This week I want to talk about what we can do to pull ourselves out of a funk. You know the feeling – when you have zero motivation, you’re stuck in a rut and you really just want to stay under a duvet.
I experienced this pretty badly in autumn last year so I wanted to share my experience and the steps that really helped lift my mood and make me feel like myself again. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to reach out on Instagram.
You can listen wherever you get your podcasts or listen here:
Links and further reading:
- How to find motivation for life again
- How to have more good days
- My happiness formula
- How to stop and smell the roses
- 5 things to do when you’re in a funk (video)
So this week I wanna talk about what we can do to pull ourselves out of a funk. When we’re feeling really low in motivation, when we’re stuck in a rut, and when we feel like we just want to stay under a duvet. So if you can relate to that feeling, then keep on listening, because I’m going to be sharing some tips to help you pull yourself back out of that funk.
Hello everyone! I hope you’re doing well and have had a good week. So this week we’re gonna be talking about being in a funk because I think this is pretty common, I know a lot of us struggle with this, and especially in the colder months. It’s February, we’re getting closer to March, spring is in the air, but we’re not quite there yet, so I feel like a lot of us can relate to this feeling of being quite low in motivation and just not feeling our best.
And this is something I really experienced in autumn of last year actually. After getting completely overwhelmed with life admin, I found myself needing to organise a lot of things to do with my car, and then over the space of a weekend, like four or five different things in the flat I rent broke or needed our attention. And this, combined with what felt like a really stressful time at work, caused me to feel utterly paralysed and I ended up having to go to my parents’ for the night. I just needed to not adult for a while, if that makes sense? I needed Dan to take over some of the flat stuff and I needed to just have my dinner cooked for me and be held for a while by my parents, which I know is not a luxury that we all have. I’m lucky I live very close to my parents, they’re just round the corner, but yeah. I think we can all relate to that feeling of needing to stop for a while.
And, for me, what was interesting was that the funk actually came after this overwhelm. So after getting through the other side of it, I was just completely exhausted and I felt like I almost had a hangover. My motivation to do anything was shot.
So as well as giving myself some time to just be in the funk, there were some steps that I took to help pull myself up and out of it. But before I share those steps, I want to highlight here that funks and occasional spells of low motivation are totally normal. No one can be positive and enthusiastic about life every day. So it’s okay to let yourself have some bad days in these funks. However, if you’re feeling like your low mood is going on for longer that usual, if you’re finding it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks, or if it feels like you just can’t get out of it alone, then this is a sign that you need to get some support. Head to your doctors, tell them what’s going on, and see what they can do for you. They may offer you some help from a professional to just help you feel like you again.
If your funk feels pretty typical though, and you’re confident that you can get out of it with a little guidance, then maybe try the following steps.
So, step number one is to identify any causes. So sometimes our lack of motivation can creep up out of nowhere, but often it’s because there’s something deeper going on. For me, it was feeling stressed at work and overwhelmed with life admin just piling up, but for you it might be family responsibilities or even an underlying dissatisfaction with your career or where you’re heading. So try and figure out where in your life this lack of motivation is showing itself the most and ask yourself what needs to change. Maybe you need to talk about changing your role at work or perhaps you need to ask your partner for some more support at home. I know for me, talking to my work colleagues really helped, asking Dan to step in and help really made a difference, and, in my experience, talking about it always, always helps.
Next, I would really suggest taking a break, if you can, from work, from life admin. Book yourself a hotel for the night, head to your parents’ for the night like I did. Give yourself some time off, let yourself rest because your funk may be because you’re simply exhausted. Really prioritise self-care and see if this gives you the boost that you need. And if you can’t take a break, and I totally appreciate that we can’t all do this, try and get a change of scenery instead. Try working from somewhere different or going on a trip somewhere on a day off. This just takes you away from the everyday and can help to encourage new ways of thinking and may just give you a little bit of a boost.
And with that in mind, the next step is to rethink your routine. So, if you’re in a bit of a funk, you might be feeling that you’re stuck in a rut. I know that’s how I was feeling – I was bored of my routine. Just ask yourself if something needs changing. Do you need more sleep, for example? Do you need more time to be intentional in the morning? Small tweaks like this can make a really big difference.
Now, the next step is to make room for fun. Put on a funny film, go dancing, have a little dance party in the kitchen even, that’s what I like to do. Laugh with your friends, do something that just makes yourself smile. I honestly think we don’t do this enough and it’s so easy to get caught up in the seriousness of life. I know for me, I talk and write about a lot of pretty heavy topics at times and it feels really nice to just switch it off now and then and do something completely unrelated and do something that just makes me laugh. For me, it’s usually watching a funny film, spending time with Dan, he always makes me laugh. Anything to get away from the everyday seriousness is great sometimes.
Now, as well as making more room for fun , I would also suggest trying to notice the small moments of joy every day. I think when we lose motivation and when we’re in a funk, we can kind of glaze over everything and feel a bit like we’ve got a filter of doom and gloom on and we don’t notice these little things. So try and be really intentional about it. Now, of course everyday can’t be beautiful and fun and amazing, sorry! But every day can include small moments of joy. And you can try and be more mindful of these moments by just noticing things around you. So try and notice the colour of the trees on your drive to work, for example. Take some time over your morning cup of tea. A great way of noticing small moments is to take pictures. This is one of the reasons I love Stories on Instagram! It’s because I can capture small moments of joy in my day and share it with people. And taking pictures is a beautiful way of doing it.
And I know being more intentional, finding joy, and expressing gratitude all sounds like quite annoying advice you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but honestly, it can make such a difference. Especially if your mood is a little low, just try it and see how it works for you.
Now, hopefully by now you’re starting to feel a little more like yourself and that you’re getting out of the funk. And if you are, I really want you to notice what makes a good day good. So when the fog starts to lift and you’re ending the day smiling again, ask yourself ‘why was today better than other days? What about it felt good?’
So an example of this would be, for me, when I was starting to get out of my funk in the autumn. I had a really good day at work. And I remember smiling to myself as the end of the day thinking, that was a great day, but why? What made it so good? So I immediately kind of got my little notebook out and started writing down all the things that made it good. So I had a real varied day at work, I did some writing on topics I was really interested in, I was running a workshop for some colleagues about anxiety, I was supporting people, I was making connections. So I just noted all these things down: having variety, connecting with others, helping people. And then I was like, okay, these are the things I need to have more of in my life going forward. And just noticing things like that can give you some pretty realisations that may even change your future. So try and be really self aware when you have a good day and try and make some notes about what made that day so good.
Now, my last step is to come back to your why. If your low motivation is showing up in your work life, for example, it can really help to take a step back from the day-to-day of your job and look at the bigger picture. So what is it you want to achieve in your work and life? And is the work you’re doing bringing you closer to that? If not, how can you make changes, big or small, to get you there? Why do you do what you do? I know these are all really big questions, but I find when we’re lacking motivation, this is often a reason why, because we don’t know why we’re doing it. We need our motivation, so bringing yourself back to that and maybe journaling on it or getting some support with that can really help.
And finally, my last step is for you to remind yourself that you won’t always feel this way. The one constant in life is that it’s always changing and I find that can be really comforting, especially when I’m feeling a bit low, and my motivation isn’t high. Things will change and things can get better.
So there we go! I really hope that was useful. I do have some blog posts and IGTV videos covering this topic as well, so definitely check out the shownotes for this episode if you want more of this. Shownotes can be found at bluejayofhappiness.com/podcast and I’ll be back next week to talk about being okay with not being the best at something. Which is an ongoing challenge of mine, and I’ll share some stories to illustrate that. Until then, take care. I hope you have a lovely week!