The Anatomy of a Funk

I think January on the whole wasn’t my favorite.  Snow on top of more snow, not very much sunlight at all, gloomy days, bitter temperatures, the whole month just wasn’t really my jam. Feeling in a bit of a funk during the best conditions (for me that might look like a crisp fall day, a sunny, patio sitting kind of afternoon, or a breezy spring day), well feeling in a bit of a funk under those conditions is bad enough, but when you’re not feeling your usual sense of calm, kind of feeling off for no real pin-pointable reason, feeling that way in the dead of winter?  Well that just feels like a double whammy, you know what I’m saying?

Something has felt a little bit off.  I don’t have a big story or reason why I’m feeling funk-ish; I don’t have a reason to pin it all down to, it just feels like a general sense of… “blah,” that was hanging around last month.

Anyone else?

I also realize that some people have some serious things going on, serious reasons for a funk, or a case of the sads, or really do have a diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  Sometimes I think of this and I know my funk pales in comparison, but I guess we all are dealing with… something, right?  Big or small, we all have something on our plates, and we’re all just trying to do our best.

I think it’s important during these kind of funky times to be in the moment, remind ourselves that it’s okay to feel not awesome and not totally on point and on our game all of the time, because those are some high expectations to have and to put on ourselves!  I also try not to totally wallow in the throws of a funk for too long.  I tried to kind of wrap my mind around what I was feeling, and when I couldn’t really attribute my blank mood to anything in particular, I thought of what I could do to kind of get myself out of the funk.

  • Exercise- This one usually always helps me to feel in a good mood, gives me more energy, good endorphins and all that goodness.  Some days I just wasn’t feeling it, so I went a little easier with myself and did yoga instead of something more intense, or considered the shoveling as my workout. Holy hell, all the shoveling.
  • Reading- Getting drawn into a good book is something that helps to distract the mind, and I enjoy getting sucked into a good story.  Using our imaginations can help to get us out of our own heads for a while, and I like how reading a novel can take us to a whole new place.
  • TV- Probably not the best choice of distractions, but if I’m being real and honest I will tell you that I enjoy shutting my mind off and watching TV for a while.  My newest favorite- Love, Lust, or Run- Stacy London’s new show on TLC.  Kind of What Not to Wear-ish, but shorter and without Clinton which is a bummer for me.  I love Clinton!
  • Writing letters- Like real, handwritten notes and cards.  I’m getting back into corresponding with an old friend, snail mail style, and I just love writing and receiving notes in the mail.
  • Cleaning & organizing- For some, doing this one might not be what you’d go to when in a funk, but lately I’ve been really excited about keeping our new home clean and organized, decorating and thinking of new ways to make our home feel even more like “us.”
  • Pinterest- It helps with the decorating ideas!  And recipe planning.  And fashion inspiration.  And hair!  I could look at hairstyles for hours on end.
  • Getting a new hairdo- I’m making an appointment for next week for a little spruce up of my do’.  That always makes me feel in a good mood!
  • Helping others- This one is in the works.  I’m looking for some opportunities to do some more volunteering.  I’m part of a volunteering organization in Boston, but haven’t really delved into it all too much.  I’ve been wanting to find a local soup kitchen or food pantry to volunteer some time at, so I’m looking into that.  Back a few years ago, I used to visit with an elderly woman in my town, something setup through the Council on Aging I think, and it was something I enjoyed a lot.  I’d like to see if something similar exists in our new community, or even a local nursing home where I could go and visit with the residents there.  I have always enjoyed spending time with the elderly.

So, those are some of my get-out-the-funk go-to’s I’ve been working on lately.  I’m feeling a bit better, it being February and a shorter month, closer to some warmer weather, already seeing some more daylight. I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead as I have some plans with friends that I’m looking forward to, a long weekend getaway to see some friends and my God children, and a few other exciting things in the works.

How about you?  Have you had a case of the Januaries?  What do you do to get out of a funk?

Here’s a couple good articles I found that touch on the subject..

How to correct your mind to get out of a funk

10 tips to beat the blues in winter

13 thoughts on “The Anatomy of a Funk

  1. Oh I’m right there with you. I’m so ready for spring, mostly more daylight! This time of year is tough. I also find that exercise helps lift my mood and strangely I’ve been turning to Pinterest more and more lately. It helps that I have a house in need of renovation in just about every room so it’s fun to plan and think of ways to improve each room. Here’s to less than 50 days until spring and just about a month until DST!

  2. I love your honesty in this post. I have definitely had a unique time readjusting to the winter weather and also moving to a new place. My best pick-me-ups are having dinner with Dan, talking to my sister on FaceTime, Yoga, The Bachelor (seriously), writing, praying, and seeing my dogs wagging their tails when I get home 🙂

  3. I’d imagine all the snowy, cold weather doesn’t help the funk! To get out of a funk, I think about the things that make me happy and make sure I’m doing them– being intentional about spending time with friends, running with other people, eating ice cream, getting enough sleep, etc. Sometimes I’ll realize that I’m just not doing enough things that make me happy!

  4. I am with you in feeling like I am in a funk. I just feel so blah right now and I can’t really blame the weather because January was not really that bad here. But it’s dark and gray out and while the days are getting longer, we still don’t get all that much day light. I’ve been trying to stay busy and did a ton of reading and organizing projects in January which helped offset some of the blah feelings, but my exercise schedule has been off because I haven’t been feeling right and don’t know if it’s my RA or what so I have been taking it a bit easier. We leave for a vacation next week, though, so I am looking forward to that as I think some time away is going to help.

    I hope we both kick the blahs soon! I hate feeling like this! Right now I am just ‘faking it until I make it’!

  5. I don’t want to throw salt in your wounds, but it’s hard to be in a funk in CA in January. It’s one of my favorite months here because we usually have really beautiful weather! So I think I’ve found myself more in awe than agony. That said, funks creep up on me often. I love your idea about writing letters! That’s so fun! Two things that I usually do to try to turn myself around are make sure I’m doing a daily gratitude practice and try to inject music into my day. Music always lifts me up when I’m feeling down.

  6. I feel you! I have been in a funk because I have had an injury and have not been able to run, so I have basically stopped working out and it sucks! I know its my own fault though, because I could still do certain things, such as weigh lifting but I don’t want to! Luckily, we have great weather over here, so I can’t really blame it on that. However, it’s amazing how one funky thing can taint your entire attitude sometimes.

    I usually get out of a funk by running, reading or planning trips!

  7. @Kate- Those are some good ideas for pick me ups. I love FaceTime and yoga, and you know I’m also addicted to the Bach.

  8. @Liv- I like your idea about being intentional about doing things that we know make us happy. I also love that you included ice cream because hello?, ice cream is a wonderful cure for anything.

  9. @Lisa- Staying busy I think is key… and reading, gosh I love to read and I just need to get back into it a little more. Doing so really makes me feel good. Last month I was just lazy about it, but remembering how much I enjoy it is helpful! Hope your funk goes away soon too!

  10. @Mel- Ha, it’s okay, rub it in! CA sounds perfect right now! I love the idea of a gratitude practice.

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