6 Steps to Beat a Funk

6 Steps to Beat a Funk

Funks are the worst. A tell-tale sign to know you’re in one is when you haven’t filled out your Passion Planner in a while, resulting in planner guilt. Whether it’s analysis paralysis or another challenge weighing you down, you have the power to reclaim productivity. Here are six steps to help you beat a funk.

1. NAME IT.

One of my soul sisters, Rikka, shared this advice with me when I was in a month-long funk, seemingly without any explanation. “Give your funk a name,” she said. “A name?” I thought to myself. What does that even mean? Her words began to make sense over time.

Because a funk feels like an elusive fog, calling it something gives you ownership over it, instead of it owning you.

Profess it: This is my break-up funk! Or my I-can’t-find-a-job funk, or even my I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life funk! No matter what you name it, when you claim it, you begin to release its power over you.

2. FEEL IT. 

For me, funks feel like apathy at first. After some digging, it’s usually another more uncomfortable emotion, like fear, shame, or anger. Apathy is my defense mechanism to avoid vulnerability.

When I suppress the actual feeling that’s occurring, I find it just makes things worse.

I can make rash decisions, and unintentionally hurt those around me. By giving myself room to experience the emotion fully, I’m tackling it head on and it allows the funk to dissipate. Ask yourself:What is the underlying emotion here?

3. TALK ABOUT IT.

Funks are normal, but they are also challenging to escape because motivation is nowhere in sight. My M.O. is to lock myself in my room all day to watch the Great British Baking Show, all while scarfing down a large pan pizza from Pizza Hut. I shut the world out and transform into a zombie for what can be days at a time.

What I’m actually doing is numbing, and avoiding what I am in desperate need of: support.

I recently took the self-compassion quiz and got the highest score you can obtain for isolation. (This is not something to be proud of.) I’ve been working a lot with my Talkspace therapist to reframe asking for help not as a weakness, but an act of bravery and opportunity for authentic connection. Talking to somebody you trust helps you to know that you’re not alone, and is a reminder that you are cared for and loved.

4. GET INSPIRED.

Now that we’ve talked about the emotional and social aspects of beating a funk, we can discuss the mental. Funks leave me unmotivated, uninspired, and exhausted. Support and acknowledgment of my feelings are only a few parts of getting me unstuck.

I am in critical need of a mindset shift.

If I am still at the point of my funk where I can’t get out of bed, I compromise with myself by staying just as I am but seeking out inspiration on my phone instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. Watch YouTube videos on productivity or curate a motivating Spotify playlist. My favorite content to change my perspective is this video by Rowena Tsai and the song “Soulmate” by Lizzo.

5. START WITH ONE SMALL THING. 

In life, it’s hard to do things. Add a funk into the mix, and it’s even harder. To move my way out of it, I have to start slow and steady. When I’m feeling stuck, I usually am glued to my bed, and so one small thing I can do is to leave the house, even if it’s for a walk outside.

Your environment plays a significant role in how you feel and how productive you are.

Staying indoors with the lights off for extended periods of time only fuels my funks. If going out is too much, make an even smaller change to your space by lighting a candle or opening the curtains. You can even try one of these habits that we recommended in a previous blog to drastically improve your life. As you shift your internal and external landscapes, the funk will fade into a distant memory.

6. CALL IN REINFORCEMENTS.

If worse comes to worst, call on those who will hold you accountable to get out of your funk when one or two conversations are not enough. These are the friends who are going to be real with you, and may need to drag you out of the office so you can embrace life again.

Who will be with you at rock bottom to help you build a ladder to your highest self, no matter how slow the process?

While I always recommend therapy, there were times in my life where it was not financially feasible for me, so I had to rely on the support of my family, friends, and community. Find people who are going to understand your struggle, but who also recognize your infinite potential to overcome it.

These steps are not linear, meaning you can start with any of them and bounce to another in no particular order. During times where you’re feeling stuck, use your Passion Planner to track practices of self-love and self-care


Paula Votendahl is a Content Marketing Specialist with Passion Planner. In her free time she enjoys eating Hot Cheetos and watching British period dramas.