“Everything just feels off.” That’s what I told my friend when I was trying to explain the funk I’ve been in for a couple of weeks.
As a content creator/blogger/influencer/whatever, I feel like so much of my life is pressured to really be just like my highlight reel. All smiles, perfect lighting, great trips, and happy relationships. But that’s not always reality and it’s hard to let down my guard when I’m aiming to inspire others. When I was an actor [more about that over on this post], I would be able to get out all of these extra feelings that I carried when I was in an acting class, audition, or rarely, on set. I could transform into another person and then leave it all in the room. I would feel powerful and refreshed after tapping into so many different emotions and creating a character.
But lately, those feelings have been bottled up. I feel trapped and, at times, like I’m suffocating in my own life. Which makes me feel so pathetic because my life is pretty damn sweet. I never take for granted all of the wonderful things that surround my life every day, but that doesn’t mean I’m invincible to the “funk”. So last week, I catered to my soul and allowed myself to really feel. I think I cried almost every day and even had a full-blown panic attack in the middle of a run, but it was actually really good to feel something.
This funk comes around every now and then and I’m finally learning what works for me when it comes sneaking up. Sometimes it can last for a day and other times it’s been weeks. If you’re feeling like you’re falling into your own funk or simply feeling “off”, try out the following tricks.
1. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
Chances are you fell into a funk because you were already letting negativity slip through somewhere. Being hard on yourself and not going through the motions of it all doesn’t help anything. Yes, you’ll need to suck it up some days because life doesn’t just stop when we’re in a funk, but be kind to yourself. Let your head catch up with your heart or vice versa.
I’m so guilty of getting mad at myself for being in the funk and it doesn’t help a single thing. It just gives me one more thing to stress about or criticize. When my thoughts shift to a kinder and more gentle approach, my entire energy starts to shift.
2. Stay off social media.
Yep. Shut off your phone, delete the app for a day or a week, and stop comparing your life to everyone else’s highlight reel. Honestly, my funk seemed to be at an all-time high when I was scrolling Instagram and just had knots in my stomach. Why was I allowing it to do that to me?! I avoided Instagram as much as possible and used my phone to search for motivational and uplifting quotes because that’s all I needed to see when I tapped on my phone.
I’m not a very religious person, but I’ve grown to become a very spiritual person. I think the Universe gives us signs and we ignore them all too often. I also believe everyone is allowed to pray to whoever/whatever they feel a magnetic pull towards. So yeah, let yourself be vulnerable and pray during difficult times. The prayers may not always be answered in the most obvious ways, but you’ll find a sense of peace.
4. Exercise outside.
A good sweat sesh will always be helpful. Always. But if you can do it outside in the sun and fresh air, that’s gold. Whether it’s a long walk, jog through the park, or riding your bike, you need to release the endorphins and breathe in deeply.
Running has become my therapy. For the first time in my life, I look forward to my runs, not to burn the calories, but to burn the negative thoughts. Running challenges me mentally and physically. I constantly have to push through barriers and talk to myself. Some days are better than others, but I never regret a run. On top of that, some of my greatest ideas and biggest breakthroughs occur while I’m running. It’s the therapy I can actually afford.
5. Go to your happy place.
You probably have at least one place nearby that makes you feel really good when you’re there. Your happy place is probably somewhere you’re comfortable being alone and, for me, it’s always been the beach. I went for walks on the beach almost every day when I was in my most recent funk. I find a lot of peace and clarity there. I feel really fortunate that I live so close to the beach, but maybe for you it’s a local park, your friends home, or a bookstore. Where ever it is, go there to calm your mind.
Allow all of your thoughts, feelings, and energy to float onto paper in words. It can be for the world to see or it can be a journal. It can be a letter you write yourself and then delete it altogether. Just allow yourself to confront the feelings of the funk and start connecting the dots. Everything can become so much clearer when you have it written out in front of you.
7. Listen to music that moves you.
When I’m spiraling into a funk, I try not to listen to sad songs, but I do love songs with meaning. It’s like the musicians have been through the same thing and were able to put it all into a beautiful song, so it’s very therapeutic. If you need to listen to Adele during your cry sesh, by all means, do it. But pull yourself up with music, too. I have no shame in blasting the music in my house and having my own dance party to lift my mood, even if it’s just temporary. Some of my go-to stations include Walk the Moon, marshmello, and Bob Marley.
