Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climbing Out Of A Rut Or How To Cure A Funk

A Rut or Funk: A feeling of general uneasiness, lack of vitality; an unwillingness to do what you know is best for yourself, (ie. not eating chocolate for breakfast); a tendency to be easily annoyed at the stupidest things like husbands breathing loud or kids making a mess; a persistent stubbornness and resistance to change from a grouch into someone who has an optimistic, cheerful mood; a tendency to dream about trips to the tropical beaches and/or large additions to your residence.

Brought upon by a number of things...bad weather (winter!), hormonal changes, unhealthy eating, an illness, lack of exercise, schedule disruptions, not following the"rules" of life.

I have come up with many ways to combat these funky periods of life. Sometimes I must let them ride their course. If I push too hard, all remedies will fail. 

Here's my notes to myself on some cures:

-A good movie...preferably something cute, romantic, or just something that will change my attitude. 

-As many hours alone as I can manage in my house. Even if I just straighten up, the joy I experience of the straightening up STAYING that way for more than a few minutes might just be enough.

-Put on loud music and go on a cleaning spree. Just start chucking things left and right. Scrub the floor like Cinderella. Lysol smell wafting in the air.

-A trip to the bookstore by myself.   Find a good book-preferably about a pioneer during the Dust Bowl, or an immigrant who arrived with 10 little children and pennies in her pocket.  Nothing changes a rut like some good old boot strap pulling.

-If I can manage it...I can make myself workout.  Walk, walk, walk...outside in the fresh air. Walk like I need to get to the opposite coast by midnight.

-Go on a kitchen cupboard clean out. Pitch the nasty Doritos and stashed candy. Eat a large healthy salad for lunch. Drink gallons of water. Buy tons of good fruit.  Detox.

-A purposeful change of schedule.  Draw one up-bedtimes, mealtimes, naptimes-just having one will feel refreshing.  

Sometimes one or two or all will work wonders. Sometimes I have to experiment with different magic ingredients, it all comes together.


  1. a mostly pictures magazine

    a pedicure

    Target (all-American retail therapy)

    long soak or shower. Hot! HOT! HOT!!

    eighties bands on youtube

    going to bed slightly slightly hungry . . instead stuffed to the gills - even at 10:00 at night

    pretty earrings

    flowers by my bed

    a good blog read : )

    thanks! ~~~~~Sharon

  2. I could have posted this! I was just telling my husband last night that I was in a funk. Thanks for inspiration to put my big girl panties on and get out by doing something for MYSELF!

    Great blog read as per usual!


  3. Watching "Harvey" or "Keeping Up Appearances"---laughter is undeniable and it's hard to maintain a funk when you catch yourself laughing out loud.

    Getting a little dressy for no reason---wearing a skirt, makeup, and jewelry on a Tuesday when I'm not going anywhere gives me a boost.

    Unabashed flirting with my husband.

    Playing good and bouncy music, loud. "Daylight" by Matt and Kim is one of my favorites, along with anything by Vampire Weekend.

    Going for a drive alone in my husband's car, which is stick-shift. Something about having to shift gears in his zippy little car makes me think I'm Mario Andretti. Combine that with good music (see above) and I can't be in a funk for long.

    Folding laundry (this works for me and probably me alone on planet Earth).

  4. Filling up the minivan with junk and heading to goodwill

    Rearranging furniture

    Heading to the beach and gazing at the ocean

    Painting a room

    Calling a life long friend whom you haven't spoken to in forever but can instantly reconnect with

    Watching Top Gun (sad but true)

    Rereading any book in the Little House series

    Surface cleaning with something yummy smelling from Mrs. Meyers

  5. Sometimes it's just reading honest blog writers like yours that make my day better. Thanks. (I thought I was the only wacky wife who gets annoyed with sometimes loud-breathing husband. Ha!) I love your list! I'll be coming up with my own master list now! :)

  6. We all went to bed early last night because I was in a FUNK. Once the kids were asleep I was able to read a novel, then a little pillow talk with my husband and he gave me a massage. Today I feel 100% better.

