Simple Steps On How To Get Out Of A Funk

Updated October 21, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: April Brewer , DBH, LPC

We’ve all had days when we feel down and don’t know why. One of the biggest reasons why we may feel suddenly depressed and in a funk is because we have been led down the garden path and told that we are not ever supposed to feel down. It is okay to be in a funk, it is okay to be blue, and it is okay to let yourself feel down… with limitations.

We do not always have to have a purpose, yet, we live in such a fast-paced society that many of us struggle with feeling restless or lacking purpose. If we are not constantly on the move, using our brains or bodies for some productive endeavor, we feel guilty. To avoid these feelings of guilt, we keep on moving. We keep our brains active. We check off that item list. We fall into our beds exhausted each night, with not one moment devoted to the art of doing nothing and just being.

Sooner or later, we may hit a wall, and fall into a funk. We may suddenly feel fatigued, lethargic, and unmotivated. We may even lose interest in things that we used to love to do. It may feel like we can’t shake a lingering sense of sadness, apathy, or lack of motivation. There are a few reasons why we may have gotten to this state, but rest assured that there are also ways to cope positively!

Pressures Related Funk

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We are so conditioned that we have to be happy and progressing that on those days when we feel less than awesome, it can feel like there is something monumentally wrong with us for having an “off” day. So instead of taking the day off, we forge ahead and try to shake the funk. For me it’s hitting the gym, sometimes twice in a day, revamping my resume, or even writing something inspiring to post on social media. If the sun is shining, it is especially difficult to allow the funk to have its way. Have you ever felt guilty for being inside and seeing your neighbors out walking and socializing? Why do we beat ourselves up like this? Why can’t we just allow ourselves to have a funked up day?

Most of what ails us is the fact that we do not take time to be ailing. If you are one of those individuals who does not even take a sick day when sick, it may eventually catch up to you by way of the blues, mild depression, anxiety, or even worse.

Depression-Related Funk

Sometimes, our funks are symptomatic of a more serious clinical issue. Lack of motivation, fatigue, lethargy, and loss of interest in things formerly interesting to us are classic symptoms of depression. For individuals struggling with depression, getting out of a funk spell may feel especially difficult, because depressive spells may last days, weeks, or even months. Despite this, there are steps one can take to get out of a funk and gain momentum towards feeling better.

Getting Out, by Getting In

One way to get out of a funk is to let it happen. This is not to suggest that you allow yourself to fall into the depths of despair, but just let the funk work its way out. Allow yourself to feel, and then let it go. Unless clinically depressed, it will pass, and it should be allowed to. Sometimes the funk is just our mind’s way of saying, “time out.” I have learned to use rainy Sundays as my timeout days. Even hot days are good days to close the blinds and just have a day in. Read a book, binge-watch Netflix, and give yourself time to rest and be.

Set Small Action Goals

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Being in a funk can sometimes feel like being stuck in the mud. The longer the funk lasts, the harder it feels at times to get out of it. One way to cope with this is to set small action goals for yourself throughout the day to get some momentum going. Being concrete and specific about goals is also helpful, as abstract, broad goals may be hard to achieve. For example, “exercise more” may inspire less action than “after lunch, go for a 15-minute walk outside.”

Self-Care is Key

One positive aspect of being in a funk is that it’s an opportunity for self-care. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish! This is a time for you to slow down and prioritize self-care. Take this time to take extra care of yourself – don’t binge eat fast foods laden with ingredients that will make you feel worse. This is a time where you should be eating healthy foods that nourish your body! This is also a great time for you to treat yourself to something special, however small. Maybe it’s a massage or even an at-home spa day where you have a cup of tea in the bath or give yourself a facial. Whatever you do should be aimed at giving yourself a little extra care.

Tips for Coping with Funk

  1. Give into the funk – with limitations.
  2. Use rainy days for funk days.
  3. Do not take more than one day.
  4. Treat funk days like fasting and schedule a fun social activity to celebrate the end of the funk.
  5. Move around and sweat a bit to help release endorphins.
  6. Watch a comedy…and laugh out loud.
  7. Call a friend.
  8. Take a shower, or better yet, a bubble bath.
  9. Try a new hair style, makeup, or outfit.
  10. Sing out loud.

Some Activity Ideas to Cope with a Funk

  • Take a long walk.
  • Get out into nature.
  • Try out a stress-relief coloring book gears toward adults.
  • Do some yoga.
  • Light your favorite scented candle.
  • Get clean – take a shower and tidy your space.
  • Listen to music that makes you feel good.
  • Try cooking/baking a dish you love.
  • Do something creative – draw, dance, sing.
  • Try a guided meditation.
  • Help someone in need.

When to Seek Professional Help

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We all experience days when we just do not want to participate in life, work, or even family. It is not easy to take a break from our responsibilities, and even when we can, we might feel guilty. Our minds need a break; we need to allow for that or else we’ll feel burned out and stressed, forcing our brain to take a break without our consent – this is the funk. This involuntary break is the type of funk that it is often most difficult to climb out of again. Being in a temporary funk is normal, and taking a mental health day is healthy, and necessary.

However, if you or someone you love seems depressed and is having a hard time coping positively, it may reflect a more serious condition. Differentiating between a temporary funk and clinical depression is important. If you are experiencing clinical depression, it may be important to seek the advice of a licensed mental health therapist. BetterHelp.com is a website that offers services from certified professional counselors and therapists.

Online therapy has been found to be just as effective as face-to-face therapy, with 94% of users saying they prefer it to in-person therapy and 98% making significant progress in their recovery and overall wellbeing. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2014, nearly 60% of US adults with mental health conditions did not receive any sort of help or treatment, due to things like lack of availability in their area, stigmas surrounding therapy, cost, or their condition making it difficult to leave their home.

The benefit of online therapy is that it is so incredibly accessible to virtually everyone. Someone who has anxiety is more likely to utilize online therapy versus in-person therapy, as some of the social pressures are lessened or removed entirely, depending on the exact medium being used. BetterHelp is also beneficial to those who don’t leave near a licensed mental health professional, or perhaps don’t have a means of getting to an office. Additionally, online therapy tends to be cheaper as the therapist does not have to rent out a building or office space, and there are no transportation costs to get to your appointment. Continue reading below for reviews of some of our licensed therapists from people who needed some help getting out of the funk.

Reviews

“I’ve been seeing Taaka for about 7 months now. Looking back on my first session, I don’t recognize the person I was during that time in my life. With her help, I am more confident in who I am and find I struggle way less with my mental hang ups. My sessions always feel like a safe place to work through my anxiety. Taaka listens, provides feedback and helps me challenge whatever issue I’m struggling with. I always look forward to my sessions with her. She has helped me feel like myself again and there will never be enough “thank you’s” the world that truly show my gratitude.”

https://www.betterhelp.com/taaka-bennett/

“Darlyn has changed my life in a very short amount of time. I had never participated in counseling before, but with Darlyn’s support I went from feeling stuck and anxious to having courage to initiate changes in my life, both minuscule and drastic. She offers incredible perspective and asks great thought-provoking questions. Chatting with her via messaging and our weekly sessions has become a great support system and I would 10/10 recommend her to everyone I know.”

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.