Embrace the “Funk”

Published on May 15, 2011

I was just thinking the other day about how it feels to be in what I call a “funk.” Sometimes I have a day, or even two to three days, where my energy is low, if feel down in the dumps, or I just don’t feel “right.” Because I am normally such a high energy and productive person, these days can be particularly frustrating for me.

When I am “in it” I start questioning myself...
“What is wrong with me?”
“Am I depressed?”
“Am I coming down with something?”

Then I go through this period where I get a little ticked off and indignant about the whole thing and start thinking things like...
“I don’t have time for this!”
“People are counting on me and I can’t show up this way.”
“This is not “me”... where did “I” go?”
“I am doing all the right things, so why am I feeling so crappy?”
“It’s not fair!”

As a coach, this is a particularly hard subject for me to even talk about because for some reason I hold myself to this higher level of “being all things to all people” and needing to be “strong” for my clients. In order to “hide” from the experience of how I am feeling, I sometimes retreat and go “dark” where I don’t even post on Facebook! Can you imagine?

The reason I am writing about this is two-fold. First of all, it is cathartic for me to write about it and just “allow” myself to be in this funk knowing that it will pass and that more than likely it will come yet again in the future. The other reason I write about it is because I am guessing that I am not the only one out there who deals with this ebb and flow of energy and emotion. Of course I’m not. We all experience the very human emotional swings and we all have cycles in which we are at the top of our game (or so we think) and then we go “dark” and experience feelings that we want to avoid or ignore or at the very least pass through quickly.

During this “funky” time, I have found a few things are very helpful and so I share them with you in hopes that if you should find yourself in that “funky” place, you can try them out to see if they work for you.

First, I recognize that I am in “that place.” A process I call “Embracing the Funk.” I allow myself to be aware of it and I often even share it with my husband so he can support me through it. Truth of the matter is that I experience a mild “funk” about once every month (no surprise there) and a more extreme version of it every three or four months. I just tell him, “hey...I think I am in my ‘funk’ and just wanted to let you know.” He says, “thanks for letting me know...is there anything I can do to help?” Naturally there isn’t anything he can do to help and just his willingness to do so helps more than anything. We both know it will lift within a few days at the longest.

Next, I accept that it is just part of my emotional self and that there is nothing “wrong” with me. I remind myself that it is temporary and that while I am feeling this way, I just need to take care of myself by getting rest, eating right, and not retreating into the dark. Another little promise I have made to myself is that I don’t make any big decisions during my “funk.” I don’t decide to take a job, quit a job, buy anything big, or leave or start a relationship. My best decisions have NEVER been made in the funk! Some of my great "thinking" is done there, however.

Lastly, I reach out to friends and people in my inner circle. I journal, talk on the phone, share with my coach, and stay engaged with activities I have previously committed to (even if I don’t FEEL like it). Funny thing is that once I get engaged, I start to feel better. My journaling has also become more cathartic than I ever believed it could. Doesn’t seem to matter if it is private or public journaling because I am doing it for me...no one else. I just dump my thoughts into writing (usually typing) and then I detach from it as if to say... “There, it’s out of my system and I can move on!”

By the way, some of my best thinking comes while I am in my “funk” too. I often wonder if this is God’s way of slowing me down long enough to actually spend time being centered and in deep contemplation. The key for me is to use the time and recognize it as valuable and not as a waste which is what I used to do. The value is in the experience of it... allowing myself to be “in it” rather than working so hard to get out of it!

Naturally, if you are reading this and find that you experience a “funk” from time to time, I would encourage you to journal and find peace while you are passing through this emotional cycle. You can sign up for a free and secure online journal by joining the topside community at www.topsidecoaching.com Just click on the “Journal” tab on the toolbar.

Now you are fully equipped to “Embrace the Funk!”

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