Getting Out of A Funk
The importance of doing things
80% of the time, I'm on a roll, vibing to the beat of life. The other 20% lies in funk territory. I'll feel tired, isolated, unproductive, bored, insert-whatever-applies-to-you. My routine goes out the window and my creative-brain-inspiration vanishes.
I don't know why yet— I just know it happens every few months. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't experience these dips, though, so perhaps they're part of the human condition.
Picture the contrast side-by-side:
Pie #1: I identify as a doer. I can't sunbathe, drive, watch TV, or lounge around my house without simmering in boredom. My pie resembles a tasting platter. A buffet of activity variety.
Pie #2: I fall into the YouTube black hole (ie. watching a continuous stream of TedTalks, feeling progressively less impressed by my own achievements with each video).
To break the spiral down, I find a low-effort, out-of-the-house, fun activity to take back a slice of the pie. And once I have once slice, I can't stop there #dessertqueen. By detaching from my laptop, room, and demotivating thoughts, I'm guaranteed to pivot my mood—the hard part is just cutting the first slice.
Doing things, whether in or out of the house, is...the point of life. Activities allow me to meet new people, develop skills, enjoy the outdoors, celebrate and maintain my health, experience discomfort, grow—the list goes on.
Most of the extended periods of negativity in my memory stem from doing nothing for months (middle school, hours of anime, unnecessary crying...I'll stop there). I sometimes wonder which comes first: feeling low or activities flat-lining?
Relaxing at home can be beneficial, but in moderation and with purpose. Most of the time I prefer to find something going on near me and go on an adventure to add spontaneity to my otherwise routine life. I address the topic now because it's harder to find fun, interactive activities during the age of COVID, and my exploration of virtual events has yielded disappointing results. Eg. An online webinar in no way compares to a live event. I currently work in event marketing, so I can fairly make the statement from both sides. Attending an in-person event involves more than the speakers and their powerpoint slides, but the unexpected conversations, interesting venues, free food, and people-watching all disappear at virtual substitutions (....why hasn't a new company emerged yet to address the experience quality drop?)
Ponderings aside, to spark some creativity for what you can do, see below.
How to find things to do (COVID edition)
Facebook Events, Eventbrite, Meetup. Virtual workouts, interest-based meetups, cooking classes. Definitely not as useful as pre-COVID, but still worth skimming
Newsletters. Networking powwows, some worthy online events
Pinterest. Crafting galore, recipes bonanza, organization adventures
Conversation apps. Eg. Twine. Gotta love being an introvert who misses conversations with strangers...
City website. For Boston: https://www.bostonusa.com/events/today/
Google "what to do near me this week." Surprisingly fruitful
Hike (or walk)
Explore every street (or a corner) of a district. Currently working my way through sections of Boston every weekend
Visit a dog park. Dog ownership not required
Zoom mini-TedTalks with friends. Creds to my high school friend group for implementing this one #staynerdy
Get dressed. Doesn't happen as often as it should these days...extra points for leaving the house to show off the look
Create. Draw, cook, design, collage, record. Join an online group session to make it social
Visit a populated area. Maintain proper social distancing, please. Relish at the sight of other people and absorb the energy (try it before you call me crazy)
Call a friend. Good conversations save the day. Call unannounced to gift a surprise chat.
Productivity as a kickstarter
If your battery cannot re-boot in any other way, use productivity as a jump-start. Although not the most sustainable longterm, I've enjoyed group productivity sessions like GoGoDone when all else fails. I have free access through Akimbo, but I'm sure the $3 fee only boosts effectiveness through the financial commitment.
I usually have to try more than once with a selection of the above. But once I commit and action, I happily watch the funk recede in my rearview mirror.