Being a chronically ill, overthinking perfectionist means I often find myself in periods of ‘funk’. A funk or ‘rut’ happens to all of us, at some point – but as mine happen more often than most due to having extreme fatigue caused by endometriosis, I have had to come up with a few ways to cope with periods of low mood and low energy.
I find myself in my head a lot and as much as it is so easy to just wallow (which I do oh so well), sometimes I have to check in with myself and come up with ways on how I can work my way out and into more of positive mind space.
Now, none of these are ground-breaking and you will find every single one of these suggestions on a myriad of self-care articles and blog posts. (I hate self-care as a buzzword, by the way, I think most of the stuff you read is just clickbait and not actually anything useful). BUT these are the things that work the best for me and I explain the reasons why.
If you find yourself in a bit of a funk, know that the best way to get yourself out of one is to get yourself out of your own head. All of my suggestions below do that, in one way or another, so I hope you find them useful. Any other suggestions welcome, just let me know in the comments!
Yes, yes I know. How annoying. I genuinely *despise* any form of exercise and always have done. Apart from my first year at university when I had a gym membership and actually went solidly for about six months – I never voluntarily do any exercise. I did sign up to a gym last year, but having only stuck at it for a couple of months, I spectacularly failed.
BUT back in February, I was listening to Elizabeth Day’s podcast How To Fail and in it, she said that exercise was the only thing that gets herself out of her head and into her body. As someone who is a chronic overthinker – this really resonated with me. I re-downloaded Couch to 5k (I downloaded it last year but never actually started it so just uninstalled it) and I have to say exercise is the perfect remedy to just get me out of my head. Even though I only do it for half an hour – it is so calming and those endorphins that everyone goes on about, really do work!
Don’t get me wrong, I can never be bothered to go. I have to be pushed out the door and in my head, I’m always trying to talk myself out of going for a run. But every single time I do decide to go, I never regret having gone and always come back feeling better.
So yes, while an absolute pain in the ARSE, exercise is perfect to get yourself out of a funk.
Linked to exercise, but a lot more fun. If I am feeling REALLY down I shout to my Google Home to play a sexy diva song and I just strut around my kitchen.
Fab songs to just sing and dance to include Beyonce, Lady Gaga (Born This Way – what a song!) and Pink. Oh, and Queen is great too. The bigger the vocals the better. My neighbours probably think I’m mad – but just singing full pelt is another way to get myself out of my own brain.
Another sure-fire way to get myself out of my head and into another world is picking up a book. Reading isn’t something I necessarily make time for (I have such a tendency to just scroll and scroll!), but I find that when I go through periods of high anxiety or stress, I shy away from social media in favour of a good book. Memoirs are my personal favourite at the moment as I am thoroughly nosey and love catching a glimpse into other people’s lives. Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton and My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen has been recent favourites of mine.
Using your hands to create is a good way to put yourself back into your body and concentrate on something that is physically in front of you. Cooking a good meal is a great way to be productive and in the end, you get to eat something yummy!
I often can’t be bothered to cook (and wash up at the end), but it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Even if I’ve made something super simple like pasta, I still feel accomplished and I don’t end up in a shame spiral of getting a takeaway or eating crap.
Like cooking, cleaning is another way to move your body, be productive and focus on something else that is outside of your head. Letting dishes and laundry pile up is such an easy option when you are in a funk – but even if I haven’t done anything AT ALL that day, putting a load of washing on or cleaning the dishes is at least one thing I can tick of my list.
When I’m feeling like NOTHING else is going to work, I close my curtains, get under my duvet and play a podcast, usually until I fall asleep (if all else fails, napping is a good way to get yourself out of a bad mood).
Podcasts allow me to be distracted enough from my own thoughts, but it’s more thought-provoking and productive than just sitting binge-watching the telly. I really like listening to podcasts of interviews and current affairs with favourites of mine being The High Low, Ways To Change The World and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.
Even if I *really* can’t be bothered to do anything else, at least listening to a podcast in bed is still engaging my brain and I’m learning something while being wrapped up cosy in my bed.
What are your tips for getting out of a funk?