How To Get Out of a Funk & Feel More Like YOU Again

Hi my lovely!

OH MAN... what a winter this has been.

If you've been following me over the last month or so, you know that 2019 has been off to a bit of a rough start for me. From the highs of visiting Florida for a few days and seeing my fam/friends, to the lows of being sick for 2+ weeks and dealing with seasonal depression...

Despite all my goal setting, planning, organization, and good intentions to start off 2019 with a BANG, life doesn't always go according to plan.

Even though 2019 has been off to a slow start, I'm making a very serious effort to overcome alllll the things that I've let hold me back and get into a positive frame of mind to start #GSD SISTA.

I've shared my experiences on Instagram, but in case you missed how I'm getting out of this funk, you can listen to this podcast episode or this one.

I’m really glad I shared my lows and how I was moving through them, because those are the exact things that moved me from sulking, being sad, feeling sorry for myself — to completely lighting a fire under my azz to move forward and get past my funk.

There’s a fine line between extending grace to yourself when you’re at a low point — allowing yourself to feel sad, go through the motions and not beat yourself up.

But there came a point where I KNEW I could do better, be better, FEEL better. And even though I didn’t freakin feel like it 99% of the time, every day I’d force myself to do the things I knew I needed to in order to stop feelin funkay.

The biggest dial movers have been:

  • setting strict boundaries around social media

  • going outside for walks even if the weather suxxx

  • moving my body every single day (minimum 30 min)

  • eating mostly clean and GPF

  • journaling

  • speaking about it (hello, podcast aka my form of therapy! ha)

  • and MOVING. TF. ON. / not dwelling on the fact that I didn’t feel good 👏🏼👏🏼

Sometimes when you’re feeling down, you have to pull in the reigns a little bit more in certain areas.

For me, that’s looked like setting an actual schedule for when I’m on social and deleting it the rest of the time, taking pics of my food to stay accountable to my meals, planning out my days BY THE HOUR and filling it with all the necessary self-care things that I usually make the excuse “I don’t have time for these today” and therefore end up feeling like a bag of POO. 💩

If you’re feeling low, I feel you.

But sister hear me when I say this — YA GOTTA DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

The world needs that bright, joyful, confident version of you, and alllll the wonderful gifts you bring to this world, k? 💕🔥🤗

If you need to chat about it, I AM HERE. Reach out to me with what's going on and we can chat.

Let’s get you back on the path to being the strongest, healthiest, happiest version of YOU — don’t settle for any less!

Sending you so much love. Let's finish out the winter on a BRIGHT note!

xo

Julie

6 Tips to Shift from Depression/Anxiety to a HAPPIER Life

*If you'd rather listen to this podcast, check out this podcast episode on the topic!

Hey sweets!

Today's blog post is a bit different than my usual upbeat/informational posts.

However, I think it's super necessary for me to be transparent with you about the struggles I go through: 1. so you can see that I'm a human, just like you and 2. hopefully inspire you to take control of your life. 

And after all, they say we teach what we need to learn. So I hope that by teaching you some of my tips, it reminds me to *actually* be consistent with these practices when I need a mood booster. Because as I always say, it's one thing to KNOW something, it's a totally different thing to actually IMPLEMENT it into your life. That's where the magic happens. 

Have you ever been in a funk that you can't seem to shake, no matter how many affirmations you repeat, bubble baths you take, gym sessions you have? It's like there's a dark cloud just looming over you, following you around. Sure, you're able to laugh and have a great time for certain periods and forget about it -- but then it comes back with a vengeance within a few days (or even a few hours)?

That's how I've felt, on and off for the past few months. Just 'off' -- for a lack of better words to describe it.

It's felt SO MF hard to feel positive, where that used to come naturally to me.

Self care has no longer been a luxury, but a NECESSARY part of my everyday routine. Otherwise, I'm in shambles. 

This is not to make you feel bad for me. Not in the least bit. Because I'm not here to leave you with a sob story about how I have anxiety and depression and how much my life sucks -- because my life is freaking amazing. 

