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Sharp Health News

How to get out of a funk

April 5, 2022

Happy woman with raised arms in a sunny flower field

Do you have a case of the Mondays, the blues or the blechs? After the past two years we’ve all experienced, occasionally feeling like you’re in a funk is certainly understandable.

We’ve struggled with illness, isolation, loss and far more. And while the following quick tips won’t fix everything, doing one or more is highly likely to boost your mood quickly and brighten your day.

5 ways to get out of a funk

  1. Eat a nutritious meal or snack. Studies show that a diet high in red or processed meat, refined grains, sugary foods and high-fat dairy products — combined with a low intake of fruits and vegetables — is associated with an increased risk of depression. While a healthy diet can’t prevent or cure depression, eating a bit of dark chocolate, a serving of salmon, a yogurt snack, a handful of nuts, and lots of fruits and vegetables can boost your mental — and physical — health.
  2. Call a friend. Feeling lonely correlates with anxiety and depression, sleep problems, an increased reliance on ineffective coping skills — such as drinking, gambling, smoking, spending and isolating — and a general feeling of distress. Create connection — on the phone, via a video call or in person. We are social creatures who need to feel seen and supported, so reach out to someone for a friendly boost.
  3. Get some sleep. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep, with most people needing seven to eight hours each night. When someone is sleep-deprived, they may experience anxiety, sadness, impatience and irritability. While regular nightly sleep is important, taking a power nap of no more than 30 minutes can put a little pep in your step. Put away all digital devices, close the window shades, and relax your brain with meditation or light music for best napping results.
  4. Go outside. Being in nature can be healing for both the body and mind. Hitting the beach, heading into the forest or simply visiting a neighborhood park can help to make you feel both happy and calm. What’s more, soaking up a bit of sunshine can increase your levels of vitamin D and serotonin — the “feel good” neurotransmitter in your brain. Whether you take a 10-minute break to get some fresh air or a week-long camping trip in the mountains, nature is calling — answer that call to feel better fast.
  5. Exercise. You may know that exercise helps with weight management, reduces risk of disease, improves sleep, and strengthens bones and muscles. But were you also aware that physical activity is essential to your happiness? Exercise improves your mood by releasing endorphins and serotonin. Both help create feelings of happiness and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Exercise can also help foster your self-confidence — all certain ways to fix that feeling of being in a funk.

If you or a loved one is in crisis, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. Learn how programs at Sharp Mesa Vista can also help.

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