Summertime Funk

Oct 21, 2013
Tagged with: Summertime Funk

I’m just coming through a season of my life where I felt like all of the motivation in my life had been sucked out of me. I had to force myself to exercise (mostly because I like eating) and it took a lot more energy than usual to get any school work done. I was lacking interest and intensity in my spiritual disciplines like prayer and reading the Bible, though I continued to do them half-heartedly. I felt annoyed by everyone and was often snippy and unfriendly, I didn’t want to go out and I was happy to sit at home and read.

I find that as the weather cools, I made it through a major milestone in my schoolwork (I’m officially ABD, almost done!!) and I have some new tasks on my to-do list, my motivation is slowly returning.

I’ve recently been motivated to start lifting weights again. This was largely motivated by having a body composition assessment done via DXA scan, which told me although I am lighter than I used to be, I’ve lost a LOT of muscle. I think the weightlifting has helped my mood as well. I feel stronger and I enjoy it more than running so I look forward to my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to hit the gym.

My motivation for schoolwork has been returning, too. PhD work is very self-directed, so I have to motivate myself quite a bit to get going, but I also have to set healthy boundaries for breaks and getting away every once and awhile. Now that I’m actively collecting data for my own project so that I can finish and graduate, I find that setting little goals for myself along the way really helps me to stay motivated, and to appropriately reward myself with breaks when I accomplish those goals.

Finally, my patience with people and finding joy in being with others has begun to return. Some of this has come from my time in prayer, spending time listening for spiritual wisdom and patience.

My final verdict is that the weather has something to do with it. I prefer the cold, I don’t like being hot and sweaty if I’m not exercising, and the heat makes me want to stay home and makes me irritable. Next summer I think I need to prepare myself more for the heat and how I’m going to stay out of my summertime funk that I had this year. Most people relate winter to seasonal depression, but I really think the summer zapped me this year. I love the people in Birmingham, but I’m looking forward to heading for cooler waters in the next few years.

Author: Susan Silverman