  7. Your timing is ideal! (and your March is my February!) Get to bed early. Paint your nails - fingers and toes. Send a card to a friend. Call your Mom. These are just a few to add to your list, which I completely agree with!

    Your honesty is so appreciated. It makes me feel so normal and it is nice to know I am not alone. I especially love the "spend time alone in your house". This is very important to my happiness.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh yeah, I get those "funks". Your list for getting out of them is very, very similar to mine. But a couple specific to me are:

    --do the Flylady morning routine (even if it's 1 p.m.), making sure I'm dressed to my shoes, bed's made, dishes are done and sink is shiny, laundry is sorted and at least one load washed that day, etc. I love, but I am too OCD to get her emails and try to do everything she recommends.

    --watch You've Got Mail, my favorite chick flick

  9. "Maniacal" is a word! ("affected with or suggestive of madness")

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  11. Love your blog, it's always such a good read! You've inspired me to make my own list! (my previous comment had a typo-yikes)

  12. I just logged on feeling very sorry for myself in my funk, misery loves company. Thanks for all of the fun ideas, now I just need to find a sitter so I can do all of them:)

  13. Going to bed early like mentioned above helps me alot. Also, on those long gray weeks like we're having here right now I like to turn on all the lights and lamps in the house. Makes my home feel happier and cozier to be in.

    Thanks for your post!

  14. Getting my hair done! My "funks" are almost always a direct result of feeling like I look drabby (is that a word?) because my hair looks bad...roots showing, needing a trim, etc. Usually an appointment at the salon does the trick.

  15. YES!!! We all get in a funk at times. I love your defunking ideas! Hope you're feeling better soon!

  16. I've been in a funk all week until....yesterday when I found your blog. You perked me up with your cleaning tips and decorating how to's. I woke up this morning refreshed and ready to tackle this house. I cleaned out my girls closets, scrubbed the kitchen cabinets and hung curtains in Abby's room. Thank you!! You are me new favorite blog.
    Love your list!

  17. I love this list and the ideas from others--- such as a trip to Target, a stack of some good magazines and going to bed early to avoid any more funk in the day. Thank goodness we have a new day to wake up to and hopefully be out of the funk!

  18. I wish I could offer some fun remedies, but I just never seem to be in a funk....HA! Yeah, right...lately, I feel funky almost every other day! I like your list.

    I just had lunch with 3 girlfriends I've know since I was a teen....a good de-funking lunch. We ate Thai food, that was a bonus to help me de-funk. Coming home to my mother in law who was babysitting for me.....drew me right back into my funk :(

  19. Great minds think alike! I couldn't have said it better myself, I hate being in a funk.

  20. I was in a funk about 9 months ago and ended up staying up late...(not a good way to get out of funk) and ran into your blog. I laughed out loud for about an hour and have been hooked ever since. I couldn't have bought better therapy. Plus I paint my toenails some bright and happy color, read something uplifting, listen to good music and get to work! (cleaning, organizing..) Exercise, eat better and go to bed at 10-ish! That always helps.

  21. Love It!

    For me it alone time and I usually only get that if I lock the bathroom door and have a bath or a shower. 30 minutes is usually all it takes. With those requirements, it doesn't happen often enough

  22. i've fallen in love with your blog...thanks for sharing your real life, your creativity, the good, the bad, the crazy, the silly, everything. You are inspiring :)
    oh, and to get out of a funk...chatting with a close friend over a good cup of HOT coffee, preferably a cappuccino :)

  23. thank you.
    i wish i had the first kind of afro would be something else!
    i think something that helps me..a bath...girl time...alone time with my husband...if you know what i mean.
    that helps.

    your list is great sarah.

  24. AH! Thank you sooo much for this post. I have been in a terrible mood all day. My husband even wanted to send me to bed right's only 8:00 pm here. I will have to try some of these ideas and hopefully things will get better.