8. Talk to someone.
I recently found a lot of comfort in talking to my sister. She had zero judgments, could relate on a level that absolutely nobody else could and gave sound advice. My girlfriends keep my heart light and happy, but I don’t always want to bring up negativity when I only get a few nights a month with them. And most importantly, I’ve been as open as possible about all of my feelings to my husband. He has to live with me and the constant rollercoaster of emotions during the funk, so I owe it to him.
Keeping thoughts and feelings bottled up inside of you may only result in a full-blown meltdown. You need people in your life that you can trust and be open with about these things. If you can’t get yourself to talk to family or friends, then find yourself a therapist that you can feel comfortable talking to. It might take a session or two, or even jumping around to different therapists to find the right one for you, but they’re out there, ready and willing to listen.
9. Make someone else’s day.
Throw kindness around like confetti. Smile at strangers. Buy a coffee for the person behind you. When you make someone else’s day, you’re lifting your own spirits because happiness is contagious. Making a connection with other humans, even for a few moments, can help pull you out of the funk.
10. Adjust your routine/spice things up.
If you’re like me, then sometimes falling into a funk is purely out of boredom of the regular routine. I easily get frustrated with the monotonous day-to-day things. So when I’m battling a funk that’s making me feel unmotivated and uninspired, I try to mix things up. Whether it’s waking up a little early and heading to the beach or it’s a mid-day treat, I love the change. Sometimes a date night in the middle of the week or going to a matinee movie can start help lift me up.
11. Allow yourself to cry.
Feeling “off” just kind of sucks. It’s frustrating and depressing. It’s confusing and overwhelming. So many feelings can get twisted up inside and one of the best ways to get them out is to just allow yourself to cry.
I never used to cry. I would think that it makes me weak, too vulnerable, and kind of pathetic. But now… Now I know that so much clarity and comfort can come out of letting those emotions pour out of me. It usually doesn’t take very long to start feeling lighter and happier. I can address the thoughts and release the built up pressure.
12. Make plans for the future.
Tomorrow is always a new day. When you start to feel like the funk is never going to lighten up, start making future plans. Book tickets to a show, start planning a getaway, or make plans for a girls night in a week. Having something to look forward to is always helpful for your mindset and there’s something beyond the here and now. It’s easy to dwell on the difficulties presented right in front of you, but making plans for the future means you’re making plans to not be in the funk anymore.
Think of nothing. Allow your mind to drift off and leave all of the worries. If it starts to wander off to the stress, channel it back and think of nothing again. If you’re like me, you might need to use an app to help you meditate. I’ve used Headspace and Calm, but lately, I’ve been using the Oak – Meditation & Breathing app. It’s the only thing that keeps me somewhat consistent with meditation.
14. Give yourself praise for the small things.
Oh, you got out of bed and did your makeup today? Awesome! Did you get the kids to school on time? Good for you! Find ways to feel proud of the things that easily come to you. Appreciate the way you can take a deep breath, the strength of your body, and the beauty of your own mind. Be proud of your ability to acknowledge what you’re going through. A little self-pep talk is good for the soul.Hey beautiful, just want you to know you're doing great today. 💜Click To Tweet
15. Get lost in a good book.
Sometimes the easiest way to run away from your funk is to get lost in someone else’s life. It gives you something else to think about and to figure out. Your worries get pushed aside for a little bit and the character’s problems need solving. And if it’s a really good book, your funk will get pushed aside for a while.
16. Nourish your body with good food.
While it might be easy to reach for the tub of ice cream in the freezer when you’re searching for comfort, you’ll actually find that healthier food will boost your mood so much better. Keep your blood sugar stable with high-fiber and whole grains or treat your sweet tooth to strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Taking care of your body from the inside out is so important when you’re climbing out of the funk.
17. Be honest with yourself.
If your intuition is telling you something, listen to it. It’s as simple as that. If you’re in a funk, figure out what your gut is trying to tell you. Be true to yourself and stop listening to all of the noise that people throw into your life. At the end of the day, it’s your life, your happiness, and your choice.
What’s the first thing you do when you start feeling like you’re in a funk?!