, crabby, depressed, headaches, joint pain, etc.) they are experiencing to what they ate 24-72 hours ago. They actually assume that it’s normal to feel like crap!
To find out what foods you’re sensitive to eliminate one food for one week and see how you feel. If you feel incredible you know that you’re sensitive to that food and you should not eat it. If you feel the same then that particular food is not the culprit and you need to try eliminating something else. Keep eliminating one food at a time for one week to find out what foods are causing your body and mind distress.
I used to eat A LOT of sugar when I was younger. I also suffered from asthma, depression and anxiety. I never drew the connection between what I was eating and how I felt.
After taking a nutrition course I decided to try cutting out sugar – NOT at all easy but I was determined. After I got over the withdrawal I noticed something amazing. I was no longer needing to use my inhaler before my workouts and my state of mind completely changed. I went from feeling depressed, anxious and tired to feeling clear headed, energetic and actually excited about life. I still indulge now and then and when I do I always need to use my inhaler the next day and if I indulge for a few days in a row I notice feelings of anxiety creeping back.
Think food sensitivities aren’t a big deal? Think about this: eating foods that you are sensitive to puts constant stress on your digestive system, immune system, and compromises your vitality which can lead to depression, low energy, anxiety and brain fog.
The most common foods that people are sensitive to are:
Gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye)
Dairy (especially cows’ milk)
Nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and any spices that include peppers)
I consume caffeine – I LOVE my morning coffee and for some people it can enhance physical and mental performance. The problem is when you have too much. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety, nervousness, mood swings, and sleep disturbances along with inhibiting serotonin (your happy brain chemical). 1-2 cups per day is fine and try to consume it before noon.
Need some alternatives?
Want to cut caffeine out completely? I just found out about an alternative to coffee called Dandy Blend. Dandy Blend is a natural herbal “coffee’ that has helped many people get rid of coffee for good. I’ve never tried it but if you try it let me know what you think in the comments below.
How To Get In The Mood With Food
Manage Blood Sugar
If you want to feel good both physically and mentally you need to control your blood sugar.
Never skip meals! If you do you’ll be cranky and ravenous which will most likely lead to bad food choices (ie a sugary snack) which will lift you up momentarily and then drop you on your ass. Eat healthy foods throughout the day – I like having almonds handy and I also use a high quality shake when I need it.
Especially never skip breakfast! Eating a breakfast rich in protein will get you started on the right foot! I have my shake, half an apple and my ketone/mct supplement every morning. It’s not too heavy and it keeps me going through my morning spin classes J
Here are some more tips on managing your blood sugar:
Balance your meals with healthy protein (nuts, seeds, wild fish, organic chicken, grass-fed beef), healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts & seeds, grass-fed butter).
Stop eating flour and sugar products. NEVER eat high-fructose corn syrup.
Stop consuming all processed, junk, or packaged foods. If man made it in a factory don’t eat it!
Stop eating trans or hydrogenated fats.
Help to fix cell membranes so that they can more easily receive the messages from insulin by eating omega-3 fats. Consider taking a high-quality supplement like Udo’s Oil to increase your levels of omega-3 fats.
Eat 30-50g/day of soluble fibre.
Get your workout in!! Exercise improves your cells’ ability to respond to insulin better.
Make time for ‘me time’. Constant stress can affect your blood sugar so be sure to have a bit of down time every day and make sure to schedule in vacations.
Foods that Boost Mood
Nuts – I love almonds! Walnuts are great too
Dark green leafy vegetables
Dark orange vegetables (pumpkin, squash, carrots etc.)
Wild caught salmon
To be your best in body and mind, eat a balanced nutrient dense diet, full of whole, real foods. There’s a BIG difference between eating a meal of fresh, organic plants, properly raised protein, and healthy fats and eating a plate full of dead, processed, “food-like” substances (I like to call them non-foods). Non-foods increase toxicity, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies. Real food that you could find in nature if you had to, promotes physical health and optimal brain function.