Funk You!: How To Get Yourself Happy
The semester’s off and running, the weather’s getting worse, and next summer feels like an eternity. It’s easy to find your mood plummeting, your motivation waning, and your usually chipper self turning into a snappy betch. Misery has a snowball effect: you’re grumpy, and it rubs off on your roommate; you’re already in a bad mood, and walking into a pop quiz can set you over the edge. Before the blahs take over your body, take time to stop, breathe, recharge and rejuvenate. Here are five quick pick-me-ups to get you out of a funk.
1. Sleep: You’ve been up at the crack of dawn every morning to hit the gym, struggle to stay awake through three back-to-back classes, rush to your part-time job, and finally head home to tackle several hours worth of homework. Of course you’re feeling dreary! Lack of sleep can have adverse psychological effects– take it from a girl who is known to burst into tears at the slightest provocation after pulling an all-nighter or two– so even if you can’t fit in a full eight hours of sleep a night, treat yourself to a long, comatose nap. When you wake up, you’ll be more energetic and alert, so it might even boost your studying stamina later in the week.
2. Treat Yourself: You’ve been running on empty for weeks, neglecting yourself in order to make a good impression on your professors, sorority sisters, friends, coworkers, etc. Do something nice for yourself. If you have some extra cash, buy yourself a new outfit. If you think you look good, you’re bound to feel good, too. Low on cash? Scrape together some change and download a couple of jams on i-Tunes. I mean, they’re only 99 cents most of the time– you deserve it! Get a track that will raise your spirits, like Flo Rida’s “In the Ayer,” DJ Laz’s “Move, Shake, Drop Remix” or, for a bubblegum pop sound, The Orion Experience’s “Obsessed with You.” Then, crank up your speakers and have your own personal dance party for a few minutes. It’ll be worth it.
3. Exercise: Everyone knows that cardio releases endorphins in your brain. When I’m in a bad mood, I take out my anger on the elliptical machine, and half an hour later, I’m dripping with sweat, I’ve burned 400 calories, and I forget what I was so frustrated with in the first place. If you’re really miserable and the first five minutes feels like forever, just pushing yourself to finish the circuit can feel like an accomplishment. If the university gym has a group exercise schedule, take advantage. You’re less likely to quit after ten minutes of Zumba when you’re surrounded by twenty of your peers, and chances are, the class comes equipped with some peppy beats.
4. Laugh it Off: Throw a Will Ferrell flick into the DVD player or catch up on The Office. Go online and waste your time at LOLcats or Yearbook Yourself. My personal favorite is Group Hug, which has been around longer than PostSecret. Whenever I read the confessions on this site, I either pee my pants, or just feel better about myself for having NOT done some of the shenanigans these strangers own up to.
Other ways to laugh it off? Grab your roommate and act like five-year-olds. My former roommate and I both had final exams the DAY BEFORE we graduated college. We needed to study, but couldn’t focus. We were stressed that we couldn’t focus, because we didn’t want to screw things up at the last minute. So what did we do? We put on our caps and gowns, and drew giant smiley faces on pillowcases and wore them over our heads.
We actually won a graduation-themed photo contest with that one. Of course, we can’t all be ruining our bedding every time we get stressed out, but I’ve found that a solid phone call with a good friend in which we recount the stupid sh*t we’ve done over the years also works wonders.
5. Blow Everything Off: If you decide to sleep, shop, work out, or watch a movie, chances are you’re blowing something off to do it. But sometimes, you need to put everything on pause. Working five shifts a week on top of your heavy course load? Take a night off… just because. Social schedule getting in the way? Turn off your phone and spend some QT with yourself. Social schedule nonexistent? It won’t kill you to skip your night class (just this once) and go dancing with your friends.
Hell, blow off your diet and 3-hour-a-day workout routine and eat a freaking piece of chocolate cake. You might be thinking, “There’s no way I have the time to blow everything off!” But sometimes, you have to choose your battles. If you stress yourself into a nervous breakdown, you won’t be getting any homework done from the psych ward.
[Any other funk-fighting tips?]
(photo from http://www.justlaura.com)