Last week, in my “Wine(d) Down Wednesdays” email, I mentioned being in a funk. And ironically (or maybe not-ironically), I’ve been noticing even more of my gal-pals feeling similar. Instead of disregarding it, and hoping for the best, I decided to dedicate an entire post to it, and see if there is some action (or maybe less action) we can take.
Depression. Helplessness. Defeat. Over it. Funk. Whatever you decide to call it, it’s real. And in a society where everyone seems to be “dealing with it”, I want to talk about how we can deal with it in a different way, because “dealing with it” isn’t always the only solution, in my eyes.
different look, same feeling
“Being in a funk” looks differently for everyone, but I define it as feeling “less than”. You’re not overly-excited about anything; maybe you get anxious, worried or frustrated easily (me, currently). It’s hard to slow down, mentally, when physically, you just want to lay around. As my loving grandma used to sing, “I don’t want to set the world on fire”, and to this day, I can hear her singing this, whenever I’m in a funk.
Now, I can see that my grandma was probably vocalizing to me that she, too, was experiencing a funk, but she did such a good job of covering it up, and that’s, primarily, what I want to discuss, today. Covering. It. Up.
Sure, maybe it appears like everyone you know has their shit together, on the regular. But let’s be real: The majority of those around us don’t feel like setting the world on fire, either; we just don’t know they don’t!
So why is everyone covering it up? In a “picture-perfect world”, my opinion is that we feel like we have to. But I’m here to disagree.
Reasons For the Funk
First, let’s discuss the reasons you’re in the funk, in the first place. Chances are, a lot of it (but definitely not all of it) is due to areas of our control. Trust me, this is a GOOD thing!
Social Media: Yes, I know, I talk about this too much, but that’s because it’s a struggle for me, and I’m sure it’s a struggle for you, too. You keep tabs on someone you know (maybe someone you graduated with, or someone who’s doing what you want to be doing), and think they’re doing “better than you”. Girl, how do you know that?! Here’s the answer: YOU DON’T! Just because someone’s life looks “picture perfect” does not mean it is. Chances are, they struggle with the same insecurities as you; they just cover it up in a different way. Remember, social media doesn’t portray real life. And the next time you find yourself comparing to someone else (and falling down the rabbit hole of feeling funky), stop! You have a choice. You can A) block, or delete them B) reach out to them for inspiration C) Write yourself a list of reasons why your life is not their life.
You’re staying in a place that no longer serves you: And yes, this could be a post of its own, completely. Let me just say this: I’ve been there. I’ve stayed stagnant for too long, and in turn, I became a not-so-great version of myself. Whether you’re in a relationship, location or job that no longer serves you, I get it; it’s hard moving forward, especially when you don’t know what moving forward entails. Just trust that while staying stagnant might seem like the easy route, it’s not necessarily that way. Staying stuck will just take more of a toll on your emotional, mental and physical self. Remember, you’re never alone. Reach out, whenever you need. I’ve overcome it, and you can, too.
Money: I’m laughing as I write this because this is part of the reason for my funk, currently. And I’m positive it’s the reason for many other’s, as well. Worries about money, payments, LIVING… yeah, it’s shitty. While creating a budget, and learning to be more “responsible with your money” is the goal, it’s not always the answer… or not always the ONLY answer. Yesterday, I was reminded: “There’s more to life than paying your bills”, and it’s so true. Think about the bills that money is paying (or even attempting to pay): Your cat got spayed, so she (and you) can feel better. You purchased those flowers for a friend, and made their day. You went out for a delicious dinner, and laughed a lot. You bought a new pair of yoga pants, so everyone in class could stop seeing your ass, every time you bent over. Sure, we all blow our money on things we shouldn’t, and that is definitely something we can all work on improving, but remember that you have a life to live, and enjoy, too. That counts for a lot!
Hormones: Last week, I cried twice, in on hour. Once, after Ryan asked me why I didn’t understand the importance of creating a box around part of our basement floor (yeah, house projects suck), and another, after my dog had pissed on the floor (for the second time that week). During the second cry, I was determined that I wanted out of this version of my life (because it just wasn’t what I wanted); one hour later, I was fine. My period came three days later. Often, our bodies take control of the reins, and we are left gripping onto the sleigh, for dear life. Track it. Are you noticing your funkiness around certain times of the month? How long has it lasted? There is absolutely a thing as your hormones being out of whack, and often, that can be resolved by supplementing with food and healthy supplements. That, I can help with, too!
