How to Get Out of a Funk: 29 Practical Tips to Use Every Time
Do you have times when you or something in your life feels a little off? When it doesn’t matter whether you can put your finger on why or not because you have lost your groove and can’t seem to get it back.
Funks vary in intensity, frequency, longevity and the ease with which we can get out of them. Some hit hard like an uppercut and knock us off balance. Others envelop us like an oversized coat that we can’t shake off no matter how hard we try.
There are things that we can do to have a more conscious approach to our funks and getting out of them. Here I share a definitive list of strategies and reflections that you can implement instantly.
Get it Out of Your Head:
Funk bomb a piece of paper
-> write everything down quickly on a piece of paper that may be contributing to the funk. Then rip it up.
Find other creative ways to express what is going on for you
-> paint; draw; create a mandala; colour in; make music; write a song; dance.
Talk it through with someone
-> to offload, to seek advice or for resolution.
Change Your State by Doing Something Different:
Our senses and the environment we are in are the most accessible and quickest ways to change things up. Make this a full sensory experience to get the most benefit. Experiment to discover what works best for you.
Get into nature
-> breathe in the fresh air; feel the sun, breeze or rain on your skin; listen to the noises of nature and life around you; wander where you are soothed; take on that hill; feel the sand in your toes; picnic somewhere different.
Change your environment
-> if you have been inside go outside; if you have been in front of a computer move away from it for a while or change location; put different music on; change the lighting; open or close curtains; change the temperature around you.
-> do some stretches or other exercise; try moving differently to how you normally do; walk; practice some yoga; go for a bike ride; swim or float; jump on a trampoline; jog or sprint; gentle does it or sweat it out.
-> small chuckles or big belly laughs; by yourself or with others; until you cry.
Play and have fun
-> drop ideas you have about what adult’s can’t or shouldn’t do; be inspired by children; be silly; go to the park; climb; swing; jump; play in the sandpit; tickle; finger paint; hide and seek; play wrestle.
Choose who you are around
-> seek others out; have some alone time; be in a crowd; be with a trusted friend; hug and be hugged if you need; do it in person, online or other means; pets matter here.
-> listen to music; read a book; escape in trashy magazines; watch that movie; go for a drive; bunker down.
-> sometimes its the best thing for you.
Clean or garden
-> a distraction whilst getting things done; choose the best method for the occasion; tidy or scrub; prune or rip out.
Have a shower or bath
-> change the temperature; add scents or bubbles; light off, on or candlelit.
-> with good food; by looking after yourself; by taking time; by saying ‘no’ … or ‘yes’; drink water.
Change your clothes or hair
-> get comfortable; wear what you feel; wear how you want to feel; functional or ‘dressy’; change the colour; change the texture; style makes a difference.
Fake it till you make it
-> act and do as if you are out of the funk already; get back to routine; mix things up a bit; continue on despite.
Do the opposite of what you feel like doing.
Go With It:
Sometimes the best thing is to not change things up but to actually go with the funk and feeling you are in.
Let it be your guide
-> how is it asking you to honour it and yourself? what do you need to do?
Match or enhance the feeling with what you do
-> haven’t you ever intentionally played sad music when down just to bring on the tears? This is the principle I am talking about.
Acceptance is about creating space for our experiences. Without judgment and without action. Allowing them and ourselves to be present. Our willingness to experience life in all of its glory and gifts is healing.
-> belly breathing; left nostril breathing; alternate nostril breathing; inhalation and exhalation, and all of the space between.
Practice mindfulness or meditation
-> observant; still; here … now.
Use mantra and words as reminders
-> ‘I am here. I am ok. This will pass’.
Check-in With Yourself & Reflect:
Tune into your funk and get to know it
-> what thoughts and feelings are associated with it?; where are you feeling it in your body?; how is it impacting you and your life?; is this part of a bigger pattern?; what is its message to you?
-> in the context of everything that is going on does it make sense that you are feeling this way?
Make sure you are looking after yourself
-> have you been meeting your sleep, nutrition, exercise and social needs?; have you been over doing it?; have you had too much or too little space?; have you been doing nice things for yourself?
Do what is important to you
-> outside of work and family commitments; passion projects; hobbies; what is fun for you.
Make adjustments to your life
-> recharge and rebalance; stop doing; start doing; get support; do things differently; find what works for you and do more of it.
How you choose to respond to your funk will depend on the size and type of funk that you are in. Sometimes you will be served best by doing first and reflecting later. Other times the opposite approach is needed. Over time you will become more aware of what works best for you and how to go about it. Funk’s happen. Life goes on.