- If you’re wondering how to get out of a funk, it’s best to start by analyzing the source of your frustration, fatigue, or anxiety.
- Being in a funk can affect your ability to function at your best—whether that’s at work, at home, in a relationship, or even physically.
- Asking the right questions, such as “Would I feel better if I talked to a professional about the funk I’m stuck in?” may help you make sense of the situation.
- Common life circumstances that can cause a “funk” include breakups, depressive symptoms, job loss, and more.
- Getting out of a funk, especially one that lasts longer than two weeks, can be done most successfully with the help of a therapist or counselor.
Most of us have experienced a stretch of time that we might call a “funk.” We may feel anxious, downtrodden, frustrated, or even just plain tired. Sometimes, we might not even know why—but for whatever reason, we’re off our game.
Getting out of a funk may not seem easy, and it can be discouraging to see how your funk affects work, your relationships, and much more. But if you’re wondering how to get out of your funk, it’s helpful to understand the root causes—which might tell you more about your mood than you realize.
What Causes a Funk?
First off, a funk can be thought of as a widely general term—with a well-known meaning. A funk can be used to describe periods of mild:
- Low self-esteem
- Poor performance at work, athletically, or academically
So if you’re wondering how to get out of a funk, it’s important to take the underlying emotions and symptoms seriously. As outlined above, a funk could be caused by a mental health condition, but not in all cases.
How Long Does a Funk Last?
The timeline for getting out of a funk shouldn’t last longer than approximately two weeks. If you’re finding that the symptoms of any of the above issues are enduring past the two-week point, it’s possible that your funk is developing into a mental health condition.
And even if you don’t have anxiety, depression, or another condition, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find assistance and solace from talking with a therapist or a psychiatrist. They may be able to help you better understand and cope with your funk, offering coping strategies and symptom management options you hadn’t considered.
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How Do I Stop Being in a Funk?
“How to get out of a funk” might mean looking more closely at what the funk is related to.
One of the best ways to get motivated and to get out of a funk is to ask yourself “cognitively challenging” questions.
For example, you could ask yourself:
- Am I turning up the volume on my own suffering?
- Is there a chance that I’m getting in my own way?
- Am I minimizing the symptoms that I’m experiencing?
- Would I feel better if I talked to a professional about the funk I’m stuck in?
These kinds of helpful, critical thinking questions help us focus on what we can control (our reactions to external situations) and help us feel less helpless when faced with situations or scenarios that are less than ideal.
Another skill to practice is radical acceptance: Accepting what you can change and what you can’t, while learning to “hold things loosely.” This means you cherish the people, places, things, and events that you hold dear, but ensure that you don’t set unrealistic or unfair expectations, as this perspective will create unpleasant emotions when you’re inevitably let down.
Allow yourself and others the room to make mistakes, be forgiven, and experience a “funky” week or month every now and then. Getting out of a funk might mean accepting your shortcomings—and working on them without tearing yourself down in the meantime.
How to Get Out of a Funk in a Relationship
Relationship funks can seem hopeless and never-ending, and are often confusing to navigate. You and/or your partner may be dissatisfied, bored, or upset at one another. One thing that can help is to define your relationship funk, starting with:
- Writing a list of what parts of your relationship you find unfulfilling
- Reflecting on any accountability you can personally take
- Bringing it up to your partner at a mutually agreed-upon time
- Using “I” statements to constructively talk through the issue
Keep in mind, have a conversation, not a confrontation. Frame it as a brainstorming session as to how to increase both of your satisfaction and engagement within the relationship. Oftentimes, if one partner is in a relationship funk, the other could be sharing similar feelings.
How to Get Out of a Funk After a Breakup
The time period after a breakup can be extraordinarily difficult, but it’s also the best time to reconnect with yourself and focus on developing a loving relationship with yourself. This might be a time to ask: What is it that you typically seek out in a relationship that you can provide yourself with?
For example, you might engage in hobbies or clubs that make you feel satisfied or fulfilled. Maybe you tackle that spring cleaning checklist, no matter how big or small the task is—simply accomplishing something can have tremendous benefits.
Creating consistency through the scheduled delivery of serotonin offered by activities you enjoy is extremely beneficial.
How to Get Out of a Funk Caused by Depression
The same values-aligned exercises listed above are also a great fit for depression-related funks—but should be done with support from a mental health professional. More specific ways to get out of a funk caused by depression include:
- Trying new things—food, movies, hobbies, or even a weekend getaway
- Spending time with family and friends
- Challenging yourself to learn a new skill
- Ensuring you spend plenty of time outdoors
Novel experiences will “surprise” your brain with a hit of dopamine, encouraging you to be more receptive and look for other activities that will continue to provide you with feel-good chemicals.
How to Get Out of a Funk at Work
If you’re experiencing a funk at work, it’s likely that you need to set boundaries. Are you staying late each night, unable to seemingly stop working? Try to:
- Set a boundary that you will promptly leave at quitting time
- Remove email notifications from appearing on your phone and do not respond to work-related notifications if you are not within your working hours.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for time off
Lastly, know your worth and your limitations—don’t be afraid to communicate them (respectfully and constructively) to your superiors when harassment, discrimination, or other forms of manipulation occur. So if you’re stuck in a rut, wondering how to get out of a funk, have patience with yourself and what you’re experiencing.
The root causes of your funk can be addressed if you ask yourself the right questions. Taking the time to touch base on your personal needs, and ensuring they’re being met, will likely help you get out of a funk in the long run.