I'm the queen of funk. And I'm not talking about the musical genre. I'm talking about what I call "the cranks," which is my melancholy bad moods, like PMS that comes any time of the month.
I've suffered quite a lot from my moodiness, and so has my community. When I get in a funk, I pull back from all socializing with everyone, and then with my family, I can go anywhere from snapping quite harshly to wallowing hopelessly.
These bad moods can be triggered by all kinds of things - I haven't pinpointed all their causes quite yet (for there are many), but I have found one thing to help myself when there's a serious infestation of bad vibes.
I take a shower.
It doesn't matter where I am in my bad mood - either at the beginning stages or deep down in the rabbit hole, taking a shower is always my step at climbing out.
Taking a shower just feels productive, and it's therapeutic in so many ways.
It signifies that we're moving onto something new. It's me taking care of myself. Not to get too hippie on you, but it's literally washing away the old and the dirty and starting clean with a fresh slate.
In ordinary circumstances, I put off showering until the last possible minute. I prolong the necessity by dry shampooing the crap out of my hair and have no qualms shaving my legs in the sink. Showering is the thing I do when I've been productive in all other areas - usually I've cleaned my house, made my bed, worked out, gotten everything ready until it's finally time to shower.
On days when I'm in a bad-mood-melancholy-funk, guilt comes in loud and proud belittling me by taking jabs at my productivity. Guilt says that I haven't done enough and therefore, I'm NOT enough.
When I start to feel that way, I need a reset button. I need a clean slate from whatever bad behavior I've indulged in from my bad mood (my go-to unhealthy coping mechanisms are poor eating and laziness). Logic gets messy when I'm in a funk, because I feel like I should "work off" whatever bad thing I've done. Like, if I ate pizza, I should go work out. If I wasted time on Pinterest or Netflix, I should clean out my email inbox. If I just lounged around too long, I should clean my house.
The voice in my head doesn't tell me to take care of myself, it tells me to earn my way back to a good-standing.
So taking a shower seems like I'm skipping a step, like I'm going out of order. And that's exactly what I need when I'm in a bad place. Because when I'm in a funk, I don't need to earn my way back to "goodness," I just need to be okay with myself again.
I'll literally stand in the shower and think about how when I get out, it's a fresh start. I'll take my time and take deep breaths until I'm ready to face the world as myself without any overcompensating. Taking a shower is an act of grace for me, as I remember that God accepts me as I am, so I should too.
Of course, it's not a magic solution (don't you wish those existed???). When I get out, I still have to choose how to act. It's easy to sink back into negative thoughts and self-indulgence even with clean, wet hair. But there's something about the pause of being in the shower that takes me out of the game long enough to get my head straight and remember who I am and the healthy habits I want to engage in.
So next time you find yourself in a super bad mood, if you can get away to your bathroom, I'd suggest you take a shower and use that time to press refresh on your heart. And if you ever start to feel like you're the only one who falls into these spells, please know you are not alone.