What to do when you’re in a funk

One morning this week, I sat at the dining room table and looked at the schedule for the day and the list of things to do and felt so overwhelmed by it, I put my head in my hands. I knew right then that I’d hit a wall. I was in a funk.

At the risk of this week’s email sounding like it came straight from an article on Wikihow, I’m going to tell how I guided myself through the feelings of fatigue and the mental and emotional exhaustion. I promise I didn’t Google how to get out of a funk. This is my own personal process, tested and proven many times before.

How to guide yourself through a funk:

Be neutral about it. I once had a therapist tell me that I had feelings about my feelings. And that’s the thing that will make you spiral. So the next time you feel sad, angry, depressed, or simply not like yourself: don’t judge yourself. Don’t fuel the feelings with more feelings about why you should or shouldn’t feel the way you do. Resist the urge to indulge it or beat yourself up about it, analyze it, or force yourself out of it. Just state it as a fact: I’m in a funk and it will be okay.

Don’t force productivity. This can be difficult if you identify as a high achiever, a people-pleaser, or as someone who finds a sense of purpose in getting things done. Pushing against the resistance only makes the funky feeling, well, funkier.

Lean into it. Ask what do I really need to do next? Don’t eat the frog, as they say. Perhaps the thing you really need to do is drink a glass of water. Follow the path of least resistance. Go for the low hanging fruit and small, microscopic wins.

Side note: When you’re in a funk, it’s a good time to notice the heavy drains on your energy. It’s also a good time to notice those things that you gravitate towards, the things that make you feel a bit lighter, slightly more awake and alive. This is good information to file away for later, when you’re not in a funk and in a better space to make decisions about how you want to spend your time moving forward.

A connected point: Don’t mindlessly scroll your phone. Just don’t. It doesn’t make us feel better. We know this. So put the phone away until you’re able to engage and connect.

Move your body. This is actually the most important step. You could skip all the other steps and get right to this, but when we’re in a funk we’re usually not up for that. It’s better to move slowly and ease into this necessary step. Moving your body is magic. Do what you’re able to do. Do what feels good. Take a walk, water the plants, lift weights, stretch.

Do something that you want to do but have been putting off. Do something that feels important but not urgent. For me this week, it was potting some plants and getting a mani/pedi.

When you start emerging from the funk, take your time. Don’t rush. You’ll get there when you get there.

If you’re someone who feels like you have a million things to do and you don’t have time to be in a funk, I feel you. But I’ve learned from personal, unscientific, and highly subjective experience that doing the counter-intuitive thing works. Going slow is the very thing that wakes you up.

This week on Instagram:

All it takes is one small moment to create a shift. read it here

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