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3 Unexpected Ideas to Get Unstuck

Feel like you’re running in place — like the scenery is never changing? Slumps happen to everyone. And lately, it seems like everyone is in a slump — a funk, if you will. Maybe this slump has been triggered by quarantines or politics, maybe a promotion that never came or the toxic friend who won’t go away. It’s possible there is no trigger at all which can really be confusing. Regardless of what brought you here, there is always a way to get beyond it.


Here are three unexpected ideas for getting out of a funk.


#1 Declutter

Clutter increases stress. When my sons where young they loved playing in their room with their toys. There was a point every day when they spilled out of the room and never returned. What I discovered was all of the toys cluttering up the floor. With a quick clean up timeout, play resumed without a hitch. Do your own experiment on this? You will likely discover that you (or your children) are less stressed when the clutter is at a minimum. Researchers have discovered that when we declutter it helps us feel calmer, happier, more in control and it increases our focus. Those sound like things that could get us out of a funk.


A few tips and tricks:

  • Start small.

  • Slowly build momentum with just five minutes of decluttering a day.

  • Give away one item each day.

  • Fill an entire trash bag as fast as you can and donate it.

There is a fresh start hiding behind your clutter. Pick one of these tips and take action.


#2 Create

Whether you feel it or not, humans have an innate need to create. It’s not about making something beautiful. It’s how we cope. If it’s about coping not making beauty than creating is not only for artist. According to psychologist and art therapist choosing to create something increases positive emotions, lessens depressive symptoms, reduces stress, decreases anxiety, and improves immune system. Those sound like things that could get us out of a funk.


A few ideas:

  • Draw with no regard to the outcome

  • Journal without judgement

  • Garden

  • Try a new recipe

  • Take a class

  • Put together a jigsaw puzzle or a mind-bending problem solving puzzle

  • Get the play dough out

Find a way to use your own creative bent and get just get started.


#3 Take a break from your own thoughts

We spend a lot of time captivated by the stories we spin in our minds. Some researches suggest we spend more than half of our lives lost in our thoughts. A mini-vacation from worry about the future or fretting over the past will be a huge jump start out of "the funk."


A few tips:

  • Unplug the electronics

  • Find a meditation that fits you

  • Go socialize

  • Get outside

  • Simply focus on your body and your breathing

  • Hire a coach

Mark Twain said, “I have known many sorrows, most of which never happened.” If most of our thoughts are about things that are not even going to happen, let’s take a break.


Everyone ends up in a funk or rut or slump. No one wants to stay there. Pick one of these ideas and give it a try. Push through the awkward, uncomfortable feelings that come when you try something new. Do it anyway. It will be worth it when you are on the other side of the funk.

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