Ever been in a funk sister-friend? I’m not talking about the kind when you groove to the gritty, grimy, soulful sounds of good ol’ rhythm and blues music that transforms your beautiful face to the curled-up-lip-where-you-look-like-you-smell-something-stank-face. Nah, sis, not that kind of funk! But the kind where you have low energy, feel unmotivated, and just feel kind of down. The kind of funk where you’re still getting stuff done but you just don’t feel like yourself. We’ve all been there. Even I get into a funk every now and then. When I’m in a mood, nothing I put on seems to look good. Every little infraction irritates me. I really just don’t want to be bothered. I’m sure you’ve had those moods too, and sometimes getting out of your funk can be hard. Take a look at these 15 things to do to pull yourself out of your funk:
- Have a date with nature. Take a 10- or 15-minute walk outside and soak up some vitamin D while enjoying fresh air. Sunshine has been proven to boost the serotonin (happy hormones) levels in the brain which boosts mood and helps you feel calm and focused.
- Connect to your village. When you’re in a funk, the last thing you want to do is be around people, but isolating yourself actually will make you feel worse and even depressed. Grab a coffee or go out to lunch with that one person that puts a smile on your face. Or if you’re like me where the majority of your village is out-of-state, talk to your girl on the phone or have a video chat.
- Put on some music and dance, or do something physical. Physical exercise releases endorphins (hormones that reduce pain and give you a high) and can just make you feel freakin’ good inside and out. Exercise and physical activity can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, so do something physical that you like to do like jumping on a trampoline or engage in structured exercise such as a spin class or a YouTube workout.
- Get some smell-goods and try aromatherapy. Grab a diffuser, bath salts or lotions infused with essential oils and simply enjoy the soothing benefits of aromatherapy which can improve your mood, increase your energy, or help you relax. Lavender, chamomile and rose oil can have a calming effect, whereas orange, grapefruit, and peppermint oil have been known to boost your energy.
- Watch a comedy. Laughter can truly be the best medicine. When you’re feeling down, grab your favorite funny DVD or log into your Netflix account and spend a couple of hours watching your go-to, laugh-out-loud movie or sitcom. It’s mindless entertainment and escapism at its best, but laughter can make you feel good, even if only temporary.
- Pay it forward. Doing something positive and helpful for someone can have more benefits for you than the person you’re blessing. For instance, you can cook extra food when you’re preparing your own meal and then give it someone who could really use the break. Or try writing a kind note for your loved one or send a nice email to a colleague showing gratitude.
- Download your feel-good or hype music and groove yourself out of that funk. Music can be so therapeutic, but in order for it to lift your mood, it must be the kind that makes you smile and move, not the kind that makes you cry and sad. For me, I love to listen to R & B and soft rock from the 80’s and 90’s when I want to unwind or some down south booty-shake music when I want to get turnt. Don’t judge me!
- Avoid the 4 C’s. By all means necessary, avoid the 4 C’s like crap on a sidewalk! These C’s are comparing, criticizing complaining, and competing. When you catch yourself engaging in one of the C’s, redirect your attention to one of the tips above, or replace those thoughts with something you’re grateful for.
- Feeling crappy? Finish these sentences:
I appreciate that each day I get to _____
ex). Hug my kids, play with my dog, drive to workI’m grateful that I had the courage to _____
ex). Move across the country, start my business, make up with my best friend
I’m thankful that I’m healthy enough to _____
ex) take a walk, prepare meals, walk around the neighborhood
- Ask yourself what’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this day. It’s easy to forget that we have a lot of good stuff happening to us when we’re feeling down, so we have to give ourselves a little attitude check every once in a while. Once you determine the best thing that’s happened so today, then remind yourself what you appreciate about it.
- Create a new goal and write it down. Creating and achieving goals gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. No matter how small or grand it is, set a goal, write it down, set a deadline, and take an action step that will put you one step closer to fulfilling it. For example, you may commit to spending 20 minutes a day doing something just for you. You may commit to taking one trip each season and book your hotel. No matter the goal, write it down and stick with it.
- Organize your space. Clutter and disorganization can create stress and make you feel overwhelmed. Put on some good music, and start organizing your space one area at a time. Set the timer and try to get as much done before it goes off. You’ll be amazed how freeing and soothing a clean and organized space is.
- Embrace your inner artist and create. Watching a concept transform from an idea to something tangible can be very rewarding. The art of creation, whether through drawing, coloring, painting, writing, cooking, baking, sewing, knitting or whatever tickles your fancy, can pull you right out of that funk. Take the time and create something and watch your negative feelings vanish. You can even create a new hairstyle, or play in some makeup. Self-expression can be healing! How about that?
- Release your inner child and play! We can get so caught up in working, churching, familying, and whatever adulting that we forget all about playing! Remember that thing you used to do that brought you so much joy, but you got kind of busy or figured you were too old for that? Well it might be time to bring that back and have fun with it! Maybe it was a game of kickball or Monopoly, or maybe you used to dance, read, or scrapbook. Find that inner kid in you and have some fun!
- Embrace your feelings. Sometimes, we just have to allow ourselves to feel what we feel. If you’re down, allow yourself to feel it, embrace it, acknowledge it, but don’t in it too long. It’s natural to experience negative emotions, so give yourself a set amount of time to sit in your funk and request your people to respect your me-time where you can sit in your feelings and then work through them.
Remember that we all get in a funk from time-to-time but we don’t have to remain there. If you can’t seem to get out of it, then it might be time to talk to a professional so you can figure out what’s causing it and what to do to feel better.