But that's why I wanted to share this with you -- because if you've ever felt like you have EVERYTHING you could possibly need from the outside looking in to be grateful for, yet you still can't shake your tendency toward anxiety and depression -- I feel you. So deeply.  

While I can't cure or fix whatever's going on in your life, I CAN offer some tips to help you navigate this difficult season of your life. Here are some things I try to practice in my everyday life, especially when I'm deep into my own head and full of anxiety and sadness. I hope they help you, too!

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Photo taken by Toronto-based photographer Amin

1. Be introspective, but don't get stuck there. Focus on the solution instead of the problem.

Do you know WHY you're feeling anxious and depressed? Sometimes the answer is obvious -- you're feeling stuck in your job, you are unhappy in your relationship, whatever else is bothering you. 

But sometimes it's not as black-and-white. And sometimes even if it IS black and white, you're too scared to do anything about it, which keeps you stuck in the situation.

Whether you know exactly where your worries are coming from, or you need to do some digging, take some time to grab a journal, sit alone, keep your phone AWAY from you, drink some tea and just write. Journaling helps me get all of my thoughts and ideas out of my head and on to paper. I can't tell you HOW MANY times I've come up with solutions, ideas or just fresh perspectives because I took the time to write it out, as opposed to trying to figure out what to do in my head. 

And it's important to realize that after the introspection, it's OK to move on and focus on the solution. 

So often we get sucked into this whole, "what's wrong with me?" cycle, and we spend so much time focusing on figuring out what's wrong so that we can 'fix it.'

Once you have a general idea, start taking steps in the right direction. You don't need to see the whole big picture right now, just take the NEXT RIGHT STEP that your heart tells you to make.

One of my favorite quotes is:

clarity-comes-from-engagement

That means taking small, baby steps (even if they seem so small the won't even matter) because small steps DO matter. They're what add up to LARGER solutions and outcomes.

For example, if you realize you hate your job and want to leave, what's one thing you can do TODAY to take steps toward that outcome? You don't have to go in and quit immediately, but maybe you can apply for ONE job today. Maybe you can spruce up your resume. Maybe you can reach out to a friend who's a recruiter and see if there's anything in alignment with what you really want to do. Maybe you're just missing hobbies outside of work, which would make you happier AT work... so you take a dance class. Go to the gym. Do something that makes you HAPPY.

What's the one thing you can to today to move the needle toward your ultimate happiness? Go do that thing. 

2. Realize it's not always going to be this way.

Just as nature has habitual seasons, so do our lives. One of my favorite quotes is 'it's always darkest just before the dawn' which means if you feel you're at the lowest low right now, that means your breakthrough is coming. You just have to have faith that things won't always be this way, and as long as you keep proactively trying to better your life (showing up and doing the necessary work to be happy), brighter days are just around the corner.

Think back to a time in your life when it felt like you were NEVER going to be happy again: maybe it was a break up, death in the family, you lost your job. It seemed like such a dark hole that you could never crawl out of at the time. But some way, somehow, you are still standing here breathing today. 

3. Focus on even the SMALLEST things you can be grateful for. 

I write a list of things I'm grateful for every morning in my journal. 

It can be simple things, like: the feeling of my warm bed, my cup of coffee, waking up next to Mark and snuggling, the fact that I am ALIVE AND BREATHING -- which is a huge blessing we take for granted DAILY.

Whether you write a list in a journal or your phone, or simply take a few minutes in the morning to say them out loud -- gratitude is a game changer. Do it as often as you can: when your boss is being a d*ck at work, when you're stuck in traffic, just repeat, "I am grateful for a delicious breakfast. I am grateful that I HAVE a job to drive to. I am grateful to be safe in this traffic right now. I'm grateful that I can listen to audiobooks during traffic and get to spend a little quiet time by myself."

Change your perspective, and your life changes. 

