So I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. A stagnant place in life, ennui, doldrums, a rut — whatever you choose to call it, I think we’ve all been there at some point.

I don’t consider myself to be a depressed individual, but there have been times throughout my life where I do find myself in this familiar, yet unsatisfying place. The good thing is it is short-lived, and I’m starting to feel like myself again.

If you also find yourself experiencing a sluggish momentum in life, and a general blah (for lack of a better word), here are some tips that I’ve found helpful for getting out of that funk so you can dominate life again.

 

Control What You Can

 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming the world for your problems or making excuses for why you can’t seem to make progress in your life, work, or relationships. And we all know the blame game gets us nowhere.

For me these days, I think the cause of my feeling down is self-imposed pressures — the need to feel productive, successful and “to be something” in life. The desire to see my business grow exponentially — but quickly (because patience is tough). And the yearning for personal growth both professionally and personally.

Sometimes when I see all that I have yet to learn to get my business to a point I’d like it to be, it can be daunting and the impulse to want to surrender takes over. What has helped me in the past, and what I’m remembering to be helpful this past week as I’m seeing the positive momentum beginning to return is to control what I can in my situation.

There are some circumstances beyond my control like the ability to invest tons of money in my business or not being able to have help from an employee (as it is just a solo endeavor right now). But you know what? There are a ton of things I still can do…and still haven’t done yet to continue to attempt to reach more people and evolve as a business owner.

So, rather than make up excuses as to why you can’t do something in life, instead focus on what you can still do in the moment. In most instances, there usually are things that can be attempted or done.

Have Something to Look Forward To

 

For me at this point a year ago, I had more plans in life…to quit my day job and focus on my business more and to travel throughout Europe. I’ve always been this type of person in life (staying busy and working towards something), and have come to the realization that as much as I don’t consider myself a planner type, not having a short-term goal or reward to strive for can contribute towards my dips in mood.

And, so I suggest if you’re the same:

  • Plan a trip! Putting a vacation on the books is a surefire way to lift your spirit and provide a timeline to work on projects with a bounty in sight.
  • Treat yourself to something special. If a vacation seems like too much of a time or money commitment, set some money aside and gift yourself something that’ll bring you joy and a new life experience such as a new musical instrument, a cooking class, or a massage.
  • Commit to time spent with others. Scheduling a dinner date or a hike with a friend is a good way to get out of your own head and share quality time with those whom you care about.
  • Commit to a new project. This could potentially cause stress if it’s not the right type of project, but some stress is a good thing…especially if it’s going to keep you focused, motivated, and get you out of your current state. If you’ve been pondering the right time to start that new endeavor, maybe now is just that time to pivot and shift your mental energy in that direction.


Exercise

 

I wish that I had appreciated exercise and the simple act of movement more as an adolescent. I think I was moodier and depressed more often in my younger years than now. Of course, there are probably a variety of reasons that I won’t get into, but it’s actually probably a common phenomenom that teenagers experience moodiness.

It wasn’t until college that I really started to understand what effect exercise had, not only on my physical health, but more importantly on my mental well-being. Living in Boston, I learned to love the act of taking long walks with no endpoint in mind. This meditative practice became my way of escaping my thoughts and obsessing too much. For when I am left to my own devices to ponder and think, I worry. And worries get me, or anyone for that matter nowhere — at least nowhere positive.

Nowadays though I still love a good aimless walk on occasion, I have adopted a bit more regimented ritual of visiting the gym 3-4 times weekly. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the physical benefits of working out, but honestly the main reason I go is for stress reduction and to clear the mind. The hour spent at the gym is my time alone (I’m not a talker at the gym or one to work out with a friend/gym buddy). This sacred time is spent listening to music and moving my body in various ways.

Find what works for you and that which you enjoy. If you’re reluctantly attending classes at the gym and are miserable, keep looking for another type of activity in which you do enjoy. I really enjoy the gym, but if it’s not your thing don’t force it. Get outdoors with a bicycle, take a hike in nature and inhale fresh forest air, swim in the sea. I promise that even with a little bit of time invested in these activities that the funky mood and general apathethic outlook on life will improve. Breathing is key when expending energy and moving and breathing is vital towards energizing the cells and calming the mind. And don’t downplay the health benefits of a good old-fashioned walk.

Can you identify with experiencing a period of unexplained sadness or just boredom from time to time? If so, give some of these tips a try and see if you’re able to get out of your mental rut more quickly. Or, what have I missed that works for you during these dull times? Please share!


If How to Get Out of a Funk More Quickly and Feel Like Yourself Again was helpful, please share this post with a friend so that they too may learn something from reading it.


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Mike is a holistic nutritionist that helps people feel more optimistic about their health and wellness through changes in diet and lifestyle shifts.

He has authored posts and articles featured on MarthaStewart.com, today.com, and iVillage.com.