10 Tips To Chase The Funk Away
We all have days when the funk is hanging like a heavy cloud over our heads. The worst part is that the funk can get into our hearts and souls and drain us of hope, and hope is key to living as a happy Homo sapiens. I know I’ve had a few funky days here and there and I always have to look back to the Buddhist wisdom that so wisely teaches us that all is temporary, including the funk. If you think about it, moods, whether good or bad, are transitory. It’s really all about living through contrast, remembering that there was good and there will be again. Besides reminding myself that the funk will disappear at any moment, I also practice a few things on these days to not just carry me through but also keep me in the moment, which leads me to appreciate that I am here and present.
10 tips to chase the funk away both through food choices and through practice
1. Limit your caffeine. Caffeine raises stress hormone levels and makes the funk get even worse by causing irritability, anxiety and depression. I am not saying stay away from caffeine completely as I love my mate latte in the morning, but watch it on days when you wake up with the funk. It will only make the funk funkier.
2. Limit your sugar. When I say sugar I mean refined sugars. Sugar will make your blood sugar go up, give you a super high and then crash! Your pH balance will become acidic and your body will work overtime to protect itself by withdrawing minerals from your bones and muscles. Crash and fatigue on top of the funk. No good.
3. Do have a piece of chocolate. Not milk chocolate or white chocolate but rather the darkest chocolate that will please your taste buds. No, I am not contradicting myself. I said limit your sugar not become a martyr chasing it. Moderation is the key here. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mood elevator. PEA is the same chemical our brain produces when we are happy or in love. Take a bite or two of chocolate, not ten, and enjoy!
4. Stay away from cocktails. This is the one absolute no no while the funk is with you and ALWAYS consume alcohol in moderation on future dates. Taking back a cocktail or two to chase the funk away will actually backfire. The funk will go hang out somewhere else for a bit and then come back meaner and stronger. Alcohol is a depressant and you’ve heard this before. Alcohol intensifies emotions and keeps you from sleeping well. The result: a super tired, depleted body with a face like Steve McQueen’s in Papillon.
5. Make a list of all the things that make you an amazing one of a kind person. The creator is super creative and made each one of us as different as snow flakes. This is a fact. After making a list, call a friend who is a big fan of you and just talk to him or her. This is definitely the time for someone to remind you how fabulous you really are.
6. Know that all is temporary and the emotions will pass. The Buddhists are right. Suffering and joy are transient. Do you remember how good you felt when you did a great job somewhere and were recognized, or laughed with friends or had an amazing kiss (or more), or had your first child? Compare it to today when the funk is here. It clearly wasn’t always here. A yogini once told me to remember that life is ten thousand sorrows and ten thousand joys, hopefully more joys. Acknowledge and sit with your pain, sadness or anger and let it pass through you. It’s like rain falling on the earth and cleansing through it.
7. Wake up and spend a few minutes doing a couple of yoga poses. My favorites when the funk is here are downward facing dog and forward bend. Downward dog allows for the blood to circulate to the head and for the back to stretch out. Stretching always helps in letting go of unwanted tension and funky energy. Forward bend has similar effects but with a mind soothing bonus. They are both natural ways of waking the body and making you say”ahh.”
8. Smile! Wake up and remember to smile wide. Get up and smile wide again and hold it while you run to the mirror and look. It will change your perspective, which is what all this is about to begin with. It may just make you laugh at how silly you look. All good. Think of your blessings. Any little thing. Like your tea this morning? smile. Someone loves you? smile.
9. Find at least one good thing about your previous day. Anything. Hold on to that thought. Now think that today something or many good things will cross your path. Awareness is a big part of this. Good things happen but the funk is so dense that we don’t always see it. Blessings happen every day you just have to be open to seeing them.
10. Do some cardio, even if you only have time for a five-minute brisk walk. Exercise causes your brain to release powerful endorphins, improving your mood and giving you a sense of hope and well-being. Exercise clears the funk in the brain and gives you a natural high. I know you know this so this is a gentle reminder.
And always be kind to yourself and each other…