5 Tools to Help You Get Out of a Funk
Or At Least the Tools That Worked For Me
Feeling like you are stuck in a rut is not a fun place to be. Last week, that is exactly where I found myself: dissatisfied with life and uninspired. Giving myself space to feel these things, however, reminded me of my purpose, and brought me back into a space where I am motivated to keep chasing the life I want to lead. I also learned some coping mechanisms for dealing with being in a funk that I felt were more unconventional. Here are the five tools that helped me get out of a funk:
Embrace the funk.
This one seems counterintuitive, but the reality is sometimes we are just in a funk. I have found that in trying to pull myself out of a funk I become over-fixated on the fact that I am in a funk. I’ll treat the negative emotions I am feeling as something broken that needs to be fixed, instead of listening and learning from what these emotions are telling me. A better tactic is to embrace the funk, and all the emotions that come with it. Accept that sometimes we just feel “funky.” There is nothing wrong with that, and it is just temporary. Think of your funk as storm clouds passing through, rather than a hole you are trying to climb out.
Fighting the funk is like swimming upstream. You expend a lot of energy, with little results. Instead, take this time to flow with the river. Relax. Breath. Go to bed early, and sleep in as much as you can. Taking this time to slow down can help bring to light the motive behind your funk. Also, that motive might have just been that you needed rest! This can be really scary if you have big dreams you are working on, but those dreams don’t have expiration dates. Taking a needed break for rest can help you realign with those dreams, and chase them with greater fervor.
Realign with your dreams.
If you haven’t done this exercise before, I highly suggest you do. Go get a pen and paper, or pull out the notes on your phone. Think about your dreams and goals. Now, write them down as if they have already happened. For example, one that is on my list is, “I have over a million subscribers on YouTube.” Writing your goals out in this way reframes them, as if they are already yours. When you truly believe the goal is already yours, you begin to act like it. If I were to write instead, “I want to have over a million subscribers on YouTube,” then my focus would be on the subscribers I lack.
Comparing yourself now to who you want to be at the end of the rope only leads to obsessing over the disparity between the two, and how in the world you are supposed to get there. Instead, live your life like the destination you want is already set in stone, and that the pathway will become clear along the journey. This practice is called manifestation. I will admit I am still new to this practice, but manifesting the life I wanted helped bring me out of that funk by reminding me of my sense of purpose. Planning for a future for yourself that is awesome also helps prove to yourself that you believe this funk is only temporary.
If I am being honest, I think this “de-funking” tactic is one of the hardest. It’s hard to be grateful when the whole world feels like it sucks. In my experience, it's best to start small. Be thankful for your breath, or your bed, or the breeze. Just try it a little bit each day, and I promise you will slowly start to notice more and more of the magnificent blessings in your life. This has been a game changer in helping me improve my mood, and to be more motivated. Instead of focusing on how different my life, or my job is from where I want to be, I can be grateful for the opportunities these things give me that are leading to that goal. Everything in your life now is the stepping stone to the life you want to live.
Have self compassion.
Realize that there is nothing wrong about being in a funk. There are lessons to be learned in each season of our life, and there are many things in life to be grateful for. Most importantly though, forgive yourself when you have difficulty remembering this. Your emotions don’t have to be rational to be valid. Forgive yourself when you lose sight of your blessings. Have compassion when you give in to the desire to fight your funk, and when you let the funk cloud your ability to see your dreams. This compassion will allow you space and time to rest and recover from the rut you are in. This, in turn, will allow you to make peace with the reason you got in this funk in the first place.