Have you ever had one of those days where you just do NOT feel like yourself? Maybe 3 p.m. rolls around and you feel your energy crash, or you feel like you must’ve literally woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Worry not — this blog post provides 5 super simple hacks to get out of a funk. The best part is, they all take less than 3 minutes to complete!
One caveat: these are NOT meant to override really serious emotional turmoil, or deeper emotions that you SHOULD take a look at. They’re more so designed to be things that you can tap into when your mental health is cared for and you’re just needing a little boost.
How to Get Out of a Funk
Make an antioxidant-rich smoothie
Whenever I’m having an off-day, one of the first things I turn to is my food source. Food is more than a diet tactic to manipulate for swimsuit season. Food LITERALLY turns into your energy and fuels your body. Food becomes your cells, muscles, bones, neurotransmitters, and hormones.
I am always surprised how much better I feel after a nutrient-packed smoothie. My go-to formula is 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of spinach, and as much unsweetened almond milk as needed to blend everything together. (Start with 1 cup and go from there). Sometimes I add a scoop of vegan protein powder. But regardless, the sweetness of the bananas balances out the spinach, so the smoothie tastes more like sorbet than grass. (A plus!)
What I love about this smoothie is it’s made up of the darkest, richest colors from berries and spinach, which means more antioxidants. The complex carbohydrates fuel my body with energy and leave me feeling AH-mazing. There have been very few times when I’ve been in a funk, had this smoothie, and haven’t felt myself perk up. It sounds simplistic, but try it for yourself and see how your body responds!
Drink two big glasses of water with lemon
An even simpler version of the smoothie is guzzling two large glasses of water — bonus points for lemon. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that, as a culture, we are chronically dehydrated. We typically guzzle coffee (which is dehydrating) after 8 hours of sleep without water. In the afternoon, we reach for more coffee or sugar, instead of what our body really loves — WATER. Clean, pure, hydrating water.
I think this trick is half biological (water makes everything in our bodies run better) and half mental. The act of drinking water feels cleansing and refreshing. It’s one of those things that you just KNOW is good for you. So any time I feel like I need a reset, I guzzle a few large glasses of water, and immediately feel revived.
Move the emotions through your body
On any given day, you are processing so many emotions. Stress before an important presentation, boredom during a long meeting, pride around client interactions, anxiety around an email from your boss… on and on, all day! It’s no wonder your body eventually starts to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
So release some of that pent-up emotion. Give yourself a mini dance party — one song that suits the mood you’re in. If you’re feeling melancholy, find the moodiest track. If you’re feeling frustrated, blast a song that lets you rage. If you’re feeling energetic, play a pump-up track that lets you dance out your excess nerves.
Music and dance gives your emotions somewhere to GO. It’s almost like a release-valve, allowing your emotions to flow out instead of festering inside, wreaking havoc as they bump into all the other emotions you experience in a given day.
Play an upbeat soundtrack
A mentor used to refer to this as his “soundtrack of awesome” — a list of songs that made him feel, well, awesome. Spotify has playlists of songs that are upbeat, oldies, or good vibes. When I need a boost, I play one of these playlists and usually find myself bopping my head or tapping my toes.
I also started to notice which playlists I was listening to when I felt especially down or low-energy. I noticed that they were often playlists of heartbreak songs or melancholy tracks, so I began shifting this over time. The lyrics you listen to as background music become part of your subconscious, so it’s wise to make sure those are really the messages you want to ingrain day after day.
Go down a rabbit hole of funny online videos
One last tactic that never fails is spending a few minutes looking up bloopers online or on social media. I’ll search hashtags like #funnydogvidoes on Instagram or look up “Newscaster Bloopers” on YouTube. Some combination of dogs, babies, or news anchors usually does the trick. I started watching funny videos before bed instead of dramatic shows, and it helped me fall asleep feeling more uplifted and peaceful. Studies show that laughing literally boosts your immune system, so not a bad way to interrupt a day or fall asleep.
See what’s behind the feelings
One last note is that, if you find these funks coming up repeatedly, it’s worth assessing…
Who does this come up around?
What time of day?
After a certain food?
How long has it been since you’ve had a break?
Our bodies are always trying to speak to us when our minds can’t get ahold of us.
None of the tactics above are meant to avoid sticky emotions, but to give you ways to soothe a rough moment and get you back to feeling your best. It’s ALWAYS worth addressing the root cause, and there IS a difference between a bad day and a string of them. If you start to notice funky feelings come up more often than not, get curious, and get support if needed. I’ve used coaches for all aspects of my life and there is no shame in creating an army of supporters around yourself.
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