Sigh. What Do You Do When You’re Feeling Uninspired?

Restless and uninspired. What do you guys do when you’re feeling that way?

I don’t know if you regular readers have noticed…but I haven’t exactly been burning up the blogosphere lately. It’s strange and sort of unsettling, but as grateful as I am to be sane about food (and as much as I love interacting with all of you) I’ve been sort of down for a few weeks. Just feeling deflated and weirdly restless.

Restlessness like this used to always push me straight into the fridge. Nothing could distract me from that gnawing feeling in my stomach like stuffing it very, very full of food. But now that food is no longer what I instinctively reach for to “fix” things, I  just have to sit with it.

The funny thing is, I realized the other day that although I’ve been mired in this sense of restlessness, I haven’t really sat with it. Haven’t faced it. Nah, I’ve been trying to ignore and avoid it. Not with bingeing, but with things like TV, and reading, and work. But, hello! They may be healthier choices for me than a bag of peanut butter M&Ms, but they still don’t fix anything!

Distractions never work for long. Because (allow me a quick platitude?): You can’t run from your feelings.

I’m not sure exactly why I’m feeling this way, but I know it’s important to dedicate some time to just being quiet and sitting with it. The best way I know to do that is journaling. Something I haven’t done in quite a while.  So, I’m making a pledge today to journal a few times this week. I owe it to myself, and I deserve it.

What things other than food have you guys used to distract yourself from uncomfortable feelings? And what do you do to get in touch with them? xo…Sunny

19 Responses to Sigh. What Do You Do When You’re Feeling Uninspired?

  1. Leslie in Toronto says:

    This may make me sound like a raving lunatic, but I have conversations with myself. In the shower, walking the dogs, while doing housework …. sometimes out loud, but mostly in my head. I think/talk about what is bothering me and why. Sometimes I figure it out, but more often than not I just feel a little better about what is going on. If I don’t have the luxury of confronting a person who offended/bothered/annoyed me, I talk it out in my head and I feel a little better. Or, I imagine yelling at him/her, and I still feel better :) Sometimes the mere act of saying the words to empty space that you wish you could say to a person is really cathartic, whether the emotion behind it is positive or negative.

    Or, I go to youtube, watch my favorite videos, and ignore it all for a while. Sometimes that is the best solution :)

  2. Leslie: I do the exact same thing! I’ll sometimes talk to that voice in my head that tells me I’m fat or ugly or stupid. I’ll yell or even scream at that voice to shut up. It helps me to refer to that voice as ED (eating disorder) but I visualize a mean man who tells me I’m never good enough. So it’s satisfying to tell “ED” to shut up. Plus it helps to remove the negative voice from me and visualizing that voice/negativity coming from a different person.

    I like to take long walks especially in the city. I live in a major metropolitan area and just walking through the city makes me feel alive. Observing the colors and people around me help me realize that I’m not alone. There is life outside my own little bubble thus forcing me to think about how I want to fit into this world.

  3. Sunny says:

    Hi Leslie. I’ve been ignoring it for a bit too long-so no YouTube videos for me! It sounds like you almost journal out loud. Whatever you’re doing is definitely part of facing your feelings. thanks for sharing! xo…Sunny

  4. Hope says:

    I am sorry to hear that you are feeling this way. I usually find music to suit my mood, but occassionally that backfires because I end up listening to an album for hours rather than being productive. Sometimes I realize that I spend so much time sitting in my room telling myself I will get something done instead of going out and doing something more enjoyable that I may as well have gone out anyway. I think it’s important to go with your impulse in some circumstances and then when you get whatever you wanted to do out of your system it’s easier to get back to your work and focus. Hope this helps

  5. LovesCatsinCA says:

    Well, lately I HAVE been eating a lot for emotional reasons, but I’ve been gentle with myself because normal things like that restless feeling or job stress wouldn’t make me eat compulsively. But there’s something about family members in the hospital and worry and lack of sleep that is more than “normal” stress…

    That said, I find that taking a walk helps me with restlessness-and I can have work stuff out in my head while I walk. And I also find that if I need uplifting and am not ready for the processing of major emotions, it’s good to have positive reading materials that are somewhat spiritual that inspire and uplift (but not major metaphysical stuff that requires major energy to comprehend.) Examples-Guideposts magazine… books of peoples’ experiences with angel encounter stories, or the Linda and Allen Anderson Angel Animals series of feel good animal stories. All of the “Chicken Soup” books….

  6. Lauren says:

    This is so relevant for me today. All day I haven’t felt like myself… I’ve been tired and unmotivated feeling, which is so not like me! In yoga class this morning, I found myself looking at my watch the entire time, waiting for class to end. Then, all afternoon I couldn’t quite motivate myself to go to the gym or to study.

    I felt uneasy eating dinner tonight because I’m used to working out in the morning or afternoon, so it felt funny to eat knowing that I hadn’t had any real physical activity for the day.

    After dinner, I talked with my roommate about my day which helped to clear my head. Then, I ended up going to spinning class tonight because my friend asked me to go with her. I’m so glad I went, because it definitely made me feel better! I also ended up calling my mom and talking for a long time with her.

    So, today I learned that talking with my friends and family helps me… as well as exercise (love the endorphins!).

    Days like this are the worst! I just hope that tomorrow I feel like myself again.

  7. Megan says:

    I can certainly empathize with you on this, Sunny; we’re in the same boat right now.

