“How are you?”, asked a mum-friend at school this morning…
“Tired, achey, grumpy and fucked off”, I answered, honestly, for a change…
She was expecting the usual: Fine. Great. Happy. Energetic. Lively.
Bleurrrgh. I CBA-ed.
The hard thing with this job, is that that’s what people expect from you. All the time.
“You got 15 minutes to find your happy face, Chris.” I think to myself…
We all get funks. We all deal with them differently. But there’s a whole spectrum to bad, good, better, best ways to deal with them.
Which is what this post is about.
Hint: eating all the donuts is on the bad end of the spectrum.
5 ways to get your head out of a funk.
#1 Music. This is my go-to. Especially when I need a quick turnaround. I have a playlist of 7 songs which I call my “power” songs. There’s different moods, happy, pumping or really angry, depending on the nature of my funk. They work mostly because I’ve conditioned myself that I will play the song, play it loud, and sing at the top of my voice. And once the song is over, my game face is on.
It works. But if I’m honest it’s a sticky tape fix rather than a long term fix.
#2 Exercise. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. But note I say exercise not training. It’s on purpose. My training is specific and measured. I’m not really able to ‘lose’ myself in it. Chances are when I train in a funk, I don’t perform well. And that deepens the funkiness… So better to work it off first. My go-to is a run in Newlands Corner. (Or a run / walk these days.) Sometimes I’ll pick up a kettlebell. Swinging heavy stuff in a free-flowing format is a great feeling!
So get out into nature and work it out. Kick stones. Throw sticks. Run. Lie on the grass. Or simply sit and watch the world go by.
#3 Organise. Very often a bad mood is a symptom of something else, feeling overwhelmed, feeling unsafe, feeling out of control. So a way to get this control is to organise something: the garage, my leggings drawer, the cupboard under the stairs. Get it all out. Chuck the rubbish. Put it back again.
#4 Make a gratitude list. Grab a piece of paper and some nice Sharpies. Write out 5 things that you’re grateful for. Big or small. Doesn’t matter. May sound a bit woo-woo, but how many times to do you stop to actually take a moment to count your blessings?
#5 Do the time. As much as we would like to be able to simply rub out our mental and emotional struggles, we also need to acknowledge them and deal with them. Sometimes there are real, proper reasons for being in a funk: like relationships issues, money issues, health issues. So the reality is, you’re gonna need to deal with them at some point. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Sometimes the reasons behind the funk are less ‘real’: hormones, tiredness, or boredom. For me, it’s overwhelm: too much to do, too many people needing things from me… When this happens, my strategy is to just sit with it. I often embrace it and watch something soppy on TV like Grey’s Anatomy. In the middle of the day. And cry. Because of whatever the latest tragedy that poor Meredith Grey is going through. Then, once I’ve exhausted that, I’m somehow able to pull myself together and sort chipping away at life again!
Sometimes you need to allow yourself to be where you’re at, to feel whatever you wanna feel.
Oh and one final tip: reach out to people. Phone call or coffee with friends or even just a shout out on our fabulous group page: add link
Pretty sure someone there will have something wise or funny to say!
P.S. I’m writing this on the 2nd February I have been in a real funk. Did you notice? Reason is overwhelm: I have a mountain of reviews to do for the guys on the Nutrition programme, and 2 programmes to write for clients. I have loose ends galore on matters such as PTA, the retreat I want to organise and God knows what else is lurking in my inbox. I have an achy glute, still after 5 days, and I should probably stop ignoring it. Tracey is requiring some blog posts to load up. I have no Grey’s Anatomy episodes to watch. So I decided to write about my funk instead. Which is another way of “doing time with it.” I’ll let you know how it goes…