For the past week I have been in an inexplicable funk. I have been feeling down and just not myself. The frustrating part is that there is absolutely no real reason for me to be feeling this way. I think that I have finally gotten out of my funk and here is how:
1) Exercise: I hear this as a solution for most things in my life (stomach ache – exercise, bored – exercise), but the fact is it actually works. Lately I have found that yoga classes really help my mood because it is a combination of exercise and taking care of your mind. Trying a new exercise class is even better, S and I sweat our butts off in hot yoga last week.
2) Leave Your Comfort Zone: This is one that had never occurred to me before and I think is the most crucial to lifting my mood. It can be simply just trying something new. S and I went to a Patriots Game and as small as that sounds I think seeing a new place and doing a different activity at night really helped get me out of my head. This weekend we visited my friends on the North Shore and then S and I explored Salem for a few hours. The area was very cool and it sparked my interest in the Salem Witch Trials (something I am sure there are interesting feminist analyses on).
3) Activate Your Brain: I am working on finishing my Master’s thesis and at first was really frustrated to still be working on it. Once I got back into the groove of the topic and editing I was excited about it and totally immersed. Recently I renewed by subscription to the NYT. I was reading it on my kindle for awhile, then online, but really I most enjoy reading articles in hard copy. This was a struggle for me in graduate school and also made me not read the news as intently as I used to. My subscription started yesterday and I have enjoyed spreading the paper across the table and underlining interesting points. I will never do anything with my marked up version, but it has always helped me focus.
4) Spend Time (or Speak) With Friends: It has been wonderful to spend so much time with S, but it is also important for me to connect with other people in my life. It is difficult now when everyone is in transition, but even something as simple as sending emails to friends or talking to them on the phone can help me feel more connected. I also know that it helps me to make plans with friends in advance so that I have time set aside in my schedule.
5) Do Something Creative: Blogging has been my creative outlet lately and S has been painting. Cooking (will post about those projects soon) is also something that I can focus all my energy in and feel accomplished after finishing. Whatever it may be having some kind of outlet, especially something you can feel proud about, helps lift the mood. Yesterday I also decided to make some small updates to my apartment since we decided to stay here another year. Picture of one of my new decorations below.
It is probably not helpful to think of myself as “in a funk” or “out of funk” but instead just feeling down one moment. I realize it is more fluid than I tend to think of it, but sometimes it is the hardest to feel in a more positive mood when you have felt “meh” for a few days in a row. Hopefully I can try out some or all of these tips next time I feel that way.