4. SELF. CARE. Get out of your mind and into your body.

When I get depressed or anxious, most of the time it's because I've been neglecting self care. And while many people stigmatize self care as bubble baths, getting your nails done, having a spa day (which are all great ways to care for yourself, so I'm not knockin' on 'em)... sometimes it requires a deeper level than that. 

When's the last time you just sat by yourself and read a book or journaled? With NO distractions -- aka NO PHONE. When we keep distracting ourselves from our feelings by numbing out with our phones, social media, food, alcohol, etc. instead of facing how we really feel -- we're never able to truly take care of ourselves on a DEEP level because we don't even KNOW ourselves anymore.

Whenever I'm feeling anxious or depressed, I try to get out of my mind and into my body. If you have the tendency to overanalyze or overthink everything, this will be SUPER helpful for you, too. 

Getting into your body simply means doing something that grounds you and brings you back to the present moment. You can stretch, take full deep breaths with your eyes closed (I do this and hold my hand on my heart and say 'I trust you'... super powerful), go for a walk, dance around the house, do jumping jacks, do a workout. You can do pretty much anything that centers and grounds you, and brings you back to the present moment. 

Because everything we need to be grateful is right here. right now. One of my favorite quotes says:

guilt-past-anxiety-future

All we really have is NOW. Anxiety and depression do not exist here and now -- it's only when we're dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Remember that and try to get out of your mind & into your body to come back to NOW. 

BOOK RECO for living in the present: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Game Changer. 

5. Realize YOU ARE HERE FOR A REASON.

Many times when I feel anxious or depressed, it's because I forget my larger purpose in life. Our minds are super powerful, and I can get to some pretty damn dark places. My mind will try to convince me that "I'm worthless. Ugly. Not worthy of success. That no one even cares." And once you get on the roller coaster, it can be SUPER hard to get off and convince yourself otherwise. It's kind of scary, actually. 

When you have these thoughts, please realize they are not YOU. They are your inner mean girl, trying to steal the shine and keep you small so that you don't have to show up in this world in the powerful way you're meant to. Your mind and body want to stay safe and comfortable, which is why SO MANY people experience depression and anxiety when they're just about to (or just did) break through to higher levels of success in their relationships, jobs, or happiness. 

6. Do Things That Make You Happy.

This sounds so simple, and it is. But are you actually doing it?

And I'm not even talking about major life changes here (quitting a job you hate, leaving a relationship that's no longer serving you -- although those can be HUGE reasons that you're avoiding that make you anxious and depressed). I'm talking about the little stuff that seems insignificant but can brighten up our day in a MOMENT. 

For example: watching cat videos on YouTube, listening to a podcast that inspires you, listening to happy, upbeat music, DANCING around your living room, cooking, watching a comedy show. 

How often do you get sucked into a Netflix series that is downright depressing and makes you anxious? (I love you Breaking Bad, but guilty.) Or you listen to a podcast that you think is 'helping you' but you find that you're just comparing yourself to the person and thinking, "Why aren't I this successful yet?" or you listen to emo music which naturally is going to make you want to curl up in a ball in the bathroom and cry.

So often, we love sulking in our own misery (crying? listen to emo music! REALLY GET IT ALL OUT! lol)... but our mood can instantly shift if we stop FEEDING the depression, other depressing shiz! 

And really, can you dance like a crazy person, jump out and down, or listen to your favorite upbeat music, and frown or cry at the same time? DIDN'T THINK SO.


So there ya have it!

I'm hoping these 6 tips help you get out of a funk if you're in one, or prevent it from happening in the first place as much as possible.

I know depression and anxiety are a very real thing, and this post is not meant to make light of them and just say "HEY! GET HAPPY! IT'S THAT EASY!" If you do need to seek professional help, please, please, please do so. Asking for help is one of the strongest moves you can make in life.

But if you start implementing these things and your day is just a LITTLE bit brighter, I've done my job here. 

