Antidote for Discouragement, Despair and Funk

What’s your antidote for discouragement, despair, and funk? I was recently asked this question. Here are my thoughts and my answer on the subject. First of all, I want to express that depression is real and at times the only way to control depression is with counseling and anti-depressants. Seeking treatment doesn’t make you less of an individual; it only helps make you whole. What I am talking about today is not that level of discouragement. I’m talking about those days you get down on yourself and simply are in a funk. So I am going to refer to this as the DDF (Discouragement, despair, funk)

What I find ironic with life is the search for the DDF Quick fix. Drugs, alcohol, sex, attention seeking actions, etc. or there is withdrawing from life, self-pity mode (WSP). I will admit there are times I use the WSP style. Why do these answers seem to be easier? The problem is these answers are temporary, but seem easier and feel good at the moment but often lead to more sadness and emptiness. Let’s be real – lying in bed, snuggled in my covers, crying and wanting to sleep life away does not make things better. When I find myself in this situation, I have to call upon the warrior inside. Warrior Jen doesn’t allow me to linger and pout. I put on my armor, march right up to life and tell life to step aside I have things to accomplish. Yes, this can be hard, sometimes takes courage and definitely takes strength. I guarantee though if you find your warrior, you will become stronger and accomplish more. However, sometimes the armor becomes heavy and I find myself in the DDF phase again. If this happens, take a deep breath, take your antidote and shine up that armor and march back up to life. Jacob Nordby said, in his book Blessed Are the Weird, “Stand aside (life) and watch, for I will not pass this way again – at that moment Life surrenders in admiration….she (life) will not yield her treasures easily or to any who lack the courage to go all the way”. I love that. It’s so true. If you want to accomplish things in life, you have to push through the difficulty and shift through the crap.

I have a collection of antidote potions depending on the poison, but as I pondered this subject two words really sum it up – Emotional Connection. One of my top things is music. I love all music and really like the string instruments. If I need to be soothed, I love music of a piano or violin. If I’m upset and need confirmation of someone saying: you are damn right for being mad at whatever crappy thing happened, then it’s definitely not classical music. I have a whole bunch of playlists on my Spotify account. Music is an emotional connection for me. I also love the music of nature; leaves falling, rain, a gentle breeze, an owl hooting softly in the distance, water flowing etc. Exercise is also a great way for me to feel better. In the process of lifting weights, running, hiking, riding a bike, swimming etc., I feel the endorphins healing me. Most of my antidotes require time with me to think and process; to meditate, but yet there are other antidotes I have. I love humor. I try to see the humor in all things especially when things are ridiculously not going well. I try to think of what’s positive though the humor is much easier for me than the positive search. Then finding those things you just love to do. For me, I love to write. Writing is healing for me. When I write, I feel a warmness fill inside. Sitting down and creating a poem or jotting down a thought helps me to express my mood in a way to expel it from me. So, in summary, my antidotes require emotional connection whether it is a person, music, or a walk in nature. Do the things you love to do despite judgment, lack of it seeming to make sense or possibly the time to do them. Put your armor on and continue on with a positive attitude and positive people surrounding you. LET’S DO THIS!!!

What is your antidote is for DDF?

Here are my cliff notes:

  • Music: song, instruments and nature’s music (I love being in nature)
  • Exercise – love those endorphins
  • Time spent with friends with whom I can be myself, let loose and laugh a lot
  • Doing things that bring me pleasure
  • Finding humor and positive within the negative moment
  • Time writing to expel the emotion
  • Physical connection with someone I have emotional connection with
  • Remind myself I’m a warrior and life isn’t going to conquer me
  • Emotional Connection

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