Simple Steps On How To Get Out Of A Funk
By: Nicole Beasley
Updated June 02, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: April Brewer , DBH, LPC
We've all had days where we feel down, and don't know why. One of the biggest reasons at times we feel 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. Well, I am here to tell you that it is okay to be in a funk, it is okay to be blue, and it is okay to wallow in your misery… with limitations.
We do not always have to have a purpose, yet, we live in such a fast-paced society. If we are not constantly on the move, or using our brains 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 all day long.
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 we used to love to do. It may feel like we can't shake a certain lingering sadness or apathy. There are a few reasons we may have gotten to this state, but rest assured there are also ways to cope positively!
Pressures Related Funk
We are so conditioned to be awesome that on those days we feel less than awesome. We 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 is the gym, sometimes twice, revamping my resume, or even writing something inspiring to post on social media - no cat videos allowed! 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 are 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, or even worse.
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, even weeks. Despite this, there are steps one can take to get out of their 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. Unless clinically depressed, it can, 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.
Set Small Action Goals
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 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 it is 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 or give yourself a facial. Whatever you do should be aimed at giving yourself a little extra care.
Tips for Coping with Funk
- Give into the funk - with limitations.
- Use rainy days for funk days.
- Do not take more than one day.
- Treat funk days like fasting and schedule a fun social activity to celebrate the end of the funk.
- Take a walk.
- Watch a comedy… and laugh out loud.
- Call a friend.
- Take a shower, better yet a bubble bath.
- Try a new hair style, makeup, or outfit.
- Sing out loud.
Some Activity Ideas to Cope with a Funk
- Take a long walk.
- Watch a comedy… and laugh out loud.
- Call a friend.
- Take a shower or bubble bath.
- Try a new hairstyle or outfit.
- Get clean - take a shower and tidy your space.
- Listen to uplifting music.
- 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
We all experience days when we just do not want to participate in life, work, even family. It is not easy to take a break from our responsibilities, and even when we can, we feel guilty. Our minds need a break; we need to allow for that or else it will just take it. It is when our mind takes a break, and we fall into a funk that it is most difficult to climb out 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 just seems unable to cope 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.