:)

LOVE YA TONS!

xo, TONS OF HAPPINESS

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I Miss My Family (Why It's OK to Feel Sad)

Gooood Tuesday morning, beautiful.

Today's post is going to be a bit different than my usual upbeat, happy-go-lucky emails.

I always, always try to be positive and see the bright side in situations, but sometimes I'm just downright sad.

Right now, I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss not having to use a GPS to get every freakin' place I go. I miss all my favorite restaurants, coffee shops, gym families and the familiarity of my day-to-day life that I built over 20+ years.

These are first world problems, I know. I'm blessed to have moved to a completely new place and get the opportunity to 'start fresh' -- meet new people, try new things, build a new family.

But sometimes it's OK to just... feel sad.

In the self development world, I've seen TOO many times that "you're in complete control of your emotions! (truth) and to turn your frown upside down; never let 'em see you sweat! (false)"

While we ARE in complete control of our emotions, that doesn't mean we'll never feel a negative emotion again.

In fact, there was a time in my life when I did everything possible to avoid those uncomfortable feelings.

Broke up with a boyfriend? No time to cry. I'd immediately invest ALL my time and energy into my job, working out, whatever else.

Family problems? It's OK -- I'll mask the pain by eating myself to death and spending hours in the gym the next day to make up for it.

We all have our ways of coping/masking our emotions, whether that's through drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, food, working out.

We do all of these things in order to ESCAPE. To run away from our feelings.

But what if we just sat in our feelings and really FELT them?

That's what I do now:

I understand it's OK to feel sad. It's a normal human emotion and there's nothing wrong with me. I'm not broken. I'm not depressed. I don't need to run to the doctor and have him prescribe me antidepressants.

I'm sad. It's normal - just like being happy, angry, joyful, etc.

Instead of masking that sadness, I let myself FEEL it. I embrace it. I cry. I journal. I breathe deeply.

I don't try to run from it or avoid it anymore, simply because I know that trying to mask it just adds to my sadness, it doesn't take it away.

So if you're feeling sad, please know there's nothing wrong with you. You're not broken. Breathe into your emotions. If you need to talk to a friend, call them. If you need to just journal and cry alone, process it.

And after you've had a good ole' cry, wipe those tears, beautiful.

Life goes on.

You won't be sad forever.

You ARE in control of your emotions - which means yes, cry and do what you need to do to process what you're going through.

But remember to find joy in the things that are right in front of you, right now.

Because even when it seems like there's nothing to look forward to, nothing to live for, and you have thoughts like 'wtf is the point of it all?'... there IS a point. There's a reason you're still here. There's still a job to be done by you on this beautiful earth.

So show up.

Be authentic.

Feel what you need to feel.

Then move on.

<3

If you EVER, ever need to chat, I am here.

LOVE, love, love ya!

xoxo

Julie
 

My #1 Tip to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

"The more you worry, stress, freak out, have anxiety, have panic attacks - the less things actually happen in your favor.
Why? Because you're SO attached to an outcome or an idea of perfection, that you completely give away the power for ANYTHING positive to come into your life."

Hello and good morning!

First things first -- I AM ENGAGED! Mark and I got engaged at Niagara Falls on January 19, 2017 <3

Also, if you're new to my newsletter - welcome :) I appreciate all the love and support I've been receiving. It's not the easiest thing in the world to be super vulnerable and share my personal stories... but I figure it one person walks away with a glimmer of hope and inspiration, my job here is done!

If you missed the last two newsletters, you can read them here and here.

Now onto the juic(ier) stuff!

As you all know, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. From moving home, to transitioning jobs, to visiting Canada twice, to getting engaged, to prepping for my contest -- phew!

A few years ago, all this chaos would've been enough to send me into a full-blown, anxiety-ridden, haven't-changed-from-my-sweatpants-or-showered-in-4-days hot mess.

Although I'm still super busy and life ain't slowin' down for no one (and I still enjoy wearing the same sweatpants for 4 days in a row... don't judge), some things have changed: namely, my perspective.

