Do you ever feel like you’re in a funk? You just feel “blah” and you can’t figure out why? You recognize that something is off, but you can’t even pinpoint what it is that isn’t right. It’s not depression, but it does involve a lack of motivation, lower energy, listlessness, and purposelessness.
Today, I want to share with you several things I do to change the environment in my home to help me break out of a funk. The environment around us can have a major affect on how we both think and feel. If our surroundings are chaotic and cluttered then our minds will be as well. Sometimes, just clearing up the area around us can have a big impact on getting us out of a funk.
Next week I plan to share some things you can do at your workplace to help you get out of a funk at work. But for now, we’ll focus on our homes.
This is always the first go-to response when things are feeling off. Go to a quiet, uninterrupted place, set a timer, and pray for at least ten minutes. You can praise and sing songs, you can write in a prayer or gratitude journal, or just simply voice your thoughts and concerns to God. Get away from the busy pace of your life and spend time communicating with God, listening for His voice, and soaking up His presence. It might not completely knock you out of your funk, but it will absolutely make you feel better.
2. Make your bed.
For a long time, I made it a point to make my bed every single morning soon after I woke up. That one act helped me keep the rest of the house more picked up and clutter free. It made me more productive and focused throughout my day, and just overall made me feel good.
My husband has a new shift now and often goes to bed shortly after I wake up, so I’ve skipped making our bed the last few months. I just didn’t see the point. But I’ve realized that this one small thing really changes the atmosphere when I go into our bedroom.
So, I’ve started to make my bed again, even if my husband will be getting into it in a couple hours. I also remake it later in the day when he wakes up, so it’s nice and fresh for me at bedtime. It really does make a difference. Just try it for a week and see how amazing it feels.
3. Open the blinds and the windows.
Sometimes when we’re in a funk we feel pressured and overwhelmed, like the walls are pushing in around us. Give your brain a little break by creating openness and space around you with open curtains and windows. Let the outside fresh air and light into your space. It may not fix the actual stresses and pressures you are experiencing but it can help you start feeling lighter and able to more clearly see the areas of your life that need to be addressed.
4. Declutter for 15 minutes.
If your house is anything like mine there are constantly things being left out, paper piles on the table, toys all over the floor, dishes scattered in every room. It drives me crazy that we cannot discipline ourselves to just put things away immediately after we use them, but we can’t. So instead of fighting it and getting mad about it, I just set aside a few minutes each day to do a quick sweep through the house to put things away.
This not only cleans up the environment around you to bring more order and less overwhelm, but it helps you feel more productive and accomplished. Productivity and accomplishment are great motivators and can help you slowly pull yourself out of your funk and back to a more ambitious state.
5. Empty and fill the dishwasher (or wash a sink full of dishes).
It is amazing how much a clean kitchen can change my attitude. I’ve recently tried to develop the habit of always going to bed with a clean kitchen so I can start my day on the right foot. It is not a habit yet and I keep falling off the bandwagon, but I am making progress. And I feel so light and happy when my counters are clear.
I walk through our kitchen so many times throughout my day that I’ve found it can have a huge impact on the way I feel. Ignoring a messy kitchen for too long will definitely put me into a funk. It only takes 10 minutes or so to swap out a load of dishes but can make huge progress on clearing up the room and helping you feel better.
6. Sort through the entryway mountain.
I think everyone has a dumping place just inside the main door of their home. Kids come in and drop backpacks, kick off their shoes, and fling their coat in the general direction of the hooks. Mail comes in and gets dumped in a pile. Lunch boxes are strewn about. Water bottles make it out of the car, but not to the kitchen. And anything else that comes in the home tends to build up in the entryway.
If you’re feeling in a funk, it might be because the moment you walk in the door you are immediately bombarded by chaos. And every time you leave your house, you feel the strain of chaos. The entryway is a good place to address when your environment is making you crazy.
7. Create a prioritized to do list.
There is always something that needs to be done at my house, especially this time of year. From general cleaning to weeding the garden, paying bills, folding laundry, sorting clutter, deep cleaning various areas, the list could go on for miles.
It’s often overwhelming when I have some free time to tackle some things on a Saturday afternoon, but there is so much to do I don’t even know where to start. In times like these, a good old fashioned piece of paper and pen come in handy to create a to-do list and then sort your list in order of priority so you can get to work.
8. Go unplugged for a few hours.
When I’m in a funk, I tend to pull out my phone, and I scroll and I scroll and I scroll for endless amounts of time. I get bored with Facebook and move to Instagram, when I’m bored there I move to Pinterest, then I catch up on the blogs I read, scan through my emails, review my latest blog stats, and maybe catch a Periscope or two from the people I follow. When I get to Twitter I usually realize that I’m getting desperate.
Usually, this just increases the intensity of my funk and makes me frustrated and angry with myself because of all the time I have wasted doing absolutely nothing of value. At the beginning of my social media extravaganza I’ll tell myself that it will help lift me out of my funk because someone might post something inspirational, or maybe I just need some “social interaction” with my friends. But really, it just makes it worse.
If you are in the midst of a funk, one of the best things you can do is to put your phone away. Be present in your current situation, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings, reflect on your feelings, and just really be entirely aware of the world around you. Don’t escape to social media to fix a funk, avoidance won’t solve anything.
9. Go for a walk, run, or bike ride outside.
Fresh air and movement are nearly guaranteed to fix a funk. It doesn’t have to take much time. Just ten minutes can make a huge difference in your attitude and your outlook. Choose an activity you enjoy and go soak up some sunshine.
10. Get out of the house.
We are wired for community. Oftentimes, a funk can be a sign that we are needing more community and relationships. It can be really helpful to talk through our circumstances with a friend over coffee. Maybe we just need a date night with our spouse, or some time away with (or without) our kids doing something fun to relieve stress and laugh.
There are lots of reasons for falling into a funk and lots of ways to work ourselves out of a funk. Sometimes we feel blah because of certain circumstances we’re dealing with, sometimes it’s a result of our environment, and other times there might not be a specific reason. We all have days when we just don’t feel ourselves. Recognizing that this is normal and not a big deal is important. The feelings will pass.
Changing our environment to surround ourselves with more peace, order, and joy can go a long way in helping us move past our feelings of listlessness and back into our normal, productive lives.