Do you ever crave a bit more excitement in your life? On the surface, many people appear to have life all sorted out. But dig below, and you may find boredom and stagnated vibes. Being in a funk can leave us feeling like we are walking in quicksand.
There's a lethargy and inertia that comes from being in a funk. This heaviness is perfectly normal and happens to the best of us. If you are happy wallowing in this condition, I can't help you. But if you are ready for brighter days, smiles, and visceral joy, that's where I come in.
This article will outline what it means to be in a funk and why this is bad for you. I will provide 5 tips on getting out of a funk that you can put to use right away.
What does it mean to be in a funk?
Some days you jump out of bed and dart around like a hummingbird. And other days feel more of a drag. A struggle to get out from under the concrete cover, to face a day of grey and drab.
When you are in a funk, the concrete days seem eternal, and the hummingbird days are a distant memory.
Call it a funk, a slump, or a skunk (okay, maybe not a skunk). Whatever you call it, it is that sense of unhappiness without any reassuring hope. It feels like you are stuck wandering in the fog and can't find your way out.
There may not even be a particular reason for your funk. It is often a combination of many things.
Here are some typical causes of getting stuck in a funk:
- Lack of challenge and stimulation in the workplace.
- A feeling of monotony in your life.
- No sense of purpose.
- Limited engagement in social communities.
- Too much news or negative media.
- Doom scrolling on social media.
- No interests or hobbies.
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The importance of escaping your funk
Being in a funk serves one purpose and one purpose only. That is to send you a clear message that something needs to change.
If you let your funk settle in and make itself at home, it may have a rather sinister impact and lead to:
- Reduced overall well-being.
- Deterioration of relationships.
- Reduced physical and mental health.
Therefore, it's clear to say that being in a funk will never make anyone happy.
But here's the thing, as part of our journey of self-discovery, it can be helpful to understand why we are in a funk in the first place. If we learn this, we may be able to prevent a funk in the future instead of responding in a reactionary manner.
So, if you want to experience fulfilling relationships and enjoy life, you must process and escape your funk.
5 ways to get out of a funk
Being in a funk is frustrating. We want to move forward, but we need to figure out in what direction. A funk keeps us frozen with inertia. It is easier to break the cycle of the funk by staging an intervention.
Here are 5 tips to help get you out of a funk.
The last thing I want to do when I'm in a funk is to see people. But sometimes, the best thing I can do for myself is to force myself to go out.
I know; it doesn't make sense. But if you are anything like me, you may withdraw from others when you are in a funk. This social withdrawal can cause us to go deeper into our funk. According to this study, our mental health also suffers when we feel disconnected from others.
When I say socialize, this could be a coffee with a trusted friend. For the best long-term results, I recommend joining one or two social communities that help prevent a funk in the first place. These groups are all around you and may look like this:
- Sports club.
- Special interest group.
- Rambling group.
- Nature watching club.
- Sewing club.
- Book club.
Remember what they said in the Cheers theme tune, sometimes you want to go "where everybody knows your name." Other's knowing your name helps you feel like you belong and that you matter.
2. Build healthy habits
Often, our funk can come about due to a lack of stimulation or a sense of purpose. In a nutshell, our system has just shut down with boredom.
It may be time to shake your day around and jolt yourself back into the world of the living instead of hanging around the world of merely existing.
What you need is an arsenal of healthy habits.
And the best way to build a habit is to start small. Instead of aiming to read a book per month, just aim to read 1-page per day.
Or instead of aiming to practice yoga for 1 hour, aim to just grab your yoga mat and start practicing.
Start with 3 blocks of 5 minutes each day. At this time, you can do any of these activities.
- Text or call a friend.
- Listen to music.
- Write in a journal.
- Breathing exercises.
- Back stretches.
- Read a book.
- Write in a journal.
In the second week, extend the time to 10 minutes.
In the third week, develop one long session of 15 minutes and keep the others to 10 minutes.
In the fourth week, extend your long session to 20 minutes and keep the others to 10 minutes.
Now you have 3 established time blocks to fit new and healthy habits in, make the most of them, and appreciate the new stimulation and break from monotony.
Here's an article of ours that might interest you if you're looking for more healthy mental health habits.
3. Laugh more
Laughing is a neat way to boost the feel-good endorphins. Laughter therapy has been proven by science to improve psychological and physiological health.
We aren't drawn to humor or comedy when in a funk. But if we drag ourselves to a comedy show or watch a light-hearted funny movie, we can help break free from the shackles of a funk.
One of the best feelings in the world is laughing uncontrollably with friends or loved ones.
There are plenty of comical videos online. It may be time to hit YouTube or Google or see if your favorite comedian is on Netflix.
Prepare to exercise your abs with laughter.
4. Maintain a bit of variety in your life
Humans need variety. Otherwise, life becomes dull and predictable. All too often, we sleepwalk through life and become overly familiar with what we see, hear, and smell. To such an extent, we switch off and barely pay attention.
Yes, we like safety, but we also like challenge and freshness. Grab your nervous system's attention; it's time to invoke your senses and give yourself a different canvas.
If you work from home, could you join a shared working space a few times a week? If you work in an office, switch up your commuting route.
Travel down streets you have never visited. Take roads and turns you wouldn't usually take. Wake yourself up from your living sleepwalk.
But ultimately, the best way to obtain variety is to gain new interests and hobbies. According to this study, we feel happier when we engage in various activities for a long enough time to become engrossed in them.
If starting something new feels scary to you, here's a helpful article about how to deal with the fear or starting something new.
I may be biased, but exercise is the answer to everything. Even if you don't like exercise, I can find a movement that suits you.
Exercise is a scientifically tried and tested way to increase well-being and boost our mood. You don't need to lift weights or run marathons to benefit from this phenomenon.
Ideally, I'd like you to go out for a walk, run, cycle, or swim. But I appreciate that only some people enjoy or can participate in these exercises.
Here are some other ideas of how you can incorporate exercise into your life:
- Put on your favorite songs and dance in your living room.
- Spend time gardening.
- Go for a walk (preferably in nature!).
- Kick a ball about with a child in your life.
- Join a yoga group.
The hardest thing is just to get started. Getting yourself out the door is the hardest part of exercising!
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It's horrible to be in a funk, and it happens to all of us. Instead of feeling unhappy and hopeless, it's time to get out of this funk. Stop the monotony of your life, face the fear of starting something new, and work on becoming happier tomorrow!
When was the last time you were in a funk? Do you have any suggestions for our readers that might help them get out of their funks? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!