Let me explain...

I get it, I'm busy. You're busy. We're all busy.

And what usually happens when we're busy?

We get super stressed. Overwhelmed. Anxious. Attached to outcomes. Attached to plans going OUR way, and when they don't, we freak out.

I used to be a worry-about-everything-all-the-time person, because I figured the more I worried about something... the more likely it would be to actually happen, right?

Like if I just worry worry worry worry worry that this project will get done, somehow it will ensure that the project gets done.

Or if I worry worry worry worry worry that I'm going to meet someone and how/when/where/why I'm going to meet this person I'm going to spend my life with, they're sure to pop up, right?

Uh huh. Sure.

Vulnerability moment: I used to suffer from crippling anxiety a few years ago. Anxiety that made me not even want to leave my house. Anxiety that caused me to have a panic attack in the middle of downtown St. Pete with my friends. Anxiety that led me to have an eating disorder for two years.

But let me just be really real with y'all, because I know this from experience:

The more you worry, stress, freak out, have anxiety, have panic attacks - the less things actually happen in your favor.

Why? Because you're SO attached to an outcome or an idea of perfection, that you completely give away the power for ANYTHING positive to come into your life.

How the heck do you expect anything happy, positive or joyful to come into your life when your life is cluttered with the opposite: trying to control, manipulate, or worry your way into things working out for you?

And maybe you don't have full blown panic attacks, but you let stress get the best of you sometimes, as we all do. Either way, know this:

The moment you learn to give up control of a situation, is the moment the magic happens.

...and also every moment after that.

It's unrealistic to say you'll wake up one day, give up control over worrying about something, and that stress will never come back. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It will keep coming again, and again, and again... until finally whatever you're worrying about gets sick of pestering you and gives up!

Surrendering is a daily job.

Surrendering means understanding that you can't control everything or everyone around you. It means choosing - in the exact moment you start to feel the anxiety coming on - to take a few deep breaths, let it go, and trust that whatever it is you're worrying about will be taken care of.

Because it has always been taken care of, has it not?

Take a minute to think about a situation you're stressing about... let's say it's a project you need to get done at work.

Has there EVER been a time you've failed to complete a project? Probably not. So why would this time be any different? And even if you have failed to complete a project in the past, this is a totally new situation... you can't judge your current situation based on your past - we all know that's asking for trouble, ha.

Or maybe money is tight this month and you're worrying about how you're going to pay your bills.

Haven't you always been able to manage in some way or another, even when the going gets tough? This time is no different.

PRACTICE THIS

I want to share with you a daily practice - in addition to meditation, walking, prayer, coloring (adult coloring books are my jam and help me so much when I'm stressed), and just spending quality alone time with myself with no distractions - that keeps me grounded and my anxiety at bay.

While I love blogs that tell you "5 steps to get rid of anxiety" -- trust me, I've read plenty of them in my life -- I usually end up not doing any of them.

Instead, I'm going to give you ONE thing you can do right now if you're feeling sad, anxious, depressed, nervous, etc.

It's so simple, but it works.

And the best part, you can do it anywhere, at anytime, multiple times, without anyone even noticing.

Ready?

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath.

3 seconds in. 3 second hold at the top. 3 second release. 3 second hold.

Repeat 3 times.

That's it.

If you need more, do more. But that should be enough to calm your mind, relax your heart and help you surrender.

Remember, the Universe is on your side.

I am on your side.

Life is working FOR you, not TO you.

xo

Julie

P.S. If you're interested, Mark and I are doing a Winter of Gains fitness challenge, starting on February 1. It features customized at-home or gym workouts, meal plan, weekly check ins like I do with my VIP online coaching clients, a Facebook accountability group and more. Find out more details here!

As always, I loveeee hearing from you. Send me an email at julie@juliebooher.com and let me know if you've ever had anxiety or depression... these are issues we all deal with but are "frowned upon" to talk about - which is exactly why I want to talk about them :) <3

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