By Janeane Bernstein
We have all had our share of funks. Funks are just part of the package in this crazy rollercoaster ride called life. No one is immune to funks, unless you have some special super powers you would like to share. Most of us know that being in a funk is unavoidable, but if you develop coping skills, life will be a little less sh*tty at times. Here are six ways to deal with life’s inevitable moments.
1. Let it Out!
Talk to someone you know and trust, such as a counselor, friend or confidante. You do not have to deal with trauma and life’s assaults on your own. Sometimes things are just too tough to process solo. Closing off and shutting down is not healthy or productive in your healing process. Please don’t keep everything pent up inside of you until you feel as if you will implode. You must vent. Venting is good because you can laugh, cry, yell, analyze, and process whatever it is you are suppressing. Expressing yourself leads to greater self-awareness, new beginnings and much needed healing.
2. Take care of your EPM = your Emotional, Physical and Mental Health
We are happier in our personal and professional lives when we take care of ourselves emotionally, physically and mentally. Even if you have limited time, carve out a little bit of “me time” because this is crucial for your well-being, and sanity. If you are a creative person, you already know how important it is to nurture your creativity. For those of you who are athletic, working out changes the entire outlook of your day and how you handle whatever is thrown your way.
Make YOU a top priority. Self-care allows us to unwind, decompress and process the things we struggle with, and take a good hard look at the influences that drain us; this is an essential way to diminish anger, sadness, grief and disappointment and get us to our center core.
3. Shift Your Mindset
There are endless activities you can do to shift your mindset:
- Enroll in a yoga class, meditation or mindfulness workshop
- Journal—write down what you are thinking and feeling—make a list of what makes you happy
- Put your phone down and take a break from social media
- Play with your pet
- Get a haircut/makeover
- Throw a party for no reason (or celebrate the end of something, such as a job or relationship, and the excitement of new beginnings!)
- Take a solo trip or travel with a friend
- Reconnect with your faith or explore a new one
- Get out and meet other incredibly uncomfortable and awkward strangers like yourself. Step out of your comfort zone (even if you are kicking and screaming inside!)
- Take music lessons—music is a great healer (e.g. ukulele, guitar, drums, piano, violin, drums), songwriting, voice, group or individualized instruction. Look on YouTube for a gazillion free lessons.
- Create a vision board.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Enroll in an art class—ceramics, drawing, painting, glass blowing, jewelry making etc.
- Attend a TED talk, lecture, inspirational workshop, etc.
- Learn creative and healthy cooking techniques.
- Volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter.
4. Turn Your Struggles into Opportunities
Switch up your view of struggles; they can bring us to places we never expected but need to be. You might feel as if changes are knocking the wind out of you, but they just might elevate you to a new beginning or a new mindset. In our failures or challenging times, we can make the choice to elevate ourselves to something new, something scary and something wonderful. Be open to the possibilities and keep moving forward.
Find a networking group and connect with new faces. You might discover a new path you never expected. Connecting with a group of people to be your “think tank” of mentors is also very helpful. Set up a monthly schedule to get together and share your goals and aspirations. People who support you and cheer you on are the best network to have in your life. Toxic and critical people are useless and should be kicked to the curb quickly. No one needs those people, especially when you are sorting through a rough patch. Be selfish with whom you choose to spend your time. Aim for a drama-free life with people who have your back.
6. Let Go of Overthinking
We tend to worry about the past, the future, and overlook exactly where we are in the present moment. So much thought is spent anticipating and thinking you know exactly how an event or conversation will play out, but unless you have some visionary powers, let it go. Breathe, take a leap, and quiet your mind.
When we let our anxiety go and take a more chill, Zen-like attitude, we free ourselves from stress, anger and anxiety. In that relaxed state, something unexpected and wonderful can happen. The end of something that leaves you feeling down in the dumps can spin like a plot twist in a movie, leaving you facing an exciting new direction. Rejections in life are sometimes the best things that ever happen. Of course, we don’t see this at the very moment we feel stomped on. Opportunities arise, and something better comes your way; it just might be what we needed, not what we wanted and planned.
So, the next time you are left blindsided by something sudden and a bit scary…yell PLOT TWIST!! It just might be the next best thing you needed.
Adapted from Janeane’s forthcoming book, Get the Funk Out! %^&$ Happens, What to Do Next! © 2019 by Janeane Bernstein. Published by Post Hill Press