Do you ever have those periods where you lack motivation and get up and go?
Do you ever get those times when you feel a bit blue and a bit well…blah?
If you have answered yes to either of those then it sounds like you have been in a Funk.
Not the kind of Funk James Brown is famous for. Although, listening to a bit of I Got You (I Feel Good) would get you out of one – but I’ll get to that in a bit.
I have been in a bit of a Funk recently. It’s manifested in feeling a bit lethargic, overwhelm and not getting s$@t I need to do done. Stress sets in. Cue procrastination to relieve stress and then its a one way ticket to Funk Town. Again, not to mistaken with Funky Town, which I reckon would be a magical place where James Brown, Lipps Inc and Kool and the Gang would hang out.
An event such as a break up or a loss can be a catalyst for a Funk. For me it usually creeps up if I let my self care routine slip or worry about things and especially around the end of my cycle – thanks but no thanks hormones!
When so when I catch my myself in a Funk, I firstly forgive myself for feeling this way and then – Relax, Review and Reboot.
Step 1 – Relax
As I mentioned earlier, practising self care is vital to feel good. When you are in a stressed out state you are no good to yourself or others. For me self care starts with taking time out to relax. This could be a simple as lying down and having a nap or a bubble bath.
But relaxing is not all about being horizontal. It’s about taking time out and doing something that calms you. Meditation is a key tool to calm your mind, reduce stress and negative emotions. I recommend the Headspace app if you need some guidance to get started. Mediation is a skill. The key to developing any skill is consistency so start off slow. 5 to 10 minutes a day and you’ll start feeling the benefits.
Maybe you need a relaxation tool that isn’t about clearing your mind? Reading a good book, watching a film or doing something creative are all ways to relax. I have recently started sketching and drawing again. There is a state called ‘flow’ which you may also know as being ‘in the zone’. Where you are focused, content and time feels irrelevant. I am in ‘flow’ when I draw and find this really meditative too. Find a pursuit you love to get you in that zone.
Step 2 – Review
Once you are feeling relaxed its time for a bit of review and reflection. What got you in this Funk?
What got you there is circumstance so think of it in a neutral way from the outside in. What are your thoughts about the situation? How are they serving you?
Our thoughts create our feelings, which create our actions and our results. If your result is a Funk then you are choosing unhelpful thoughts. How could you reframe these thoughts and create good feelings and results.
Taking my monthly hormone issue. That is just a circumstance. My thought is ‘I hate this, I feel crap and just want to hide (and eat chocolate)’. So I take no action and hide, eat chocolate which makes me feel even more crap and puts me in a negative loop – cue a Funk!
On review, rather than choosing the negative thought I choose a kinder thought ‘this is just my hormones playing up so relax and do something that will make me feel good.’ My action was to pick up my sketch book and the result was I got in the zone, forgot about feeling crap and accomplished something!
If you want to do more work on reframing your thoughts then you need to check out Brooke Castillo’s podcast The Life Coach School. Brooke developed the model of circumstance, thought, feeling, action, result and has loads of free resources on how to use it.
Step – 3 Reboot
So you have taken some time out to relax and review your circumstance and choose a better way of thinking. It’s now time to ‘switch off’ then start again. Reboot yourself as you would a computer.
What are all the things you have let slip that you know will help you feel better. Exercise is one that I can let slip. The thing is when you are in a Funk you may say to yourself you’ll start exercising, or eat better when you feel like it. Sorry, but while you are in a Funk you are never going to feel like doing these things which is why you are stuck. The trick is to accept that you won’t feel like doing it and do it anyway. I guarantee that accomplishing that thing is going to feel a whole lot better than beating yourself up about not doing it.
Sometimes I need to reboot my thoughts. Negative thought loops can keep me stuck in a Funk I have found EFT an incredible tool. Emotional Freedom Technique can being likened to acupressure where you tap on your end meridian points while saying an orienting affirmation. It’s not for everyone but it works for me. Brad Yates is an EFT legend and recommend his YouTube channel Tap with Brad.
But, if tapping is not for you then another way to reboot your thoughts and feelings is to listen to some cracking tunes. What better way you get out of a Funk than to get down with the God Father of Funk – James Brown. Get up and dance and shake you blues away….