Get Out of The Funk

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You know that song that’s like, “We want the funk”? Well, I do NOT want the funk. I hate the funk. The funk is my mortal enemy.


I am very obviously not talking about funk music here, but instead referring to the unfortunate and unavoidable state of mind that we all must face every one in a while: the slump, the rut… the FUNK.


As athletes, we are always striving to be our best selves and, for the most part, I think it’s important to continue to do so. However, I also think it’s both unrealistic and toxic to ALWAYS expect ourselves to be the best every minute of every day. Whether outside work is weighing you down, you’re having a tough time with your family, or something just feels “off”, we cannot be 100% all of the time. We just can’t. 


Funks are terrible. You mentally and physically feel out of whack. You might not be able to lift as much weight as you did last time. You only crave Kane’s donuts and Hawaiian pizza (#teampineapple). It feels hard to get to the gym at all, let alone put in your best effort, and I am here to tell you…that it’s okay.


Even though I don’t WANT the funk, I need it. We all need it for one very specific reason: Human beings deserve to feel things.


When you’re out of whack, it’s a message. Maybe you need some serious rest time and your body is screaming at you to lighten up the weight. Maybe you’ve put too much on your plate at work and your mind is telling you to take some time. Whatever the message is, listen to it, feel it, and respond accordingly. 


Every person if different, but here’s my list of ways to get out of a funk:

  1. Do not avoid the feelings. Let yourself be in a funk for a minute. Cry a little, sulk a little, feel bad for yourself. Eat the pizza and watch movies all day, but only for a day or two. Feel your feelings and then pick yourself up by…
  2. Turning off the TV. I often resort to Netflix to solve problems and, even though it feels good at first, I have to shut it down after a while and…
  3. Do something productive. Vacuum the house, clean the closets out, go get an oil change. Do something that makes you feel good about ticking it off your list.
  4. Get outside. A classic and cliched response that truly works. Get some vitamin D and movement in! Go for a walk, drive around with the windows down and your favorite song on.
  5. Talk to a friend. Another cliche that stems from truth. There is strength in numbers! Find a buddy to talk to and help you through. 
  6. Go to the gym. There it is! Even if it feels like the last place you want to be, it’s truly the best because it combines exercise, endorphins, and friendship all in one. Don’t push yourself too crazy if your body is telling you to ease up, but show up anyways and just move. 
  7. Fix the problem. Easier said than done, I know. However, you’re in a funk for a reason. Listen to the message you are being told and do your best to ease the catalyst. Burnt out at the gym? Modify movements to ease up on yourself. Put too much on your work plate? Make a plan to spend time with family.  Eating food that’s weighing you down? Try a new healthy recipe (I’m sure Coach Caren has tons to share!)


Feel the feelings, then fix the things.


No one in the world expects you to be perfect 100% of the time, so you shouldn’t expect that either. Instead of pretending like your feelings aren’t happening, listen to your body and respond to it. Allow yourself to get out of synch for a while, then use that message to get back into your best self.


We may not want the funk, but it’s there and it’s certainly not going anywhere on its own. If it’s going to be there, you might as well use it to make you the best you can be. 

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