We all have ‘those days.’ Some of us even have ‘those’ weeks or months. You’ve been there- the days where you get up on the wrong side of the bed, where you can’t seem to shake the funk, where you just feel BLAH. The frustrating thing is that sometimes it happens and we don’t even know why. Everything can be going right and yet we find ourselves feeling really off.
I’m going to share with you my best strategies for pulling yourself out of a funk instead of just staying there. You can choose to stay there and be unhappy OR you can take action and change your outlook and the good news is, it can be pretty simple 🙂
Figure it out, then act on it
It’s said that the only way through is through. This can be the hardest part for lots of us! Who likes to sit with bad feelings and think about what’s causing them? The answer ought to be ALL OF US because this is the absolute best way to figuring out what the F is going on, but it’s also the hardest because once we figure out what’s causing us to feel funky, then we have to ACT on it to solve the problem.
When I finally figured out that it was my job that was making me feel really run down, stressed out and unhappy I had a whooooole lot of decisions to make. Leaving my full-time job and going to part-time would mean paying for my own insurance, depending entirely on my clients showing up for their sessions, not having a stable income for the first time in years…it would be a big risk. Ultimately I decided that it was worth the risk but that wasn’t without a whole lot of back and forth about whether it was the right decision for me or not.
Action is often the hardest part of this equation because it can be scary and it can be risky. I think, though, anything is better than feeling stressed and run down 24/7. You have to weigh the pros and the cons and come to the best decision for you. Then, if it comes down to it, bite the bullet and know that you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way as a result of that decision, because really, you can.
Check in on nutrition, exercise and sleep
All three of these things have a HUGE effect on our mood.
If you find that your diet is high in sugar, processed foods or alcohol, this could be a major culprit to the slump. You’ve probably heard “crap in, crap out” before and it’s so true. If we eat like crap the majority of the time, we’re gonna feel like crap. You can fix this pretty easily by just getting a few servings of greens in. Throw some spinach in your smoothie, mix up a big salad, have a serving of broccoli with lunch. There’s something about the bright, vibrant colors that give us that instant ‘healthy’ feeling.
If you’ve missed a few workouts, get out there and move your body. Don’t think about it, just do it. Yes, there are always other things you could do instead of exercising, but what’s more important than your mental and physical health (hint: nothing)? Walking is a great way to get some movement in and lower your stress levels. Throw on a podcast or some music and hit the pavement for a nice leisure walk.
When it comes to sleep, ideally you’d fall asleep and stay asleep, but if you’re waking up a lot throughout the night, are having trouble falling asleep or are waking up really early and not able to go back to sleep, this could be a major factor in the slump. When we feel tired and sleepy we can’t perform at our normal capacity which leads to feelings of stress and anxiety. Calm yourself down before you go to sleep. I have an app on my phone called ‘5-minute relaxation’ and if I’m having trouble sleeping I’ll put that on and in 5 minutes I’m really relaxed and most often I’m asleep before the guided meditation is even over. It’s free so go download it now if you’re having trouble sleeping!
Clear out the clutter
Take notice at the current state of your living space. Clearing out clutter and improving your environment can really help make a shift in your energy. If your sink is full of dishes or your room is piled with stuff on the floor, take care of it. Shifting your focus to a small task like cleaning can totally clear up space not only in your physical environment but can do wonders for you mentally.
I know for me I can’t get anything done if my desk if cluttered. The most I can have on it is my laptop, water bottle, coffee and sometimes my cat ha! Otherwise I feel too cluttered to focus. It can take just 5 minute to clear your space and in turn help you clear your head.
Write about it
Writing can help you get super clear about what’s going on with you. When we just think about stuff, our mind has a way to brushing past the issues and brining our thoughts to something less…scary. When we write, though, we can see in black and white what’s really going on.
I recommend brain dumping J. Grab a pen and paper and just write anything that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to look good, it just a brain dump. It’s literally dumping your thoughts onto paper. It’s incredible how GOOD it feels to just get the clutter out of your head and onto paper and it can only take a few minutes. This is a really easy way to figure out what’s happening inside. After the dump, you can save it or just throw it away. You mind will be so much clearer after this, I can pretty much guarantee it.
Give in to the feelings
Remember that there’s nothing wrong with feeling bad, sad, stressed…it’s a normal part of life. There’s also no need to try and rush through the process of ‘fixing’ your mood. When we rush the process we tend to sweep the issues under the rug, so while the problems are masked for a while, they’re bound to rear their ugly heads again and they usually come back with a vengeance.
Instead of rushing and simply putting a band-aid over the problem, give yourself some time. You don’t have to figure it all out RIGHT NOW. Take a walk, take a bath, listen to some music and just…feel. The solution will come in time but don’t try to force it, just feel the feelings. While this is so much easier said than done for a lot of people, holding our feelings in isn’t healthy and it’s a sure fire way to increased stress and anxiety!
Even though it probably feels like the last thing you want to do, doing something fun and playful and boosts your mood in a major way. Watching a funny TV show or movie (Friends is always my go-to), watching some funny videos on YouTube, or even just watching your kids play are all incredible ways to relieve stress and can really help us put things into perspective. Life doesn’t have to be so serious.
Even when you don’t want to, do whatever it is that always makes you smile and brings you joy. Make those kind of things a priority. You might even end up realizing that whatever was stressing you out in the first place isn’t such a big deal after all.
When you’re feeling a little off, remember that feeling this way is a really normal part of life. There’s nothing WRONG with you and it won’t last forever. What you want to do in these times, though, is allow yourself some time for reflection and then take action. Do something to pull yourself out of the funk whether it’s journaling, exercising, removing clutter or playing. Remember, too, that there’s no shame in reaching out and asking for help from friends, family or professionals. This is, after all, your life. You might as well make it the happiest go around that you can 🙂