We’ve all encountered some sort of funk or slump at one point or another in our lives. In fact, you may be in a place now of burnout and fatigue. Whether it’s affecting your whole life or not, being in a funk can certainly take a beating on our creativity! I’ve been here many times. And before having some practical advice and routine to help me get out of it, it’d often take over my life.
Feelings of sadness, emotional exhaustion, cynicism and low personal achievement are common pitfalls and outcomes of being in a funk. But what do we do when we’re in a funk and we’re looking to get out of it? I’ve got some practical answers for you that have personally helped my creativity and life a TON.
What To Do When You're In A Funk
1. Get out in nature
Yes, this may sound simple, but going for a 20 minute walk outside is a non-negotiable part of my day now. I prefer going for a walk right after I wake up. Early morning sunshine on the skin and in the eyes (don’t stare in the sun, just sky gaze) sends signals to receptors in our body that convert hormones and neurotransmitters into serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline that help us kick start our day and boost a sense of purpose and drive. Anytime I feel like I’m slipping into a slump or funk throughout my day, the first thing I do is GO OUTSIDE, get sunshine and get the blood pumping through movement.
2. Healthy eating
Another thing that’s easy to put me into a funk is if I eat something that triggers an inflammatory response for me. This will be different for everyone, but, if I have highly processed foods or refined foods, my head feels inflamed and I can’t think clearly…aka brain fog. I try to cook most of my meals at home for this reason so I can control how my body responds to the foods I use to nourish it.
3. Clean or rearrange your workspace
Oftentimes our external environment can cause clutter in the mind and overwhelm. Nothing beats creating a boost of inspiration like having a clean workspace to paint from. Clean up your desk, set the mood, clean the floors, get the lighting right, or even move or rearrange your desk into a new spot!
4. Practice DEEP breathing for 20 minutes
I’ve been practicing breathwork and breathing techniques every day now for over a year and it is TRANSFORMATIONAL. It’s also made me realize how shallow our breaths are. When you’re not paying attention, we go throughout our days never really taking a deep breath. Deep breathing through the nose stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the blood, which helps to dilate blood vessels and slow our heart rate down. The effects of this are calming, but I also feel a surge of energy and my body feels invigorated or kind of cleaned up on the inside after doing some breathwork. Wim Hof on YouTube is a great place to start with breathing techniques if you’re new to this and my course The Art Within has some great meditations and breathing techniques included in it as well.
5. Explore a new creative outlet
Last but not least, a great way to get out of a funk is to spend time learning and developing a new creative skill! This is exactly why I took up learning how to make sourdough this year. It’s my outside watercolor and design creative outlet and I love it! I’m still able to use my creative brain, but it’s not associated with what I do for work and it helps to invigorate and fill up that creative bank in my brain.
What do you do when you’re in a funk? If you want to find out where your blocks might be that are causing this creative funk you’re in, take my Creative Blocks Quiz. You’ll have your results, tips and resources in a matter of minutes!