“The blahs,” and feeling like you are in a “funk.” Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! So, how do we beat the blahs and get out of mental funks??
Beating the Blahs and Mental Funks
This is an update of a previous post
What Causes the Blahs, Funks, and SAD?
In my experience, the blahs happen when something is out of balance: in short, you are/I am doing too much of something, and not enough of something else. But that isn’t to say that you are doing to much of something exhausting; in fact you might be doing too much of nothing, and thus feeling uninspired.
The issue can also be environmental–Seasonal Affective Disorder is a serious problem for many of us. A lack of sunshine, being cooped up under artificial fluorescent lights, and being covered from head to toe even when it is sunny outside means that we might not be getting enough Vitamin D, which can lead to general malaise and feelings of “blah.”
Common Ways of Treating the Blahs and Mental Funks that Hurt More than Help
Giving in: I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling blah, I loaf over and slouch on the couch (poet, didn’t know it) and get lost in a malaise of Bravo TV. Pretty soon the blanket gets involved, maybe the cat, and I’m a permanent fixture that isn’t about to move anytime soon.
Fighting with Sugar and Caffeine: If I do decide to get my bum up, or if I am already up (like when I was still working the desk job life), I reach for sugar and caffeine. Well, pretty much anything that I can put in my mouth (keep it clean, people). And then I sit and wait for to kick in, then it kicks in and I’m crawling out of my skin and not sure what to do with that energy, or, alternatively, I attack a project with fervor and enthusiasm and do all the things and then…. zzzzzzz (but not really).
Web Surfing or Shopping (online or in store): Sometimes, we think that we’ll “just browse” for 5 minutes (maybe we just needed a break?) and then get to work. 5 minutes my food. Sure, you might get inspired and creative, but I have a feeling that it will result in a new Pinterest board or a maxed out credit card and several things you really don’t need.
Effective Methods for Dealing with the Blahs and Mental Funks
I am going to break up the discussion for beating the blahs into two categories: the blahs (momentary, like the 3 or 5 PM lull), and The Blahs (aka several days).
Dealing with the blahs
- You might honestly be hungry, but instead of reaching for sugar, reach for a balanced snack with a bit of protein, fat and carbohydrates instead of something that is ONLY a certain macronutrient. Opt for something satisfying, if you really are having trouble, or something refreshing–you might just need a glass of water and some carrots!
- Stand up and do a lap around the office/your apartment. Get that blood flowing!
- Phone a friend! But make it a quick conversation, then back to work!
- Turn on the lights or change the lighting where you are. It is easy to feel drowsy on a rainy day, so turn on a lamp!
- Turn on the lights mentally! Sometimes, we feel “blah-ish” because we just don’t know where to go next. So make a list and prioritize what needs to get done. Pick 3 medium or little tasks that will get you started and help you feel accomplished but won’t freak you out (or last 5 minutes). Deal with your emails (you know you’ve been putting it off), put away the dirty or clean clothes where they belong, clean the counters. Extra points if it gets you up and moving.
- Get inspired. I can’t remember where I first saw this quote, but it has stuck with me since I did: We are often not all that tired; rather, we are uninspired. Think about it: when you come home from an event where you were engaged and active, as long as you don’t let the energy stop, you are able to carry that energy over into a workout or whatever else is on your docket. When you come home after a day of doing nothing… you often revert to the couch and continue the pattern. Think inertia!
Strategies for Getting Out of a True Funk or The Blahs:
Sometimes, it is more than just an hour, or an afternoon that feels off. Sometimes, you really are in a funk. How can you deal with The Blahs?
- **First of all, if this is a true depression, I urge you to seek professional help: some depression just requires you talking it out, but some depression needs chemical intervention. And that is not your fault. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of: your brain is sick. Would you be ashamed of having a stomach bug?
- Pinpoint what is out of whack. Ask yourself some questions:
- What is weighing you down?
- What has changed? What hasn’t changed?
- Are you overwhelmed? Underwhelmed?
- Eating too much, or not eating enough? Nutrition can be a real game changer!
- Sleeping too little, or too much? (also can be a indicator of depression)
- Make a change. To be totally blunt, what you are doing obviously isn’t working for you. Change something up! If you always exercise in the evening, exercise in the morning! Change your lunch! Start cooking all of your meals! But don’t do everything at once–too much all at once is a recipe for disaster, not success.
- Make a connection. This time, call a friend, your mom, someone you feel close to, but maybe haven’t spoken to in a way, and have a good, long talk. Sometimes, these calls are hard to make–you probably just feel like crawling into bed or just watching TV–but I’ve found that these calls always leave me feeling refreshed. You can let them do all the talking until you are ready, but I promise, you will leave feeling better.
- Dream Big, Plan Medium, Start Small. Look at your dream, make the plan, and do one thing to make it happen. Put something in motion.
We all have to deal with the blahs. We will all find ourselves in ruts, in funks, and many of us will have to contend with depression. Practice some self care and take some action, even if it is to take a bubble bath. Whatever you decided, do something but do it for a reason. YOU GET THAT BUBBLE BATH.Kick the Blahs to the curb with these strategies #selfcare #sweatpink Click To Tweet
Who has been dealing with the mid-winter blues? Anyone feeling blah-ish?
What are some of your favorite strategies for dealing with the blahs?