If you follow me on Instagram, you know that recently I’ve been in a bit of a mood. Truthfully, this funk persisted throughout the second half of January and it was only very recently that I was able to pull myself out of it.
Funks happen to all of us, and those of us prone to cynicism are even more vulnerable it seems. The world is insane and the news confirms our greatest fears on a daily basis. If you manage to travel this crazy place without slightly bruising your optimism, I salute you. For the rest of us, I’ve compiled a list of steps to take in an effort to pull yourself out of a funk. Please know that none of these are as simple as Dorothy clicking her heels and being back in Kansas. They aren’t a magic cure, but they will help you get a handle on your news-induced anxiety and get you on the road to funk recovery.
Stop Watching the News
If you don’t watch the news, you’re uninformed. If you do watch the news, you soon come to believe there’s no good in the world. I’m not suggesting you swear off of news forever. You must take a break, though, or forfeit your insanity entirely. Anything that is “must know” information will show up on one of your social media platforms. Otherwise, you won’t miss anything except a million things that will only make you feel worse about the state of affairs.
Eliminate the Non-Essential
Obviously, I am a new blogger still in the early stages of trying to build a following. Conventional wisdom would suggest I have no business taking a break from blogging. The truth is blogging is one of the few things I can temporarily shirk.
When you’re already feeling overwhelmed by life, the last thing you need to do is force yourself to do things that can wait. My regular job, children, and husband can’t be put on the back burner, but social media time and blogging can. Whatever it is in your life that can wait, let it wait. It will still be there once your funk has subsided, and your focus will be renewed. Prioritize your mental health over the need to be all things to all people.
Stick to the Script
When I get in these slumps, I’ve found that maintaining as much of my routine as possible is integral in coming out on the other side. If you workout every day, keep at it. If your diet is mostly clean, resist the urge to plunge face first into Doritos and Oreos. Weekly coffee date with a girlfriend? Make yourself go, even if you go with dirty hair and yoga pants. Maintaining your healthy, feel good habits isn’t easy during funks. If you’re like me you think “We are all doomed anyway, so what’s the point?” but the point is that giving up on things that are genuinely good for you will only make you feel worse.
Look for the Good in the World
You don’t have to look for the bad in the world; it’s readily evident and shared rampantly. The good news is you can find the positive in the world; you just have to seek it out. This will help you pull yourself out of a funk, and it may very well give you a little hope. During my funk, my son’s teacher bragged on how he’d stayed with a classmate who’d fallen and skinned her knee until a teacher got to her. When the teacher told him how nice that was, he simply replied “It’s what I do.” (LOL) Also during my bad mood, the number of women serving in Congress reached an all-time high! A total stranger told me my hair color was beautiful, even though I had three inches of dark roots showing. Good things were happening all around me; I needed only to get out of the way and notice them.
My rule for funks is this: feel it, get it all out, and get over it. You can’t live there.
For some reason it’s easier to stay unhappy than it is to pull yourself out of a funk. We humans are an odd lot. We tend to learn nothing from positive experiences and we often allow a single negative experience to define an otherwise lovely day.
I won’t suggest that any of these steps are easy; when you find yourself in what feels like a permanent bad mood, nothing is easy. Optimism least of all. Take heart, though: If you make the effort to do these things, not only will you eventually pull yourself out of a funk, you may come out of it happier than before. How is that possible? I have no idea but it is! Life is a weird ride, y’all. Buckle up and refuse to stay mad about it.
I want to know: When you find yourself in a funk, how do you get out of it?