    Thanks again.

  25. I think that lighting a great, scented candle and putting some of fresh flowers on the table while I do the crazy cleaning - makes me feel better. And then promising myself that I get to go to the bookstore, or sit and read or sew something fun after the cleaning (the light at the end of the tunnel), usually lifts me up. I love your thoughts - I wish you were my neighbor, although with my 6 children that would probably be too noisy!

  26. Wonderfully inspiring and encouraging post as always. It's so easy to feed into the funk - poor eating, less sleep, general laziness. Love your list - taking a long bath in a clean bathroom, clean pajamas, and clean sheets do it for me.

  27. I'm in a funk too. I'll try some of the things suggested and see what happens. I hate being in funks, every things feels off and your question a lot of stuff. When it's over i'm always like, what was my problem? I've got it so good.

  28. Love this post! I see that others are making their own list, but I'm just copying your definition of "funk" so I can read it aloud to my husband when he doesn't get what "being in a funk" is!!!

  29. Thanks! I've been in a funk for days. The things that are slowly bringing me out are: hugs, etiher given or received, chocolate, crafts I'm actually finishing, a shiny sink, and naps. LOTS of naps.

  30. Thank you for your remedies! i posted about my own funk a while back. The bummer thing is that when i'm in my funk...i don't want to hear about the remedies. Thanks for your inspiration!
    check out my funk at

  31. It has been proven in studies that music can set your mood. Our heart beats with the rythmn of the music so if u need to boost your metabolism listen to faster music if u fell u are over stimulated and u need to slow down listen to smooth jazz. Even though I didn't listen to Madonna much in the 80's, I recently downloaded some of her tunes and the ones that put me in a great mood are Holidays, shining star, and especially Like a virgin. I know its corny but it works.

  32. What a great post! Just what I needed to hear/read - thank you!!

  33. Just what the doctor ordered......funk therapy!!! Yes!!!!

    For me, putting on some good music - LOUD! Whether in my car driving or in the house, uninterupted, but it has to be loud and something I can sing to (and maybe even dance to if I really need it).

    Taking a long, uninterupted nap on my bed. I love my bed! On top of the covers with my favorite heavy afgan is heaven.

    Chocolate, of course...especially in the form of turtle cheesecake.

    And I can't believe no one has suggested this yet, so I'm just going to come out and say! Hello!

  34. Wow, you have really hit the nail on the head. We must be the same person b/c those are my remidies along with loooong hot baths, chocolate chips and red wine (together), and wearing your pjs all day and reading a good book! Think I will try that tonight to rid me of my funk, after I clean the house from top to bottom!

  35. and I thought I was the only mom that sneaks into Target, Borders and Panera Bread for quiet time. To be alone in Target cruising the aisles is pure bliss.

  36. You've got to light a yummy candle too like my orange and cinnamon one at the moment. And the music has to be loud and something you know all the words to so you can sing at the top of your voice and dance around while cleaning!

    Also a good chat with a girl friend and laughing a lot is the way forward!

  37. Great post. I count my blessings when I get in a funk. It works as long as my "blessings" are not the source of my funk. ;)
    Peace and joy!

  38. I like to go on a walk and get some fresh air. If the weather is too cold then I like to soak in a hot bath and read the latest chick-lit novel {while eating handfuls of chocolate chips of course!}

    Kicking the boys out of the house for a few house so I can clean and de-clutter always helps too. As does a good chat with a best friend!

  39. Just yesterday, I was sitting here being annoyed and how loud my husband is when he eats. Not exactly smacking, but...
    I like all your tips except the working out, cause cleaning your house counts as a work out in my book. Plus, you end up with a clean house. There is nothing like being alone in my own house.

  40. OMG - I just read this even tho it is a old post it is sooooo right on. I love love love it and you are 100% correct.

  41. Thank you for these suggestions. I can't tell you how reassuring it is to know that you, someone I really admire, go through this sometimes too. I am excited to try your ideas. <3