I’ve been in a funk lately and am quite aware that if I don’t find a way to turn the corner, this funky episode may become a bit more serious.

Most of us have found ourselves in funks from time to time. Whenever I find myself in one, I get a wee bit grumpy, a bit more sensitive about everything in general, and disengage. Perhaps disengaging from life isn’t quite the best way to go about things…sometimes the disengagement ends with retreating from things, retreating from people and hibernating until I can find my own way out. Motivation stinks, lethargy hits and I’m in such low gear that I may as well be a shadow that becomes barely noticeable. Almost non-existent. My wheels aren’t turning, I’m out of ideas, and quite frankly, I’m not much fun to be around and certainly not the happy go lucky gal I generally am.

Usually, I’ll allow myself to indulge in this funky mess for a day or two, but when it stretches a bit longer than that, I start getting a bit concerned, more anxious which of course doesn’t help the situation at hand.

Persistent bad moods lead to health issues. Do yourself a favor and seek out some healthy outlets…and release.

funk 1 |fə ng k| informal
1 (also blue funk) [in sing. ] a state of depression : I sat absorbed in my own blue funk.

Here’s some ideas for you – I sometimes embrace one or a few…enjoy.

1. Go for a walk – I’m not talking about a marathon here. If you can only manage a walk around the block you’ll be better for it. Be sure to take in some deep breaths while you’re outside to clear your lungs and allow each exhale you take to release a bit of the tension. I live close enough to the ocean for me to walk down to the water and stick my toes in the sand…zone out a bit and re-evaluate.

2. Do a Random Act of Kindness – Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make someone else’s day special. You’ll feel good and you’ll rock someone else’s world.

3. Clear out clutter – One of the quickest ways to generate new and fresh energy moving into my space is to clear away stagnant energies by throwing out useless materials. Tossing out trash may seem like work, but it is totally energizing once you get the hang of it. Heck, even take a moment a sage your place. I’m working on this one.

4. Try a new recipe – Cook! We all get in ruts eating and preparing the same foods again and again. Maybe you won’t like it… so what! Where’s your adventuresome spirit? The whole idea is to get you out of a funk, right? Cooking tends to be my activity of choice where my brain tends to zone out a bit, I’m able to create something yummy using my hands while feeding myself and those I love.

5. Volunteer at a food pantry – Put yourself in a position of service to those who are less fortunate than you are. Your own worries will seem less troubling when you see firsthand the plight of others.

6. Hug a tree – Spending time with nature is my favorite way to feel better. Put on your hiking boots and get lost for a couple hours near a babbling brook. If you can’t get out of town, at least go for a barefoot run through the grasses in your yard. Nothing beats getting some dirt between the toes and reverting back to the basics.

7. Eat healthy – tempting as it may be, avoid the junk food. It will make you feel worse about yourself.

8. Go see a funny movie – Forgo the tear-jerkers and dramas at the theater this time around. You need a good belly-laugh to break that funk, viewing a comedy is your best bet. Take a funny friend along to double the fun and laughter.

9. Spend quality time with a child – Take your niece/nephew or a neighbor’s child out on a special outing to a zoo or playtime at a nearby park. Even a quick trip to get corn dogs and a root beer float will be appreciated. Children love it when adults give them special attention. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of not only bringing about a joyful smile on a child’s face, you’ll be smiling too!

10. Pamper yourself – Do whatever it is that brings you the most joy. It might be indulging in a bubble bath, reading a saucy romance novel, or breaking out of your routine to go inline skating. Or…not to be self-indulging, go to a yoga class! Don’t tell yourself that you don’t deserve it. BECAUSE YOU DO!

…And if you have awesome people in your life, don’t be afraid to ask for hugs. Lots of them. Real friends will always be there to listen and give you not one hug, not 2 hugs, but as many hugs as you darn need…not only in the happy, celebratory times, but more importantly, the not so rosy times as well.

“Listen to your heart, get back to the basics and put one foot in front of the other.” Wise words from a very special friend…a special person who was there this morning during my meltdown, didn’t let me hang up on her so I could run back to being alone in my own funk, made the time and stood firm listening to me and all my incoherent mish mesh of insecurities delivered between sobs. She took the opportunity to stand right beside me and be the sensitive, anchoring, supportive good pal even as I tried to push her away. Quite a lucky gal I am.

Funks suck. Challenging times suck…but it’s only when we experience the challenging times do we have a full comprehension of the good times. If we don’t know what black is, how do we know what white is? If we don’t know what bad is, we’ll never know how good the good truly is. Embrace it all. There will always be that light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it just gets a bit dark along the way…and that’s okay.