There’s not a human being alive who doesn’t have a bad day occasionally. And for some people it seems those bad days just keep coming one after another. And you need help getting out of a funk.

It’s probably happened to you: life seems to be going along rather well and then suddenly “IT” comes along. Somebody rear-ends your car in traffic on the way to work. Your computer hard drive crashes. You develop a nasty cold the day before an important meeting. Or you were expecting a tax refund, but your return shows a significant bill due.

Any number of things can put you into a “funk.” The life you thought was going along fine has been interrupted, and there’s nothing you can do to get it back. At least not right away. Everything that you thought you had under control suddenly looks grey and dark, and your emotions become irritable, tearful, or angry.

My husband has been known to say on occasion, “What can I do to get you out of this funk?”

But the truth is, most of the time nobody else can do anything to change my mindset. It’s something I have to do myself.

One of the surest ways to get out of an emotional funk is to take positive action. Doing SOMETHING that you have control over almost always lifts your spirits and helps the world look brighter. Here are some positive action steps that will get you moving in the right direction again.

  1. Give yourself permission to be upset. Letting off some emotional pressure will help your brain work better later. Give yourself a time limit: 10 minutes, an hour, a day. Put other decisions or unnecessary activities on hold for a short time. Cry, yell, pout. Just be certain you don’t harm yourself or anyone else.
  2. Do something physical. Take a walk. Clean the bathroom, or the garage. Go for a run. The physical activity will help take your mind off your problem, as well as increase your endorphins. And even a small accomplishment in a completely different area may help you see life more positively.
  3. Look at what you CAN control. Often the worst part of being in a “funk” is feeling like there’s nothing you can do to make things any better. Realistically analyze what it is you CAN do: call your insurance company, visit the drug store, reschedule the meeting. Any constructive action will help you feel a measure of positive control.
  4. Ask for help. Ask your spouse or a good friend to listen to you vent your feelings for a short time. Ask for some adjustment in responsibilities if necessary. Ask a professional for some advice or help. Ask God for His strength and wisdom to both move forward now, and to act more wisely in the future if necessary.
  5. Prevent future funks. OK, none of us can completely prevent a bad day from happening again. But there are more things in your control than you may at first imagine. Leave earlier for work so the traffic is not so difficult. Subscribe to an automatic computer backup service. Get regular exercise and improve your eating habits to strengthen your immune system. Adjust your income tax withholding for next year. You’re wiser now: act accordingly.

None of us are immune to having a bad day.

But we can do something to have a better outlook on tomorrow.

Your Turn: What do you do when you get into a funk? Leave a comment below. 

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