  8. samantha says:

    i can totally empathize too. i have been in a rut of resentments and perhaps even some self-pity…and as much as journaling helps (i hear the journal entries rattling through my brain and yet can’t seem to get them on paper??) what has also proven to be the most helpful is talking with “like-minded” people (as in, communicating with girls on this site and knowing i am not alone and also talking with fellows in OA) and reading daily meditations each morning. i heard something very powerful recently. a woman said “i don’t wake up feeling spiritually fit!” wow, i thought! that makes a lot of sense- so when i roll out of bed feeling down (which seems to be the case as of late…) there are actually things i can do to change that: i open up a meditation book and read my daily meditation and it really helps center me for the day. misery does Not love company- let’s beat these crappy feelings to the curb (forgive my cheesiness..)

  9. Heather says:

    This is something I struggle with regularly.

    In my work situation (see earlier post by Sunny et al!) I do use food as the only thing I can think of in that given situation to cope.

    I’m not sure what it means to sit with one’s feelings and fully feel them yet. I hope I can learn something from all these posts here. x

  10. Nina says:

    I completely relate to this. I thought it had to do with the end of summer in New York, the cold settling in. Perhaps it is, who knows.
    But the problem was how much I was resisting my feelings. It’s as thought is is NOT okay to feel down. I was trying to push myself - to work harder, do more, be more productive. When all I really need to do is just accept it, let it run its course.
    I have a hard time accepting feelings and moods that I dont deem to be “productive”. But who knows what value there may be in these low periods? Just like our bodies at certain times want more or less food, so too our souls and minds are sometimes more or less inspired.
    My mantra at the moment is “you are exactly where you are supposed to be”. “The universe is unfolding perfectly”

  11. Trish says:

    Sunny — it’s so funny you said this, because I’ve felt the same way the last few weeks. Dave and I went on vacation, and since I’ve been back I’ve felt totally off. I’m not sure if it’s just stress from school weighing down on me or if it is just the change of seasons, but I’ve been pretty bummed. Like you said, it used to take me straight to the fridge — and thankfully I haven’t done that. However, I’m running into bigger problems … I’ve been taking my moods out on the wrong people — Dave included — and it’s putting strains on my relationships. In terms of food, I’ve gone in the complete opposite direction…I’m not eating. I have no appetite at all. I’ve come down to about one meal a day and sometimes even that is a struggle. I’m not trying to starve myself, and I don’t feel like I’m starving…I’m just depressed, and for some reason it’s killing my appetite. I don’t know how to get out of this funk, and it’s going beyond taking a toll mentally — it’s now affecting me physically, and I don’t know what to do. Anyone have suggestions??

    • Sunny says:

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear it Trish. You know what, though? This is a good reminder that our feelings and moods are cyclical. It’s normal for us to feel great for a while, then maybe a little less-than-great. Although, do you think you might actually be depressed, depressed? Losing your appetite is a symptom of actual depression, and that’s nothing to mess with. (Believe me, I’ve been there, had that!) Here’s a screening quiz if you want to take it:

      When I’ve just been “down” temporarily rather than depressed, exercise has really helped. And getting out of the house! Let me know how you’re doing? xo…Sunny

  12. LG says:

    Conversations with others really help me to get out of a funk! Podcasts and music really help too, as does…cleaning! Weird, I know, but it’s satisfying. Sometimes I’m feeling down or anxious though and don’t think about it until AFTER I start raiding the cupboards…ho hum.

    Right now life I’m feeling “in a funk” more often than usual because we’ve been trying for a baby for over a year…the waiting is really hard and I get this “it’s lonely without you!” feeling about a baby I haven’t even had yet. So…trying to connect with God as much as possible and LIVE LIFE with my husband to the fullest in the meantime! (Did somebody say WINTER VACATION?) :0)

  13. I’ve noticed I feel “down” when I’ve been go go going for a while (hello grad school) and then once completed have no direction or goals. You have your book coming out soon, so maybe you have experiencing a lull.

    I too have started to ignore my feelings with tv, reading, or surfing the internet-instead of eating food. Sure its better for me, but in the long run I’m still distracting myself and not really feeling the feelings.

  14. missymiller says:

    I wish I had a good answer…this is something I struggle with too.

    Exhibit A:

    I recently read the book “Women, Food and God” and it gives some awesome ideas for “being present” with and “sitting with” your feelings. Because I knew I needed to do that…..but I had know idea how. She goes into “visualizing” how the feeling feels in your body and describing it. She also talks about focusing on your belly. (which makes us all want to run shrieking away)
    The book is awesome.


  15. Spring says:

    i am torn a lot these days in recovery in terms of trying to use the tools i’ve come to learn to deal with uncomfortable emotions and the ED voice. I just want to find that ONE convienent way to deal with uncomfortable feelings /emotions. but i am realizing that might just not be the case.

    I recently just read “Life without ED” and got so many interesting insights from Jennis story. I love the idea of separating my eating disordered thoughts into a separate entity from myself but I have come to realize this doesn’t work all the time like i’d wish. sometimes i need to just recognize that i am feeling uncomfortable and instead of having a full- drawn-out conversation with myself and ED, its just best to sit with the uncomfortable feelings and keep reminding myself they will pass. anyone else realize there is no ONE way to deal with all circumstances/feelings and that you learn many different types of coping for a reason-to use the ones that work in each unique situation you are in?…

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.