8 Steps To Get Out of Your Funk
Perhaps you’ve been down in a funk for a few months now, eating bad, not exercising, not getting anything done. The day comes that you are finally tired of how you’ve been acting, the excuses you’ve been making (you know the ones) and you decide to do something about it. But yet again you find yourself overwhelmed by the massive amount of things you feel you need to get done. I have written up eight steps to help you get out of that funk and get back on track mentally, emotionally, and physically. Sounds like a lot, but it is not an overnight process.
STEP 1: ANALYTICS
Take a good hard look at your life, make a list of habits you want to form, and goals you want to accomplish. You can also include habits you’d like to break. Basically create an unofficial blueprint strategy. Don’t worry too much about getting it perfect at first, it is likely to change or be adjusted later. This will help you have a more precise idea of where you want to go and guide your steps in the right direction.
STEP 2: BUILDING THE BASE
Slowly but surely focus on making the habits you want to have firm in your routine by being consistent everyday or every cycle and making those actions a priority. You will need to hold yourself accountable for these, especially in the beginning.
Let’s start with exercise. Create a routine that works for you whether that means going to the gym or another activity like boxing, or playing a sport, etc. Remember, exercise shouldn’t be a means to an end, it is a lifestyle choice. So don’t worry too much about immediate results and make sure to increase intensity at a comfortable pace that won’t burn you out. Being consistent will get you further than going beast mode for a week.
Stick with it.
Now that exercise is going on in the background we’re gonna focus on creating better eating habits. Again, this will be different for everyone, so do a little research, and trial and error experiments to see what works for you. You want to make sure that your diet is properly supporting the type of exercise you are doing. For me, it works to spend one day of the week cooking lunch/dinner for the rest of the week. I don’t mind eating the same thing twice a day for five days and switching it up the following week, but if you do you can make meals with different seasonings or make multiple meals all at once. This helps me with portion and timing control, and saves time and money.
I'll leave bellow what I've been doing lately just as an example.
I have about 6 meals per day:
7am - Protein shake (w/ banana, greek yogurt, and almond milk)
9am - Breakfast
12-1pm - Lunch
4pm - Protein shake (w/ banana, greek yogurt, and almond milk)
630-7pm - Dinner
9pm - BP & Fruit Spread (sometimes)
On the weekends I tend to switch it up a bit depending on what I'm up to.
As you try to implement your nutrition routine, remember that there will be days you won’t be able to make it. You might be going out of town or have an unexpected situation come up. The important thing here is not to be perfect but to create the proper habits that will make you automatically look for options that somewhat match your meal plan. For example, last Thursday I went down to San Diego in the morning but I managed to get a good breakfast before heading out, on the road we stopped by a gas station and I got some beef jerky and almonds, then in San Diego I shared some wings with my friends and later had some tacos. It wasn't perfect but I managed to maintain the timing of my food intake pretty close to my schedule and I made sure that I got enough protein intake.
Consistency is key. We’re trying to build long lasting habits, so do your best and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Just like the exercise routine, you need to find your joy in the way you eat healthy.
STEP 3: TUNNEL VISION
Forget what everyone else is doing. Don’t worry about how you compare to others in the gym or on social media. You’re putting in the work and that’s what matters most. Your focus should not be where you are in the process, but in making these habits strong.
So you dropped the ball on Tuesday, get over it because here comes Wednesday. Try again.
Don’t waste time giving yourself grief for what you already didn’t do. But do remember how that makes you feel and try again tomorrow (or today if you can).
You took the time to figure out what to do so that when you slip you can easily get back to it.
STEP 4: TACKLING THE GOALS
Take the goals you thought about earlier and start working your way backwards. It is often overwhelming to look at your big overall goals. Start breaking those goals down into actionable tasks that will help you get to the next stage. Break them down until you have a good idea of what you need to be doing daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
This is also about finding the joy in the process in order to maintain consistency.
Often, working towards a goal can feel more fulfilling than accomplishing it.
Set time aside everyday to work on your daily tasks, even if that work is doing research or studying. A small amount of time consistently can take you very far.
Don’t burn yourself out right from the start. Do what you can and maintain the intention of using that time frame to work on it. Somedays you won’t do it, continue to try. Even if you have to start by creating the habit of sitting on your desk for that amount of time.
The point here is to generate exponential growth over time in a consistent way. So, just like in exercise, you will slowly add on tasks and develop habits that support productivity. This will always fluctuate, after-all we are highly emotional beings.
There are no shortcuts, you need to put in the work everyday and it’ll be much easier to put in that work once you become used to the proper habits.
It can be very hard to get started when you’re thinking of all these things together, you can find yourself bouncing around like a pinball. So focus on building them up little by little in a way that is comfortable for you.
STEP 5: GETTING BACK ON TRACK
As you do these things you might find that from time to time you fall off the path. Being too hard on yourself when you do can make you spiral right back into that funk. Because you have created a roadmap it will be much easier to get back on your path when you fall off. At times you will need to re-analyze and re-strategize that roadmap, that is perfectly fine to do. In fact it is crucial as you get further in the process.
Remember that we are all human, we all experience set backs, low energy days, seasons of making excuses. It's okay, and however you choose to live your life is great if it makes you happy.
STEP 6: FIND YOUR JOY
Life is not all work and no play, so remember to take the time to relax, do things you love, and spend time with loved ones. Being on do mode all the time can be exhausting and cause fatigue. You should find your joy in your exercise, diet, goal tackling, work, and personal life. Even if you’re not hitting all the marks you will be much happier with yourself just to be trying. Success is in the process, not in the end result.
Life shows us this. If you think about it, the end result of life is death, so life happens inside the process.
STEP 7: STRENGTHEN YOUR MIND
Read about things you’re interested in learning. To further your understanding of the world, to influence your perspective, to “connect the dots” within your knowledge gaps.
Meditate to give your brain a break.
Reflect on your life, your actions, life itself, how you relate to others, etc. Reflection is not about overthinking or judging, it is an internal observation. It is a way to get to know yourself deeply, and it is a key aspect of coming to understand the universe.
Spending time with yourself and learning to enjoy solitude can have many positive aspects. You’re trying to be the best person you can be and truly love yourself, so nurture your relationship with yourself by spending time with and getting to know yourself.
STEP 8: GRATITUDE
If you’re reading this you most certainly have many things to be grateful for. When you find yourself frustrated or unhappy, take a good look around and remember all that you have to be grateful for. Think back in your life and see that most likely there are many things you take for granted today that used to be something you really wanted. For me, it can be as simple as accomplishing my childhood dream of having a beard. Yay me!
SPEND TIME WITH NATURE
Nature is our original home. Being around it is the best way to center yourself and in nature you will find all the simple and complex things to be grateful for.
Thank you for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it and that you get some value from it. Once again, remember that everyone is different and these methods might not work for everyone. And if you just need to be in your funk a little longer, I get it. It's a process. But when you're ready, welcome back.