Breaking the funk


How misleading is this title?! It sounds like a disco record from the 70s, but I assure you, I’m talking about pretty much the opposite of that.

For the last month, I’ve been in a weird grey phase of my life. I feel lazy and unmotivated. Like I’m on the fitness level of a pensioner. I can sleep for hours more than I used to. I don’t want to listen to music. I feel like a potato; I don’t know if anyone knows how that feels like, but it’s not a very attractive metaphor for yourself. Essentially, I’m in a funk.

Just to clarify, I’m in no way suggesting I have depression. I have seen depression myself and this is not what it is.

I think I can attribute a few reasons why I feel like this. The past year or so, I’ve been sitting exam after exam for my paediatrics membership and unfortunately I’ve faced failure after failure. That’s not to say I believe this reflects on my ability as a doctor (as other doctors keep telling me, they know professors who have failed these exams 6 or 7 times), but it still is a little subconscious kick in the gut every time it happens. There’s been additional issues at the workplace of short-staffing and pressures – which I’ve learnt to adapt to – but it does add a sour tone to a job I should love (I’ll say no more). Lastly, I’ve put little mental restrictions on my spending in our effort to buy somewhere at the end of the year. Not to sound all spoilt #moëtmedic, but travelling to new countries really contributed a lot to my happiness in the past few years and acted as a great motivator to get through tough weeks at work. But now, I can’t even go to the cinema or a meal and question whether this is really the best use of my hard-earned money.

I think there’s been a lot of pressure I’ve been putting on myself to get myself sorted out by the end of this year. Like all of my life’s answers will be answered by buying a house, passing my exams and excelling at work.

So I sit here on my day off from work, having had 12 hours sleep and feeling squat, round and bored. Too guilty to spend money. Too scared to start revising for yet again another exam. Too ashamed that I’m seemingly complaining about my comfortable life.

The only way I can think of getting out of this is by forming a strategy; steps to make the outlook on my life brighter and my self hearty.

1. Slow steps to getting fit

I’m never going to promise I’ll be a gym bunny in no time; I know myself too well to lie to myself. But the endorphin experience from the odd bit of yoga and the occasional treadmill jog is enough for me to want to finally get over this exercise hump. Even if it is only once every 2 weeks.

2. Giving myself time to wander

I really feel at my most calm and most happy during quiet walks. Maybe being city born and bred, I’m so used to fast walking and getting angry at the slow ones ahead, that allowing myself to actually walk at a normal pace and take in my surroundings can be pretty therapeutic for me.

3. Cutting down on the carbs

Last night, I went to The Culpeper and tried their smoked salmon dish (no carbs included) and I felt totally refreshed and satisfied. I don’t mean I’ll be adopting a carb-free diet (I can’t subject myself to that!), but cutting down would hopefully stop that sluggish feeling I get post-pasta feast.

4. Keep a diary

To schedule in dates to give myself a well-deserved break from work. To see my friends regularly for dinner. To go to a gig with my boyfriend and dance like a fool. To make my life feel less like one long stretch of shifts and revision.

5. Create

When I’m away from blogging, or reading a book, or trying out cross stitch, I forget that I can be creative and individual, have my own opinions and be capable of much more. In essence, writing this has already been the first step in the grand plan; I just need to keep reminding myself that I am more than a bored medic, a slave to work or a potato.

  • Chloe Anderson

    Of course you are more than a potato! It’s fascinating to be that you are following a career path with constant exams, but I imagine it is very draining. Your plan sounds very do-able, a way to enjoy the everyday and take the pressure off a bit. Best of luck!

  • Sorry to hear you’ve been having a tough time 🙁 good luck and hope things start looking up!

  • I think it it still important to allow yourself little treats (going to the movies, lunch) every now and then . One instance won’t break the bank and if it makes you feel a little better, what is the harm? I hope that strategy will help ease some of what you are feeling 🙂 . Hopefully things will start to change for the better in the future!

    nat // dignifiable