Sometimes we just have off days. And sometimes we have really off days. While I used to fight the days when it seemed like things just weren't flowing the way they usually do, I've learned to embrace them. Why? Because in order to really appreciate the awesome days when things do flow, you have to have sucky ones too. Even though these not-so-fun days are a part of the human experience, they don't have to last long and waste as much precious time as they often do. In honor of my own "funk," one that was precipitated (sorry) by gloomy weather, a slew of midterm papers, and a nasty headache, I've compiled some foolproof ways to get out of that funk and back into the beauty of life.
1. Acknowledge, take action, and then let go: Stress is often the star catalyst for a funk. The first step to dealing with overwhelm is simply acknowledging what's stressing you out and then taking action. You don't need to have everything resolved right here and now -- just send an email, make a game-plan, ask for help. Do something -- anything -- that allows you to make progress.
2. Dance like no one's watching: I'm not embarrassed to admit that dancing has become my #1 way to combat stress, fear, anxiety, and overwhelm. Let me be clear: I am not a good dancer. Dancing in public is not something I do on a regular basis, and if someone had recommended this to me a year ago, I would have rolled my eyes so hard that my contacts would have flown out. But -- and I truly mean this -- it will undoubtedly get you out of any funk, regardless of how deep it is. Dancing changes your physiology in a powerful way. It is the most effective way to create instant happiness that I've found so far. It might take some willpower, and you might feel a bit silly (especially if you're in an iffy mood) but turning on happy, upbeat music and dancing like crazy will take you out of that funk. I promise.
3. Laugh and Talk: Shout out to one of my lifelong BFFs, Shay, who made me laugh so hard today that my stomach hurt. Personally, when I don't feel like my usual positive, upbeat self, I may not feel like talking to anyone. There's a lot to be said for introspection and getting to the root of what's really bugging us -- but sometimes it gets to the point where we're just wasting precious time and letting these funks get the best of us. After journaling a bit or maybe taking a brisk walk outside, call a friend: someone who has a positive effect on your happiness level and knows how to make you smile. (Watching your favorite comedian or hilarious T.V. show also does the trick.)
4. Give: Aah, the power of giving. It's truly unbelievable. Being of service has the ability to cure feelings of angst instantaneously. All of us have the ability to contribute in a meaningful way, and it is impossible to be in a funk when you are a vessel for positivity and contribution.
Bad days are important. They motivate us to take important steps that can affect the trajectory of our lives. They put things in perspective. And when you actually implement the tools I've provided above, you'll find yourself feeling more happy, more productive, and more fulfilled than ever before. You will get through this, and you will feel better. But feeling better requires work; and it's up to you -- and only you -- to take the first step.
Dance the night away,