How To Get Out Of A Funk – I have struggled with depression on-and-off throughout my life. When I’m feeling depressed or in a bit of a funk, it can be challenging to start the day. When it’s bad, it becomes difficult to even get out of bed in the morning. On those days, I feel completely unmotivated and stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts. But, over the years, I’ve learned that a few little things help me get started on these in-a-funk kinda days. Here are 8 of those little things.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is written from personal and lived experience. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional mental health services, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health or mental health, you should always consult with a health-care professional.
# 1 – Get out of bed
Getting out of bed is easily the most important thing I can do for myself on these difficult days. When I’m in a funk, simply getting out of bed, even if only for an hour or two, makes the day feel a little bit brighter.
As simple as this task seems, those of us who have had these kinds of days know how truly difficult this can be. I’ve had my fair share of days spent in bed, like entire days, just because I felt I couldn’t manage to face the day. Whether it was because I was feeling unmotivated, discouraged, or just really sad, each time I got out of bed, I felt a little bit better about myself and my life. And that has made a huge difference.
And the days I stayed in bed, over time, I learned not to beat myself over. I just tried again the next day. Life is beautiful that way.
# 2 – Make your bed
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned about the connection between my home and my mental health. Come Saturday, I just need to take a quick glance around my space to see what kind of a week I’ve had. If it’s been a particularly stressful week, my space is a complete mess – the bed hasn’t been made since Monday, there are clothes from the entire week on the floor, nothing has been put away.
But when I’m having a good week, my space is tidy, things are in their place, and there are no messy piles of anything just lying around on the floor. And you know what, it feels so good. When my space is put-together, my mind feels put-together. And it makes a world of a difference in my mood and overall well-being.
For this reason, making my bed is a small way to help get me out of the funk I’m in that day. It helps to reset my day and make me feel a little bit more productive and motivated to take on the day ahead. And that little bit really makes a big difference on these difficult days.
# 3 – Have a cup of coffee
My day just isn’t quite the same without my one cup of morning coffee. More than just for my love of coffee, it’s become a way I take a beat before the start of the day. Much like making my bed, it serves as a reset for my day and gives me just the right amount of energy I need to get through the day (or at least the next few hours).
The thing about coffee and anxiety – As someone who’s had anxiety my entire life, I’ve learned that on days where I’m already feeling really anxious, or I’ve got something to do that day that causes me anxiety, I refrain from caffeine that morning and opt for a yummy decaf instead. But, on days where I’m in a funk, feeling unmotivated and unenergetic, that one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning does wonders for me.
And although more research needs to be done in this area, I was surprised to learn that some studies have actually found that coffee can help prevent mild to moderate depression. Check out this good read » How Does Coffee Help Alleviate Depression?
# 4 – Shower
Anyone else feel like the sheer thought of showering on a day like this feels completely exhausting? Having to get myself out of bed, turning on the facet, waiting for the water to get warm, having to dry myself off, having to brush my hair, having to put my clothes back on… It all feels like A LOT.
But what I’ve learned about myself on these in-a-funk kinda days is that if I can muster up enough energy to take this shower (some days I really can’t, and that’s okay too), I begin to feel a bit better about my day. It’s kinda like a mental refresh as much as it is a physical one. It can feel like my worries are washed away, even if only for a few minutes.
Similar to the way we let our homes go when we’re in a funk, we also tend to deprive our bodies of the same care. And if the thought of personal hygiene exhausts you on days like these, you are not alone. And more importantly, this is not something to be ashamed of. Check out this good read » 15 ‘Hygiene Hacks’ for When You’re Depressed
# 5 – Get dressed
As tempting as it is to stay in my pyjamas all day, I’ve learned that on days where I’m already feeling down, making an effort to get dressed helps pull me out of that dark space a bit. I’ve especially noticed this during the quarantine, where it became too easy to stay in my pjs all day since we were stuck at home. Not having a routine and no balance of home and work life can really start to take a toll on my mental wellness, so getting dressed is something I can do to help with this.
And if I can’t muster up enough energy to put a whole outfit together, I try to find some prettier pjs to put on. This way, I’m still feeling comfy, but also like I took a bit more care of myself for the day. And that helps me.
# 6 – Listen to songs that make you happy
Music makes me happy. It comforts me. So on days when I’m in a funk, listening to music helps me a lot. I always say music makes everything a little bit better. Going for a run? Washing the dishes? Cleaning the house? All better when you’ve got music on in the background.
On days like these, though, I do avoid listening to songs that remind me of sad things or times, I don’t need more of that kind of thinking going on. I’m specifically choosing upbeat, happy memory, songs, and it’s a bonus if they make me wanna dance around a little! 💃
If music isn’t your thing, finding something simple that can distract you a bit can help. Like listening to an uplifting podcast, or watching an episode of Friends, doing something that you enjoy and that can switch up your negative thinking is a little way to help get you started on these in-a-funk kinda days.
# 7 – Do one productive thing
When I’ve accomplished something, even the teeniest, tiniest thing, I feel better about myself. Sometimes making my bed is the one productive thing I’m able to do that day. Or getting dressed. Or showering. And that’s okay. It still serves its purpose, which is to help me feel better about who I am.
The thing about these down days is they get me stuck in thoughts of self-hate and unworthiness. And the thoughts can get darker and deeper, and it can be really difficult to find anything positive or good in this brain of mine. But when I can think to myself, “I did make my bed today,” or “I did cook dinner tonight,” I feel more in control of me and my life. It makes me hopeful for tomorrow, and even an ounce of hope, in a sea of negativity, is so important.
What I’ve also learned about productivity is that it can have a similar positive effect, no matter what task. For instance, if my task was to write a blog post for the day and because I’m in a funk, I can’t seem to get through it, instead of beating myself up about it all day I’ll stop, walk away, and find some other way I can be productive. Like cooking something to eat, or taking a shower, or making my bed, if I can find one tiny way to be productive, my day feels better.
And hey, if you can do more than one productive thing, you’re just a freakin’ rockstar. 🙃
# 8 – Go for a walk
Ok, I saved this one for last because if I’m being honest with myself if I’ve managed to go for a walk on one of these days, I’m probably doing better than most other in-a-funk days. Because getting out of the house on these days is a biggie. But I also didn’t want to leave this point out completely because it really does help me get out of the funk I’m in.
Going for a walk is helpful for a couple of reasons. One – you’re being active, which is good for your physical and mental well-being. Two – getting out helps take your mind off your current situation. The distractions of the outside world can pull you out of that negative thinking spiral.
It also serves as another one of those productive things I can say I did for the day, which also helps me feel better.
These have been 8 little things that help me start my day when I’m in a funk. And remember, your little things may be a little different than mine. And also remember, some days you’ll want to stay in bed, and you’ll feel like doing any of these is impossible, and that’s okay too. Please be loving and kind to yourself.
These in-a-funk days are tough and make us feel ashamed and lonely. But the truth is, none of us should feel alone. We are in this together, and we’re strong, and we’ll get through. Finding what works for you is so important.
So, if you’re reading this (and you’ve made it this far, thank you by the way!), I want you to know that you are one tough cookie and nothing can stop you from being the you that you’ve always wanted to be, and living the life that you’ve always wanted to live. I soooo believe in you.
And please speak with someone if you’re needing support.