Health-Related Issues: Did you know inflammation causes funky feelings? And a lot of that is caused by how we fuel our bodies. Often, the first solution (which we’ll discuss later) is to supplement with something that will cause us to COVER UP our funk. But what if, instead, we tried to get to the root cause? How are you treating your body? Eating a diet rich in inflammatory-foods can cause more feelings of funk, as well as not moving your body enough. Remember, our bodies are meant to self-heal; often though, we don’t give them that opportunity. HOWEVER, it’s important to remember that sometimes, we really might have an imbalance, and sometimes, seeking a medical professional’s help is a wonderful option. Just remember, you have options! You’re never alone. This, too, shall pass.
Dealing vs. Healing
In conversations with many of the clients I coach, we talk a lot about physical action vs. mental action. Usually, the physical ways of dealing are easy; we know what action can be taken, in order to cope with those funky feelings. It’s those ways of healing (that take some mental power) that usually are a bit more difficult. Take this as an example: When we’re stressed, it’s easier to go for a walk (and hopefully rid yourself of some of that stress) than it is to shift your mindset to a happier, more positive place (and hopefully learn how to cope differently, in the future).
Dealing and healing are both important, but healing will help us, hopefully, not have to deal, as much (or as often), in the future.
One of my wonderful friends mentioned that when she’s in a funk, she tries to figure out why; most of the time it has to do with her job, so she just focuses on the positive, which is having a job, in the first place. Then, she tries to put her energy elsewhere.
Often, defining what we are and what we are not in control over can be so rewarding (and helpful)! Maybe our job is the main cause of those funky feelings, but maybe we can’t change that situation, currently. That’s okay! Recognizing that area of control (vs no control) is helpful! It allows us to put things into perspective, and then focus on figuring out the best plan of action, for the right now. When the majority of our energy goes into worrying, stressing or driving yourself nuts (maybe thinking about the job you don’t love), that’s how you’re going to feel, worried, stressed and nuts. Instead, if you focused on doing more of what brings you joy, and what IS good, the tables turn.
In my full time job, we have a specific session that focuses all on stress, and one challenge I always like to make to my members is to practice gratitude, for one week. Whether it be physically writing down, or thinking about what they’re grateful for, each day, I ask that they do this. A week later, they all come back feeling more positive than the week before. Why? When our energy goes to what’s going WELL, instead of what ISN’T, perspective changes - the funk changes.
What are you grateful for? How could you practice gratitude, in this next week? Let me hold you accountable. Do it, just for this week, and drop me a line to let me know how it went.
We’ve talked mindset, and gratitude, and in my opinion, these are super important, when it comes to feeling funky, because they focus on HEALING. But I am also well aware that taking action (and finding best practices of “DEALING”) is important, too. Who better than my friends and family to come to the rescue with best practices for dealing?! Below, you’ll find a handy list of options. Again, try them out, this week, and see how they work.
Listen to music: light, heavy, old-school, new-school, etc
Go for a walk
Text, or call a friend and/or family member
Resist, and then pay attention to what we really need
Go outside, and walk, ride or drive to random places
Create new experiences
Read, and sink into another character’s life, for a bit
Make a cup of tea, and be aware of all five senses, while drinking
Be gentle with yourself
“You” time: mani/pedi, face masks, essential oils, bath time,
Chocolate and pasta
Down-time: Netflix, sleeping, rest, no work, video games,
Cleaning the house
Reminiscing about days of old
“Pet time”: walks, cuddles or pets
Time spent with kids,
Not spending too much time in your head
Reach out and help someone else, volunteer
Sulk, pick on spouse
Creating things: teas, blankets, art, etc.
Show up without expectations, going back to the things we know we love
I think the most important thing to remember, here, is questioning about your method of dealing. Is it healthy, or maybe not so healthy?
Sometimes, it’s easy to cope with things like food, drugs and alcohol and for the short-term, they might be exactly what we need (and no judgement here, seriously). But take it from someone who coped with alcohol too many times: it’s not going to help make you feel better, long-term; and it’s going to make it a whole lot easier to sit in stagnation.
My aunt left a wonderful reminder, about dealing with funk, and that was that sometimes, it’s important to remember that we have to go through the funk, instead of around. Healing is a form of that. Nothing lasts forever, and neither will your funk.