If there’s a funk to be had, I’ve had it. Whether it’s a few hours, a day, a month or unfortunately even longer I’ve had plenty of experience with that “off” feeling, accompanied by exhaustion, lack of motivation, irritability and general sadness. And I know that when you find yourself in a funk, it has this ability to cast a grey cloud over your entire life and can leave you feeling out-of-sorts.
I recently was hit with a full-on funk, and I found it hard to focus on my work or find the energy and motivation to get things done in both my professional and personal life. I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me or why I was in such a bad mood, but I knew I wasn’t feeling like myself. I finally got sick of feeling so off and decided I needed to try a few things to pull myself out of it. A few tricks helped me refocus and feel better, and I’m sharing what worked below!
Talk it out with a loved one.
Going too long without sharing your feelings, or even trying to ignore them can make the situation worse. There’s this unspoken pressure for us to be happy all the time, and it’s exhausting. When we do feel funky, we may feel this need to shove down the negative feelings and try to go about business as usual. Not only can this feel inauthentic and fake, but it can also exasperate our negative symptoms. When you start to notice that you are in a funk, try sharing it with someone close to you. I get that it can feel hard to put into words what exactly you are feeling, and that may be frustrating, but just stating that you are not feeling like yourself can relieve some of the pressure and make you feel less alone. Simply saying something like “I’ve felt off lately and not like my usual self. It’s bumming me out, and I’m hoping I can move past it soon” can make a world of difference.
Try something new.
We are creatures of habit, and it can be super easy to fall into a comfortable and pretty boring routine. When I find myself going through a funk, I like to add something new and exciting to my routine or branch out completely. Something as little as trying a new lunch place that you’ve been eyeing for a few weeks can be just the ticket to perk you up. It’s easy to become too comfortable with the same-old-same-old, and we might want to avoid shaking things up because the unknown is scary (yes, even a new lunch place), but the willingness to try something new can help us move out of the funk and remind us of all the exciting things out there.
Meet up with friends.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I’m in one of my funks, I tend to avoid human interaction...I’m talking full-on hermit style. While I’m in full support of a good Netflix binge couch session, maybe lasting most of the weekend, I’ve also learned how beneficial friendship is when one finds themselves in a funk. When we spend time alone, it gives us plenty of time to sit with all of our thoughts. This is great if you need some self-reflection or time to process, but if you are already stuck in a funk, alone time can exaggerate those negative feelings. I found it helpful to grab coffee with a co-worker (and enjoy it before running back to the office) or to plan a dinner with a friend or two. I never plan anything too crazy, but some good genuine interactions with people you care about can off-set the bad mood. You don’t even have to talk about your funk unless you feel like it :)
Spend a day focusing on the little things.
Sometimes we get so focused on striving for this overall happiness, that we forget how important the little things play a role in helping achieve that joy. When I found myself in my most recent funk, I decided to spend a day acknowledging all the little moments or things that made me smile, and it made a significant impact on my overall mood. When I took the time to recognize how much delight I got from my hot cup of coffee every morning or how great a quick mid-day walk around the block made me feel, I noticed a significant boost to my overall mood. We spend so much time chasing that grand feeling of happiness that we can forget how much the little moments of joy can add up into something great. If you find yourself stuck in a funk, try focusing on at least five small things throughout the day that makes you happy. It could be just the mood booster you need!
Bonus- see a professional!!
If you try several things to get yourself out of a funk and nothing seems to be work, it might be time to see a professional. They can help you sort through your emotions and find tools to help. Your funk might be a little too big for you to take on by yourself, and some extra guidance and support could be just the thing you need! I understand that seeking professional help can be a hard decision (it took me a long time), but your mental health is worth it.
Funks and “off” moments are a part of life! We aren’t built to be happy every single moment of the day, and one of the most important things we can do when we are going through a down period is to show ourselves some extra love and grace. It’s important to remember that this too shall pass and you are not alone- we all go through down moments. You will make it through!