4 Tips for Getting out of a Funk

Student asleep in the library with book on his face at the univeThere are times when I wake up ready to seize the day and max out my productivity. But there are other times when I wake up and can’t seem to find the motivation to get off the couch in the morning, let alone accomplish all the tasks I know are on my plate. Falling into a funk is no fun, and often, it doesn’t pass with the setting of the sun or the start of a new day.

Maybe the long, gray winter months get you feeling down. Maybe you’ve been stressed or overwhelmed and feeling unmotivated and not like yourself. Maybe the aftermath of election season is still wearing on your soul. Sometimes we simply don’t know what has us in a funk, but we aren’t quite feeling up to dealing with life.

Getting yourself out of a funk when you’re feeling blah can be a difficult task (because, hey, you don’t really feel like doing anything in the first place), but it sure beats wallowing any longer than necessary. So if you’re feeling a little blue and can’t place why, here are some tips to help pull yourself out of your slump.  

1. Shake up your routine

If you’re stuck doing the same thing every day, that alone can put you in a funk. While I love routine, if I do too much of the same thing day-in and day-out, I get bored, and extended boredom almost always leads to an emotional funk for me. Treat yourself to a fancy coffee drink on your way to or from work or take a new workout class you’ve been wanting to try, and see if you can’t find your groove again.

2. Do a little dance

It might seem cheesy, but getting your body moving to some positive music can really help boost your mood when you’re feeling down. Choose whatever song makes you smile (or create a “happy” playlist), and get up and dance. It’s hard to stay in a sour mood once you’re listening and moving to upbeat music.

3. Focus on your goals

If your current situation has you feeling listless, a good way to combat the negativity you are feeling in your life is to focus on your future. Whenever I feel like I’m not where I want to be, taking out a pen and paper and writing down my goals always helps energize me and has often moved me out of a funk and into action. Whether it’s adding something new to your bucket list or plotting out your meal plan, focusing on good things to come can help turn your attitude around.

4. Unplug

All too often, I’ll turn to mindless scrolling through my phone when I’m in a bad mood as a way of avoiding my problems. However, wasting my time on Facebook always makes me feel worse than before. Between the amped up negativity and highlight reels of others’ lives, unplugging is an act of self-care I desperately need when I’m feeling down.

*These tips are not intended as medical advice. If you’re feeling something more serious than a funk, and you start treading into the territory of depression, please don’t put it on yourself to “make yourself better.” Seek help if you need it, and don’t feel ashamed.

Originally published on December 12, 2016.

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