I’ve been in a funk lately…it happens from time to time. Since I’m in a funk, and in the process of getting myself out of it, I thought it might be a good time to write about the things I do when I’m feeling this way.
If you’re in a funk right now, I hope this helps you!
But First, What Causes Me to Get in a Funk?
Every so often, I get in a funk. I think there is definitely a cycle to what I experience…but sometimes things happen in my life or business that can initiate the “funk process.”
In general, I’m a driven person and I like to set goals and achieve things…it’s what lights me up. With that though, comes problems and things I have to address. For example, when you are an ambitious person, it can be hard to be present…or you get hooked to the feeling of achieving and it’s hard to be happy otherwise, and that’s where the funk comes in. Side note, my friend Seth Buechley wrote a book about this very topic called Ambition: Leading With Gratitude.
Either way, I get into a funk at times, and while I don’t like it, I accept that it’s a part of life. When I get into this mood, here is what I do:
1. Recognize It
Before you can get out of a funk, you have to recognize it for what it is. When you make it a habit of being able to see it for what it is, it’s easy to change your perspective. Instead of thinking that things will never change, you can remind yourself that it will pass.
When COVID happened, I was in a big funk. It caused me to let a lot of my routines slip which further compounded the funk. It’s much easier to keep the boulder moving while it’s moving versus getting it going again when it stops…so never stop your routines during a funk, even if it means doing the “light” version of them.
2. Do a Self-Assessment
When you identify that you are in a funk, then you can do a self-assessment of why you are feeling that way. Is it something to do with a life circumstance beyond your control? Is it the natural and normal rhythm of life where your mood goes up and down? Does something in your life or business need to change?
Make an assessment of why you are in a funk, and then make the necessary changes or address the issues that are causing you to feel stuck.
If you don’t already make it a point to exercise every day, I encourage you to do some sort of movement daily. Exercise has been proven to improve your mood. This could be as simple as going for a walk if your current mindset prevents you from doing a high-intensity workout. The bottom line is…just get out there and move!
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
When you’re feeling down or in a low spot, it’s normal to want to splurge on treats or comfort food. The problem is, wrecking your diet with junk food can cause blood sugar imbalances and other issues that affect your mood.
Instead, fight against the urge to sabotage your diet and eat healthy foods. If you usually have poor diet habits, then start making changes to improve what you eat. Eat a salad every day for lunch, make healthy swaps each meal, reduce how many sweets you eat…just pick one healthy habit to add to your diet to start with and build from there.
5. Spend Time on Meditation
As part of my morning routine, I spend five minutes in meditation. It’s a great way to calm and center my mind, and it helps me get my day started right. Not only do I practice meditation in the mornings, but I will also do it throughout the day if I feel myself getting overwhelmed. Going for a walk with no phone, music or podcasts is another strategy you might want to try.
6. Journal Your Thoughts
Get out all of your thoughts…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t hold back when you are journaling. This is a big cure for funks because it helps you to think through whatever is weighing you down or causing you to feel anxious.
Write out your thoughts, pen to paper. This is more therapeutic than typing out your thoughts. Also, it makes your brain slow down when processing your emotions because you think faster than you write.
7. Hang Out With Friends
Human-to-human connection is essential to getting out of a funk. Being around friends helps a lot. When I’m feeling this way, I like to double down and have more fun. This could be a night out with friends, my family, or my wife. Unfortunately, when I’m in a funk, spending time with people isn’t my natural go-to…so I commit to going out even when I don’t feel like it.
8. Date Night With My Wife
Date nights always give me a boost. Whether we sit and watch a movie, drink wine, or go out to dinner and bowling…spending time with my wife helps me decompress and have fun. And don’t forget about lunch dates! They are less expensive and infinitely easier if you have young kids like we do.
7. Get Stuff Done
A lot of the funks I get in are when I’ve taken on too much. It makes me feel stuck…like I’m not progressing. Sometimes, I can temporarily hustle my way out of these moods if I just muscle through and get things done. Then I get a boost because I feel that I’m achieving and progressing.
This might not be the right approach for you–you might find it more helpful to rest more than usual. But I’ve found it to be helpful for me in certain situations, so I’m sharing it here. This works best when you’re overwhelmed by projects you WANT to work on.
8. Take Cold Showers
Taking cold showers is a big personal development hack. It might not cure you of the way you feel, but it can give you a jolt of energy which will shift your mood for a bit. It’s a good way to wake up and feel more energized. If this doesn’t work for you, then find ways to energize yourself. That may be going for a run, eating a healthy meal, deep breathing, or putting on music you like to dance to.
9. Watching Comedy Specials
When I’m really feeling down, I like to watch comedy specials or shows that will really make me laugh. There are a lot of great Netflix comedy specials you can watch that will get you laughing really hard. Here’s a list to get you started.
10. Gratitude Practice
Trust me, it can be hard to practice gratitude when you are feeling depressed or anxious. But NOT practicing gratitude is far worse for your funk, and doing it can be productive even if you’re not really feeling it. Making gratitude practice a daily habit can help shorten the amount of time you are in a funk. This habit forces you to look for the good around you.
I do gratitude practice in the morning as part of my routine, but also at night with my girls. Even if I were to decide not to do it in the mornings (which I don’t let happen), they won’t let me off the hook at night. It’s built-in accountability that’s really helpful.
- Recognize when you’re in a funk.
- Analyze why you think you’re in a funk.
- Take steps to give yourself a mental and physical boost.
- Commit to doing fun things even when you don’t feel like it.
- Journal, do gratitude practice, and meditate.