3 ways to get out of a funk (and when you should seek help)

depression, how to get out of a funk, pretty light through window, shadows

As we're rounding the corner into the season of early sunsets, restricted daylight, and family functions, we're all more vulnerable to a case of the seasonal blues. I'm certainly struggling with it right now. Here are four tips that work for me to get yourself out of a funk--and some insight on when to seek professional help.

Recognise the funk

This is a big one. This time of year, I tend to sort of spiral--and it's especially easy to do when you work from home or when you're a student. It starts with throwing my hair up into a messy bun one too many days in a row, then slides into slacking on my skincare routine, and the next thing I know, I am wearing a sweatsuit 24/7 and haven't washed the dishes for days. When you're in the depths of this sort of spiral, it can be incredibly difficult to recognise that this is a funk. This girl who doesn't have energy for anyone or anything doesn't have to be the new you. These depressive phases are experienced by everyone. Acknowledging that there's a problem is the first step.

Make a list of small, achievable goals

One of the reasons my depressive period tend to get exponentially worse is because the idea of tackling everything I've been slacking on is just too daunting--so I continue to spiral downwards. Once I've acknowledged that I'm going through a depressive dip, I try to make a list of small, doable tasks. Sometimes, making the list itself is the first task! Then, just being able to tick off one item on the list gives me a bit of a boost. If I'm just able to get dressed in normal clothes for one day, then that's a huge victory. Two days of real outfits in a row? I am basically kicking ass at life. Doing these small things--one step at a time--helps to give me the confidence to do the slightly bigger things. I find that ticking these small goals off the self-care list has an exponential effect: on Monday, it might feel incredibly difficult to brush my hair and put on skincare, but by Friday, I'm fully dressed *and* the house is clean. Heck, I might even have gotten around to switching energy providers!

Move your body

This is a hard one--but it has a huge impact. If you're not already into fitness, pick a beginner-friendly, doable exercise program. I love the Blogilates beginner calendar and Couch to 5K. They're structured in such a way that they feel achievable, and doing just a little bit of exercise makes you feel like you can conquer the world...or at least that pile of laundry. Trust me. Just try it. Even ten minutes will help.

Get professional help

Here's a big disclaimer: I do not have depression. Depression is a serious and debilitating illness. I'm able to deal with my depressive periods because I see a therapist and am on medication for my anxiety disorder (OCD), so these strategies I've described are part of an overall care regimen. Please, please, please--if you're feeling low and can't shake it, if you're having intrusive thoughts, if you're crying more than usual, or you're feeling low for more than 2 weeks....PLEASE. See a medical professional ASAP. This is serious stuff. Mental illness is just that--an illness, like having diabetes or strep throat. If you don't treat it, it won't go away. There's no shame in that.


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