We have all been there. That weird place when you don’t feel inspired, excited or filled up. That dry place where you can’t seem to move forward. I’ve been there before. I’ve felt stuck, like I wanted to be in a different place and yet, didn’t know how to move forward.
When you are in a funk, it may feel like there isn’t anything you can do to change it, but there are steps you can take to get out. These are things that have helped me and I hope they are helpful to you! These steps don’t necessarily change your circumstances, but I believe they can begin to change your perspective. And perspective is everything.
I have thirteen things you can do to get you out of a funk. Today, I’ll give you the first six. Tomorrow, I’ll give the rest.
- List out the positive things in your life
No matter what your circumstance, there are always things to be grateful for. Write them out. Put them on paper so you can look at those things and see how many good things are in your life to celebrate. When I write out all the positive things in my life, it shifts my perspective to one of gratitude and I’m able to see new possibilities.
- Step away from comparison and social media for a bit.
I realize this one is not possible for people who work in industries where social media is part of their work, but for those of us who aren’t, this can be a simple tool for a season to help us re-set our lives and get un-stuck.
When we are in a funk, and yet are being regularly bombarded by division and constant political rants, it tends to get discouraging and overwhelming to say the least. Just turn it off.
And especially when we are in a funk and we expose ourselves to only the shiny, carefully selected, highlight-reel moments of other people’s lives, our own lives can seem dull and we can end up measuring them by false standards.
Because we are in a funk, we aren’t seeing clearly in the first place, so why add to the confusion by cluttering our minds with what everyone else is doing?
We need to quiet the noise so we can hear clearly what OUR lives should look like. When we are in a funk, comparison can be a distraction that takes us away from enjoying our own lives or of doing the hard work of examining our lives in order to make changes.
- Be quiet
No, seriously. Take some time to sit in silence. Some of you just shuddered at that idea. I get it- it may feel like the last thing you’d want to do. Silence can feel like an awkward thing, especially in our culture where we are conditioned to almost always having background noise, whether it’s music, the TV, podcasts, radio, or (for some) the ever-present sounds of children in our home.
When you are in a funk, the most backwards sounding idea may seem to be to sit in silence and be still because it’s so uncomfortable to many of us and we don’t want to have to deal with some of the thoughts that run through our heads. However, I’ve found that even when it’s a bit awkward at first, it can be the most fulfilling practice and can snap me out of a funk so quickly. If you are like me and are filled by natural beauty, combine this one with getting outdoors.
I’ve found that when I settle myself in silence, I find God there. Even when I can’t really hear what He is saying, when I sit in silence and allow the noise and the clutter in my life to subside, somehow, I can feel the presence of God and just knowing that He is with me resets my thoughts and perspective. It’s one of those things that you can’t understand until you’ve experienced it. Wayne Cordiero says, “Prayer is simply thinking deeply about something in the presence of God.” Try it.
- Spend time in scripture
Few things can melt my heart and change my perspective like reading scripture. When I read it, God reminds me of what is true about who He is and who I am and shifts the way I see things. If this is something you’ve never done or maybe you don’t believe in, I encourage you to be open and try. If the Bible feels intimidating, read it with a friend. The scriptures are actually meant to be read in community and to be discussed and lived out together. Start with John and read about the life of Jesus and be blown away by the way He frames living a life that matters.
- Get outside!
Just try it. Nature and fresh air can do more for refreshing a soul than most things. Stop sitting around your house or office and thinking about your problems and take them outside. There’s new perspective waiting for you out there and at the very least, the fresh air is good for you.
- Get out of your context.
Even if it’s only for a couple hours or a day, get out of your immediate city, county or place where you live. Get a hotel for a night or two in a nearby city and take in all the fresh sights and sounds. If cost is an issue, go camping for an evening in a nearby location or just take a daytrip. Getting out of our context helps provide perspective and clarity. Simply being in a new environment will freshen up your perspective and the way you are looking at things.
So, there’s six things you can start trying now and tomorrow I will give you the rest. Love to hear how it goes!