Photo by John Towner
The other day, I woke up early as is now my routine, checked my schedule and got ready for a day of meetings. Except, as the morning rolled on, they all got cancelled. Great, I thought, I now have the day to myself, to get things done. But as I sat down at my computer with my 19 item to- do list next to me, I felt my energy and my spirits wane. Why? I have no idea.
Does this ever happen to you? You feel low, unenergized and unmotivated but you can’t put your finger on why? For someone who feels positive and driven most of the time, that feeling is scary. For the briefest moment I had this thought that nothing could motivate or excite me right now. This for me is the scariest thought of all and it is a tiny window into the weight of clinical depression, from which I’ve thankfully never suffered.
The thing is, I’ve had plenty of times in my life where I had very real reasons to feel sad, anxious and unmotivated. But this was not one of them. I just knew that I didn’t feel good. And as my daughter often shouts, “I DON’T LIKE IT!”, I really didn’t like it. I took a deep breath and found that I did have a tiny bit of motivation to find my way out of it. And as I took the steps to shake it off, I realized that there are things you can do to pull yourself out of a funk. You can do things to elevate your vibration first by just by making the decision. By deciding, I’m going to feel better.
Here are 8 other ways to lift yourself out of a funk:
Do nothing (but with a time limit). Wow, do nothing. Can you imagine? I am the first one to fall victim to the idea that we must always be productive and efficient and getting sh*t done. Recently as I browsed in a few bookstores, covers touting just the opposite kept showing up (The Importance of Living, On Doing Nothing, How to do Nothing) . A message from the universe? I think so! Sometimes, it is best just to do nothing and sit with your feelings. The key is to not wallow in that feeling for too long. Give yourself a time limit and plan an action for when that time is up. Something as simple as putting on the kettle.
Reach out to a friend or loved one. Sometimes that feeling arrives and stays because you are holding it inside. Reach out to a close friend who will get it and be there for you.
Remind yourself that feeling low is normal. We all feel sad, anxious or a little depressed sometimes. These are normal, human emotions. Not catastrophizing it helps for you to see what it is and release these feelings faster. Don’t blow sadness, a normal human emotion that every single one of us feels every now and then, out of proportion.
Read something inspiring. Pick up a book or even your own journal and read a few passages that shift your thinking and your energy. Over the years I’ve written down quotes or passages that inspire or motivate me onto individual index cards. Sometimes when I feel low, or just as a reminder, I flip through them and they lift my spirits.
Go for a leisurely walk. Or clean your home. The key is to physically break out of what you’re currently doing which is likely nothing. Do something and mindfully focus all your attention on that activity.
Exercise hard. There is nothing like getting your blood pumping and feeling strong to shift your thinking and therefore how you feel. Head to the gym, a class or do sprints outside.
Get off social media. When we should least spend time on social media is when we’re most likely to. Endless scrolling, taking in pre-planned and posed shot after shot or reading the barrage of news only makes you feel worse and is frankly also the worst way to deal with your feelings. If you have to, temporarily (or permanently!) delete these apps from your phone.
- Decide to not feel low anymore. Just make the decision. The truth is sometimes we want to wallow a little, maybe feel a little sorry for ourselves, and that’s ok. But know that you’re doing that. And when you’re fed up, decide that you are done with feeling that way and literally shake it off and move on. Sometimes it is that easy*.
We all feel low sometimes. It is a normal feeling. The key I’ve learned is to not get stuck there. I hope that by referring to this post or jotting down a few ideas that resonate with you you feel empowered to try them next time you feel low.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe
*Again, this does not necessarily apply to those suffering from chronic or clinical depression. If you aren’t able to shake a persistent sad feeling, please reach out to a friend, family member or mental health professional." -