Today’s post is sponsored by last week’s funk (my own), and a desperate desire to snap out of it quickly. The truth is, once in a while, we all wake up feeling cranky, fatigued, or lacking plain-old motivation for no apparent reason. But in lieu of letting the blahs overshadow an otherwise perfectly good day, I thought it might be helpful to arm myself with a handful of coping mechanisms to pull me out of a funk.
In my own quest to shake off these feelings of stagnancy and general blah-ness, I rounded up the 10 best ways I know to help reinstate my curiosity, reignite my passions, and revitalize every aspect of my life. So if you’ve also found yourself feeling… off, I encourage you to check out the tried-and-true strategies below. It’s important to know too, that you don’t have to do all of these! Read through the options and identify a few that resonate. Little by little, when we begin consistently incorporating supportive practices into our everyday routines, we open ourselves up to more opportunity, good energy, and plenty of positivity.
Keep reading for 10 mood boosters that almost always work for me, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments!
Feature image by Teal Thomsen.
#1 Take Care of Yourself
So often, I get cranky when I haven’t been taking good care of myself. And it can be a downward spiral, because when I’m in a negative mood, I’m more likely to eat emotionally (i.e. sugar and flour which make me feel worse) and skip my daily meditation. Sometimes just forcing myself to do the things that I know make me feel my best is enough to snap out of it: eat clean, be quiet with my mind, and get enough sleep.
#2 Move Your Body
In the same vein as showing your mind and soul the love and attention they need (and fully deserve), moving your body is one of the best ways to feel better immediately. And before you skip this tip and scroll on to the others, know this: it doesn’t have to be an hour-long sweat sesh. Walking has been shown to be more effective at improving energy than chugging a cup of coffee (and don’t get us started on the feel-good endorphins that’ll boost your mood). So the next time you experience the dreaded afternoon slump, put on your shoes and get outside.
#3 Direct Your Focus to Others
This is such a simple act, yet it’s probably the #1 quickest way to get out of a funk. Get outside yourself and focus your attention on others. Smile and say hello to strangers at the coffee shop (I know, it’s the last thing you feel like doing, but trust me), call a family member just to see how they’re doing, and try having an entire conversation with someone where you ask them questions instead of talking about yourself. Bad mood? What bad mood?
#4 Talk to Someone About It
Sometimes, your really do need to talk through what’s going on instead of just trying to “get over it.” Sometimes I think that I’m in a funk for no reason, but when I really take some time to pinpoint what’s nagging at my mind, I’m able to focus in on something that’s got me anxious and worried. Often, simply identifying the problem is enough to help me reframe the situation in a more positive light, but talking through it with a trusted friend (who’s a good listener) is usually the most fast-acting medicine to lift my spirits.
#5 Pull Out Your Journal
Kind of like the trusted friend solution above, writing down your feelings in a journal can help you process what’s really going on. Complete honesty is a must here, so go ahead and purge your feelings onto the page, even if they seem stupid or irrational. By the end of a good journaling session, I find that I’m also jotting down problem-solving ideas, which helps me walk away feeling more energized and reminds me that I can choose how I respond to challenging circumstances. Seeing them on paper is one of the best ways to shift your perspective.
#6 Develop a Routine
It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes I find myself in a rut during the busiest seasons of my life. It can feel like I’m going from event to event and switching from task to task on autopilot—and that definitely doesn’t leave room for creative thinking, innovation, or growth. When I notice this happening, I take a step back, breathe, grab my journal (see above) and jot down supportive practices and rituals that are grounding and help me find calm. I oftentimes find that when we prioritize a certain level of consistency in our lives—whether it’s a morning workout, nighttime meditation, or a journal sesh to recap the day—ideas, excitement, and yes, passion, find their way back to our lives.
#7 Unplug and Go Play
Do you ever find yourself in a funky mood after scrolling through your social media feed? If so, a tech detox might be just the thing to cure what ails you. That nagging sense of negativity often comes out when we’re playing the comparison game—and we can all fall prey when our social media feeds are bombarding us with beautiful people going to fabulous places wearing ridiculously good outfits.
Read my recent thoughts on taking a tech detox here, but here’s the gist: Disconnect, put away your phone, and go do something that feeds your soul.
#8 Create Space to Relax (and Rejuvenate)
Along the same lines as designing a routine, it’s important to carve out time when you do nothing but rest. Here’s the key part though, it’s intentional rest that’ll help you get out of a funk. What do I mean by that? Well, I love a Netflix binge as much as the next gal, but peeling myself off the couch after a few hours of back to back (to back) episodes of my favorite series doesn’t feel great. Connect with a practice or activity that feels restorative to you. Whether that’s sitting down to your favorite (or a new!) hobby, engaging in a little gentle movement, or baking up something new in the kitchen, whatever brings you back to yourself, do it.
#9 Get Creative
The essence of this tip: change things up. So often, the belief that we’re stuck is truly just that—a belief. While I’ll go to my grave emphasizing the beauty of a routine, sometimes, shaking things up can be a more productive route. Take a different way to work, listen to a podcast you initially thought might not be for you, pick up a book written in an unfamiliar genre. Connect with your innate sense of wonder and seek a feeling of inspiration. Trust me, it won’t lead you astray.
#10 Look to the Future
I love setting goals for myself. Whether it’s for the week, the month, or the year ahead, nothing fills me with more motivation or energy than taking the time to jot down what I want to bring into my life and writing out the steps I can take to get there. If you need a little structure to get you started, this is the vision setting workbook I always use to help me make my dreams a reality.
This post was originally published on July 21, 2020, and has since been updated.