We have been under poor air quality advisories for four straight days now because of forest fire smoke. I admit this grey smoky weather has been a joy zapper to me. Blah! We had plans for a spray park outing with friends and family on the weekend. Well that didn’t happen.
The smoke stopped that plan dead in its tracks. Plus the fact that it poured rain. So the combination of a poor air quality, cold weather and pouring rain did nothing to improve my plans or mood.
On December 5-9, 1952 London England had what they called “The Great Smog”. Because of a high pressure weather system, fog and smoke dropped into London bringing the city to a near stand still, resulting in thousands of deaths. I do hope and pray our smoke doesn’t cause thousands of deaths but it sure has brought outdoor life to a stand still.
All the heat and fun summer outdoor happenings stopped dead these past days, it was like hitting a brick wall. All momentum stopped, it feels deflating to say the least. We have enjoyed weeks of sunny reliable weather and the day we wanted to go to the park it socked in smoky and raining. One day was ok to watch TV and have a nap but two and three days is getting too much for me. It would be easy to feel sorry for myself and sulk but its a long road back from there. Instead I decided to make a list on how to work through this smoky season. Some others are feeling the same way so I’ll share 5 Tips I’m using to get out of the funk.
But before I go through the list I wanted to say that Mental Health is real. Depression should be checked by a professional. This list exercise is for a once in awhile blue day.
5 Funk buster tips:
- Admit it (admit you are feeling off)
- Name it (name what you are feeling)
- Change it (change the situation or how you view it)
- Embrace it (embrace the growth and learning in this experience)
- Release it (Let go of control and release expectations)
I’ll expand these concepts into a practical useful formula.
- Admit that you are feeling off. Until you acknowledge where you are at, you can not heal or change the situation. You can’t move forward until you admit to being stuck. In my words, I acknowledged that I was sad and feeling deflated, in a general malaise. Digging deeper I had to identify this emotional state.
2. Naming my present state came in the form of single word expression. I feel……… sad, grumpy, defeated, depressed, trapped and bored. Once I named and identified my present state now I can address how to move forward and back into a positive emotional place. This step is important as self defeating behaviour can happen here. The mind can go down a dark path and start making up false information. So stay with the truth and the present situation. This will help identify clearly what is happening in the moment.
3. Changing my circumstances wasn’t quite as easy. I can’t make the smoke go away, I can’t make the sun come out, but what I can do is change how I think about the smoke and grey sky. From the exercise to Name it, and my present state the words “trapped and bored” stood out the strongest to me. Yes I feel trapped in my house as well as trapped in the smoke. This brings boredom. Have you seen the tigers at the zoo and how they pace the fence? Ya, that’s something like I was experiencing. So the question to ask is, How to I gain freedom? What would it look like to be free in this current situation? And stop the boredom? Again, I don’t want you to go down a dark path and partake in self defeating behaviour like over eating, drinking, etc. What I choose to do is write this blog, in real time and give an outlet for what I was thinking and feeling. Freeing me from negative trapped thoughts, while breaking the boredom. I could have choose to bake bread now that it isn’t so hot out, I could have phoned a friend for a chat, or dug up a movie I’ve been wanting to watch. Going through picture albums or sorting out my closet was also an option. There are many things to pick from. And I do acknowledge right here that we have been doing this for the past year and half with the COVID restrictions. It is getting old. Pollyanna was on to something however when she played the Glad game. It’s like making lemonade when we are given lemons.
4. Embracing the growth in this current situation can have many faces. One thing I did was have a long worship time. This focused my thoughts and emotions off of myself and made me grateful, bringing peace. It slowed my thoughts and gave an outlet for releasing the negative crud that was bogging me down. So what ever it is that you do to grow as a person, dig deep into that for the learning and growth that can come out of this. It isn’t the situation but how we deal with it that matters.
5. Releasing the negative reaction to the situation could have happened for you in the embracing growth stage, if not then this is a good time to intentionally release any residual negative energy. Dancing, singing, laughing are all great ways to release all those happy endorphins we need. Shake rattle and roll those stubborn last bits off that hang on. This smoke won’t last forever and until then I’ll be flexible in the day Ive been given.
And weather update shows that it’s still smoky outside yet after working through this funk buster list Im motivated to start my day in a positive frame of mind. I have hope that the sun will come out tomorrow and if it doesn’t then I have a system in place now that can bust up the blues!
Thanks for joining in with me.