Do you ever just feel in a total funk? You’re not feeling like yourself, your equilibrium is thrown off, and you just feel crappy, but you’re not totally sure why. The dreaded funk. We’ve all experienced this at least once, and if you say you haven’t, I’m going to go ahead and call you out right now.
Why is this life-sucking mood something we all experience and how the hell do we get out of it?
While I’m no expert, I can say that I have first hand experience and I can speak to you from a place of empathy and understanding.
I’ve been in quite a funk for the last month or so which is evident from my complete lack of online activity. Honestly, I just haven’t felt like I had anything in me worth sharing and I never want to post or publish because I feel like I need to, that’s not fair to all of you. Long story short, I’ve been exhausted, overworked, and just not myself. This funk I’ve been in inspired this post because I know other people struggle with the same experience.
First, it’s okay that you’re in a funk.
Listen, and listen closely. You are not alone. Feeling like you’re alone makes any struggle feel that much more intense. In fact, recent research suggests that “loneliness and social isolation are as much a threat to your health as obesity.” This is not a drill people. Which is exactly why I want each and every one of you to know that you never need to struggle alone. There’s always someone who has felt what you’re feeling and there are always people to listen, myself in particular. If you’re reading this and it speaks to you, please reach out to me.
Second, there are things you can do to help yourself.
Recently, I told Ben that I just needed to choose happiness because I like myself better when I’m happy. That’s how I define myself. But he was right to tell me it’s not all that simple, even though it’s part of it.
There are things you can do to break yourself out of your funk, both daily choices and scientifically proven recommendations.
Acknowledge your feelings
Yes, acceptance is the first step. Be honest with yourself and your feelings. This is absolutely easier said than done and no one likes to think about their issues and their struggles, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Admit you’re having a hard time or that you feel off. Then you can move forward with changing it.
Do a physical audit
Sounds super sexy doesn’t it 😉 But something as simple as your diet could be contributing to your funk.
– How are your sleep habits lately? Are you getting a good 7-8 hours? And are they quality hours, i.e. minimal interruptions?
– Are you eating a balanced diet? Particularly focus on your blood sugar levels. Frequent spikes in your blood sugar have a sneaky effect on your mood.
– Are you moving your body? Elle Woods knew what she was talking about. Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy.
Any chemical imbalance can and will impact your mood. So good sleep and nutrition aren’t just things doctors talk down to you about, they’re essential to helping us feel emotionally stable.
Do something YOU love
Even though you might feel like doing nothing and wallowing in your mood, force yourself to do something you always love doing. Read, get outside, write, blast some music, hit the mall, or volunteer. Whatever is a sure fire way to bring yourself some joy, do it.
Focus on one thing at a time
You know when you have about 392,384 things to do but instead you scroll through Instagram? I KNOW YOU DO IT TOO. Part of my funks usually include being overworked or overwhelmed with how much I have to accomplish. Help yourself by focusing on one thing at a time. One thing. And pour your energy and focus into that one thing.
I realize how hard this is considering how busy we all are and the pervasive acceptance of multitasking. Multitasking used to be something that was admired, but recent research shows it actually lowers productivity and work quality, and in fact damages your brain. So stop it, k?
Take ownership of your feelings
While Ben was right to tell me I couldn’t just flip a switch and be happy, happiness is a choice. It’s made up of the small and big choices we make each and every day. Take inventory of your behavior and be honest about the choices you’re making that may be contributing to your funk. For me, I had a few too many cheat meals and I was feeling really down about myself. That’s a choice and it’s something I can change to help my mood. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find some things you’re completely in charge of that can help remedy your bad feelings.
Change the cycle of self-talk
Can we take a moment to talk about self-talk. That inner monologue we have going has a massive impact on our feelings and our mood. When you’re in a funk, that self-talk cycle turns negative and stays negative. Why do we think it’s okay to say awful things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying to other people??
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a perfectionist or just have some things I still need to deal with emotionally, but damn do I struggle with some negative self-talk. That’s something that’s really hard for me to talk about in general and it’s particularly challenging to say here, for the world to see. But if I’m sitting here talking to you about being in a funk and giving you advice about it, I feel like it’s my responsibility to be honest with you.
Self-talk is one of the hardest cycles to change. It takes commitment, time, patience, and forgiveness. I’ve found baby steps are key and remembering that changing this behavior is an ongoing process. You’re not going to be able to change your inner monologue overnight, wouldn’t that be nice! Personally, I struggle with negative self-talk surrounding food and body image, just like so many other women. A baby step for me is focusing on removing the critical comments like “Why am I so gross, why did I eat that” and swapping it for “It’s okay, move past it. Your next food choice will be healthy.”
Talk or write about it
Sometimes, it really helps to just get it all out. Try talking with someone you trust about how you’re feeling. If sharing isn’t your style, write it all down in a journal. Get all those feelings out of your head to aid in the process of feeling better.
Times of sadness and funks are totally normal.
You need time to process those feelings and deal with the things going on in your life. Give yourself time, try some of these suggestions, reach out to people you trust to talk about it, and before you know it, you’ll be back to yourself.
This post was really hard for me to write. I think we all like to show our best side all the time, especially online. But I feel like I owe you guys authenticity and this is truly what’s been consuming my life. I hope you find comfort knowing other people struggle and other people may be struggling with the same thing you do. I love you all and you’re all beautiful creatures, even if you don’t always feel like it.
Sending so much love.