We all go through seasons of life that are great, and some that just plain stink.  It’s easy to go through the good times.  They’re good!  But how do we break free from those not so wonderful times.  I’m not talking about true tragedy or deep depression.  Please, if that describes you, ask for help.  I’m talking about those times where you just don’t feel like yourself.  When you don’t feel inspired or motivated.  Life can throw in these wrenches in from time to time and I like to be prepared.  These rough patches don’t have to be debilitating, use them to grow and learn more about yourself.

  1. Pray – God hears you.  He may not always talk back, or give you a clear answer, or cure your pain immediately; but he hears you.  One of the hardest things to grasp is that sometimes God uses our earthly pain as a way to strengthen us.  Be it a way for you to help someone down the road, to help you realize how strong you actually are, or just to have us appreciate the good that’s still around us, our pain/discomfort is one of our greatest teachers.  Try not wallow in it, pain can became an idol of sorts, but don’t brush it off either.  It is there, feel it, and let God work through it WITH you.
  2. Go for a walk  – Nature has an amazing way of refocusing on the big picture.  God’s handiwork never ceases to amaze, inspire, and rejuvenate.
  3. Let yourself cry  – It’s ok to have feelings.  Have them, let them out, release them.  The key word here is RELEASE.
  4. Read articles about what you’re going through – Funks come in all shapes and size for any and all reasons.  99.9% of the time, you’re not alone and it helps to know that.
  5. Write about it – Writing works a lot like crying.  Let it out.  Putting your feelings down on paper can help you process them rather than keeping them in your head.
  6. Create something – Let your mind wonder onto a canvas, into a drawing, or through your hands into whatever medium you prefer.  Not a creative person?  First of all, you’re wrong.  We’re all creative in our own way but if you don’t like what you end up creating, chuck it.  No one says you have to keep it and no one is expecting you to be the next Picasso.  Creating is a great way to shift your focus onto something else.
  7. Finish something – This can be an item on your to-do list, your whole to-do list, that book you’ve been trying to get through for 5 months, or a project that’s been in the works.  However grandiose or mundane your “something” is, finishing it gives you a sense of accomplishment.  That’s a good feeling.
  8. Do something nice for someone – This is sort of a giving IS receiving mentality.  If you are so focused on yourself, your woes, your faults, and so on, you need to turn the focus onto someone else.  Give your mind a break from you and turn it onto someone you can help.  You can go as big as community volunteer work or as under appreciated as paying for the person behind you at Starbucks.  Good begets good.  Doing good produces good feelings.
  9. Buy yourself something – Now, if you’re in a funk because of finances, this is probably one you don’t want to do.  But it could be as simple as getting your nails done, getting your favorite candy or it can be as big (if you have the budget!) as that fabulous new pair of shoes/bag/etc.  Retail therapy is a real thing and it can, in moderation, make you feel a little lighter.
  10. Rearrange your space – Sometimes you need to literally get a new perspective.  Changing up the space you’re in every day can be like pushing a reset button on your mind.
  11. Don’t do it alone – Tell someone you’re feeling down, in a rut, or that you just don’t feel like yourself.  Community is so important and reaching out is much easier than you think.  Many of the people you have in your life are probably way more perceptive than you know.

What about you?  What helps you break out of a funk?