‘Fall Funk’: That cloudy feeling that’s most accurately described as ‘bleh’ or ‘meh.’ As the summer sunsets, the weather cools, and the ground is sprinkled with orange, crunchy leaves…you know that fall is here. And along with it: ‘fall funk.’ It’s those moody blues that *poof* come out of nowhere and stick around longer than you’d hoped.
Motivation plummets, Netflix binging goes way up, and you find yourself in a not-so-fun mood, longing for happier days. The good news? It’s fixable! (Extra TLC required.) Read on for science-backed ways of getting out of a funk. We’ll talk about ways to take care of your mental health – and move those blues along – when (and if) ‘fall funk’ comes for a visit.
What’s The Difference Between Sadness and Depression?
Is it a short-lived slumpy mood (sadness) OR a prolonged period of deep sadness (depression)?
This is the very first question you need to ask yourself. On one hand, sadness is normal - and healthy! It’s on the spectrum of human emotions, and a natural reaction to external events like loss, disappointments, and challenges.
Like a cloud, it’s there for a while until it dissipates to reveal sunny skies once again. On the other side, depression is a serious condition. It’s so pervasive that it starts to affect your mood, thoughts, and behaviors.
Depression can lead to self-loathing, fatigue, and body aches. It’s more like a stubborn, stormy cloud over your head that follows you wherever you go. Here’s our breakdown of the difference between a ‘sadness funk’ and ‘depression funk’:
- You can still experience small moments of joy in between the waves of sadness
- Your self-esteem is intact
- It goes away on its own
- It doesn’t impact the way you understand yourself or relate to events and people around you
- Even though you want it gone ASAP, you still know it’s a passing phase
- You lose interest in activities you once enjoyed
- You feel empty and numb
- You lose self-esteem and self-worth
- You experience sleep problems
- You have a change in appetite
- It lasts for a long while (usually two weeks or more)
- You feel a sense of hopelessness and like things will never get better
*NOTE: While a self-assessment is a great place to start, only a licensed professional can diagnose you accurately.*
If you’re suspecting depression could be the cause of your slump, it may be time to speak with a mental health expert to help manage your moods. But if your symptoms are more in line with sadness, keep reading for 5 ways that will help you shake off those slumpy vibes a lot quicker.
How to Get Out of a Fall Funk?
A funk is when your body needs some major TLC - but it’s also when you'll be the least motivated to make that extra effort. The trick? Keep it as simple as possible so your mind feels it’s doable, even when you’re down and out.
Here are 5 easy ways of getting out of a funk and nurturing better mental health.
#1: Shake It Off, Physically
When you can’t mentally shake the funk, physically shake it off! Your initial instinct may be to curl up on a couch and stay stagnant; and while rest is healthy, at some point, you’ll need to get your body moving.
Get out for a walk, run on the treadmill, dance in your room, or do whatever type of movement feels the easiest and least overwhelming. Getting exercise can help you reverse symptoms of stress and anxiety, and you’ll instantly feel the difference.
#2: Healthy Eating Habits
“Eat your fruits and veggies!” - it’s timeless advice that never fails us. A variety of veggies, a rainbow of fruits, whole grains instead of refined, healthy proteins and oils, and lots of water are among the recommendations by Harvard Medical School.
And just as important as what you eat? When you eat it. Eating in harmony with your body’s circadian rhythm (ie. eating at regular times and avoiding late night snacking) can help stabilize your energy and mood throughout the day.
#3: Embrace It Instead of Overthinking It
Sadness funks come with the package…it’s part of being a human! If you obsess over getting rid of it, you might end up ruminating on the sadness. And the science says it’s not helpful: Overthinking can cause anxiety, depression, and sleeping troubles, and it gets in the way of making good decisions. So embrace the funk. Sit with it. Accept it. And once you do, chances are that it’ll go away much faster.
#4: Social Media Detox
You hop online, only to get sucked in by your Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok feed and before you know it, 30, 60, or even 90 minutes have passed. Sound familiar? (We’re definitely guilty of it!) Well, the studies have been done and the verdict is in limiting social media decreases feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Even though a lazy funk may leave you with the tendency to ‘doomscroll’, avoiding social media during a funk is best for your mental health. (Or at least, limiting your usage to 30 minutes a day.)
#5: Practice Self-Compassion & Be Your Own Best Friend
If your best friend or sibling was in a funk, what would you suggest for them? You’d likely tell them to take it easy, ditch the negative self-talk, and take the day off to do something that feels good for their soul. …And now is the time to take your own fabulous advice! As a back-up, we’re here to tell you: You’re doing great! Sadness happens to everyone. Relax, let go, and do something that fills you up.
Getting Out of a Funk With Reflect
Funk is a sure sign that your brain needs a mini-vacay, and there’s no better way than meditation paired with the Reflect Orb. Meditation decreases the overthinking, anxiety, and worrying that can dampen your mood - and often, quieting your thoughts can disappear the sadness altogether. And even better yet? A daily meditation practice that can prevent the slumps before they even happen!
If you’ve struggled to stick to regular meditation practice – or you’re just getting started with your mental health journey – the Orb is the companion you need on your path to wellness. The orb brings your attention to the ‘here and now by reading your body and giving you a snapshot of your relaxation levels in real-time. Using biofeedback technology, it’ll help you understand what your body needs to truly relax.
Getting out of a funk is an inner journey. Get started with Reflect.