We can all get in a funk and I’m certainly no exception. A great, quick fix for me is a heart-pounding outdoor workout. I love the feeling of exhausting my body and pushing myself to the limit. A more permanent remedy is to engage in something creative, such as photography, or sticking to my yoga practice. One of the great things about yoga is the kindness you show yourself while on the mat. Simply put, yoga teaches me to be kind to myself and that in turn allows me to open my heart to all the wonders of life. I feel truly connected with the world and that’s happiness with staying power.
In this spirit, I’ve asked five positive and inspiring people to exclusively share their best tip for getting out of a funk. Because no matter who we are, we all have times when we struggle. Here are celebrity hairdresser Ken Paves, artist and computer wiz Gina Moore (who is also the model in the photograph above), designer India Hicks and JackAlice photographers Judy Parker and Heidi Zumbrun with their surefire mood boosters!
Ken Paves: What always works for me is to surround myself with nature and other people. My favorite place to do this is the TreePeople, an edupark in Los Angeles that connects to the Fryman Canyon trails. Here, I’m not only surrounded by the beauty of nature, but also by people who are laughing and talking while walking the trails with their dogs. All that positive energy is contagious! I go with my friends, my dogs or sometimes even alone. Walking or running the trails at the TreePeople grounds me and connects me with nature. The gorgeous environment and the people around me inspire me to move and be active! I always leave smiling and in a great mood, no matter how I felt when I arrived.
Ken Paves is one of Hollywood’s top hairstylists with clients including Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, Jessica Simpson and Fergie. In his new book, You Are Beautiful: A Beauty Guide For Real Women, he reveals the secrets to being and feeling beautiful. From insider hair-care tips to how to perfectly blow dry your hair, his book — with a foreword by Eva Longoria — is both invaluable and inspiring. You can follow Ken on Twitter at @kenpaves and visit his website.
Gina Moore: What do I do if I’m in a funk? If it’s in the morning, a fresh latte works every time. But what really makes a difference are little pick-me-ups and laughter throughout the day. Walking my Italian Greyhound Jade twice a day gets me out of my head. I start noticing things around me, like berries ripening along a fence, a neighborhood cat peeking at us from under a bush and leaves dancing in the wind. It clears my head every time. I also do daily yoga sessions. I’ve been practicing for 11 years and I’m a certified yoga teacher. The mind-body connection combined with setting a positive intention — I always include being grateful — are great energy lifters. If all else fails, I have a very optimistic husband with a great sense of humor and the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies are usually on hand!
Gina Moore is a field sales engineer specializing in microprocessors. In her spare time, she works as a stock photographer, yoga teacher and food blogger. You can visit her inspiring blog at www.prettylittledishes.com.
India Hicks: If I’m having a down moment, it’s usually because I’m concerned about my children or something at work is not right. Life can get overwhelming at times and your head will bop under the water. It’s hard to keep everything in balance, especially nowadays when most of us are involved in so many things. I’m a marathon runner and I run every morning when no one is around. That long run on the beach generally sets me straight. It clears my head, lifts my spirits and I can see myself through the problem.
India Hicks, the daughter of famed interior designer David Hicks, is a designer, author, model and mother of five children. Her latest jewelry collection Bows & Arrows is inspired by her children playing with bows and arrows at their home on Harbour Island in the Bahamas. You can follow India on Twitter at @indiahicksstyle.
Judy Parker: Whenever I’m in a funk, I grab my dog and take him for a walk. I bring my phone with me so I can snap pictures of things that interest me along the way, and I always discover something new no matter how many times I’ve walked around my neighborhood. There are certain things that inspire me visually, so when they appear out of the blue at the right moment they invigorate me. What also helps is being outside. You can’t beat fresh air, and it’s a good reminder that no matter what happens Mother Nature is the boss. Now, if I could just convince more people to let their dogs drive their cars, that would be my surefire cure for the blues…photo ops galore!
Heidi Zumbrun: I would love to say I never get down or that my life is all unicorns and rainbows, but as we all know life likes to trip you up! I’ve spent the last few years finessing my strategy for letting off steam and found three activities that work every time. The first one is riding my motorcycle. Even a short, loud ride up a mountain road with some fun turns will quickly get me back on track. It’s a reminder to concentrate on what’s important and not sweat the little stuff. Plus, I gotta stay alive! The second one is surfing. It’s my new love. Even if the surf is bad and I’m just paddling around, there is something cleansing about being in the water. And third, I love to head to the smallest movie theater I can find and see a movie alone. If I put all these three together in one day, I’ll feel exhausted, balanced and happy again.
Award-winning photographers Judy Parker and Heidi Zumbrun are the duo behind JackAlice, a photography studio based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They’re also the founders of fine art wedding photography studio Gertrude & Mabel. Known for their awe-inspiring film and digital photographs, Judy and Heidi artists who seek the unusual and create the beautiful. You can follow them on Instagram at @sprocketz (Heidi) and @spaghettz (Judy).
Top photograph by Ulrica Wihlborg ©2013. Photograph of Gina Moore by Elizabeth Messina ©2013. Photograph of Judy Parker and Heidi Zumbrun by Traci Bugni ©2013.