Bad days happen. Here are 9 strategies to be happier when you’re stuck in a funk (that don’t involve food or shopping).
I don’t care who you are, we’ve all had those days where the universe is totally conspiring against us. Or you’ve had the equally frustrating, “perfectly fine day,” but you’ve fallen in a funk and can’t get up. It feels like a cartoon rain cloud is following you around and you just can’t find your usual sunshine.
When you’re highly in-tune with your emotional and mental health, bad days can feel like an extra blow. Personally, I’m quite aware when I’m not feeling good… and I hate that feeling. Usually there’s an extra layer of frustration, precisely because I’m not happy. Can you say counter productive? There’s so much to experience and enjoy, when a bad day robs you of the positive energy you need, the negativity can spiral.
So over the past couple years, I’ve practiced various strategies for the days that I really feel like I’m in a funk that a simple pep talk or cute dog video can’t fix.
*just a note: in this post I’m not dealing with depression, which is a much more serious mental health issue. If you’re worried you may be dealing with depression talk to your doctor*
9 strategies to be happier when you’re stuck in a funk
Step 1: Be Aware
What’s the story?
It takes a lot of time and practice to be aware of your moods and then be able to pinpoint their origin. First you’ve got to understand where your baseline happiness is at, then see how far off you are. I find that sitting with my feelings and trying to figure out why, can help me decide if I’m upset about something I can change or if I should try to brush it off. And ladies, I bring this up because it’s real – look at your calendar. I’ve wasted many an hour being in a mini rage only to realize that it’s just my hormones doing their thing. Sometimes the awareness alone, can help me channel that anger/sadness/annoyance into something more positive.
Zoom Out, Find perspective
One of my favorite sayings for bad days is “a bad day doesn’t equal a bad life.” It’s so true. Some tough days I can feel like my whole life is falling apart, when just the day before I was on top of the world. Know that you’re not crazy, you’re not alone and ultimately you’ll be ok.
Step 2: Channel Your Energy into Something Positive
Spend time in nature
Whether you totally unplug or you bring along a favorite podcast or playlist, taking a walk in nature has a way of helping everything fall into place. If I’m really feeling the feels I’ll try to get to the ocean (luckily I have one about 2 miles from my house). I couldn’t tell you how or why it always works, but somehow I always end up feeling more grateful, centered and humbled after a little nature action.
Get off social media
In a bad mood? Don’t you dare touch Instagram. Seriously, even on the best of days social media can spike feelings of jealousy and comparison. In a bad mood? I promise you nothing good will come out of a scroll through your feed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sad and scrolled through my feed just to feel worse about myself. In fact, while you’re at it, turn your phone on do not disturb or airplane mode. You just don’t need it right now.
Clean your space
I might be crazy, but when I’m feeling out of control, or sad, or frustrated, cleaning makes me feel better. It’s something that I can almost immediately see results from. Plus, the act of putting things in their place and cleaning off surfaces clears my head along with my room (or kitchen or bathroom.) While you’re at it, light a candle. Nothing sends out good vibes like your favorite smell and a pretty flickering light.
I know you’ve heard this one before… probably because it’s true. Just like nature, exercising in a way you enjoy – be it cycling, running, yoga-ing or walking, has some magical power over our moods. I can almost guarantee you’ll feel better and if not, at least your body will thank you for taking care of it.
Get a Hug
Sounds too simple? Maybe it is. But a big, long, embrace feels amazing no matter what mood you’re in. This past year I’ve really embraced hugging *see what I did there*. I was once a hug skeptic, but now there’s no going back. And I know I’m happier for it. Telling someone you need a hug not only helps you, but it makes the hug giver feel special too. When it doubt, hug it out.
talk (or write) it out
It’s crazy how many times I’ve had a problem brewing like a storm in my head, only to talk it out and realize everything will be fine. It’s amazing how writing or talking can immediately throw into perspective something that felt so huge in your mind.
Laugh and/or Dance
If I start to feel myself taking life too seriously all I need to do is start dancing. This works for both laughing and dancing because of how stupid I look. I can usually crack myself up in less than 30 seconds. Bonus: make someone else’s day brighter by filming your dance on snapchat and sending it along 😉
What’s your go-to happiness move when you’re having a tough day? Leave a comment below <3