How To Get Out of a Depression Funk
It’s normal for people to periodically fall into a “depression funk” that causes them to feel moody or sad. However, these feelings can sometimes be a sign that something more serious is going on. Being in a depression funk is very different from having a condition like clinical depression, a medical diagnosis with potential long-term mental health effects. Knowing the difference between normal periods of sadness and diagnosable depression can help you determine what kind of support you may need.
What Is a “Depression Funk?”
There can be a lot of different reasons why someone might feel like they are in a funk. It can happen when a person feels physically unwell, a job feels like a dead end or a relationship goes through a rut.
Many times, a funk is related to another situation, such as a breakup or the loss of a job. Many people experienced a funk throughout the pandemic, as it was common to be stuck at home for long periods of time. These things are usually temporary, and funks do not last long term.
When feelings of restlessness, boredom, frustration, sadness and loneliness persist for more than a few days, it can be a sign of something more serious. Most commonly, it can indicate the presence of depression. Depression is classified as a mood disorder that can have a severe impact on someone’s mental health if left untreated. To be diagnosed with depression, someone has to have depressive symptoms for at least two consecutive weeks. These symptoms can include:
- Sad or depressed mood
- Withdrawal from activities
- Change in sleep patterns
- Appetite changes
- Difficulty concentration
Tips for Getting Out of Your Depression Funk
If you’re in a funk and struggling to cope, there are a number of simple but effective strategies you can use to help improve your mood and address negative feelings.
Physical activity is known to help improve both mental and physical health. Exercise is a natural mood booster and helps raise levels of serotonin in the brain. Being active can also help improve sleep, decrease stress and raise self-esteem. It can also be fun to try a new activity to help get out of a funk.
Being outdoors in green, natural spaces can have a lot of mental health benefits. These can include a lower risk of depression, more mental health resilience and a faster rate of recovery from stress. Nature can also help to strengthen your mental capacities by increasing focus and attention span.
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the moment and trying not to focus on or stress about things that have already happened or will in the future. Practicing mindfulness can help people with depressive symptoms separate themselves from their feelings and try to find moments of happiness and peace.
Spend Time With Friends and Family
Having the support of friends and family can be very helpful in managing mental health and depression. By sharing what is making you feel depressed or spending time with those who support and care about you, you can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness that are often associated with depression.
Prioritizing yourself and practicing self-care is a healthy way to help alleviate feelings of depression. Self-care can be a lot of different things, and it can vary from one person to another. Common self-care activities can include:
- Prioritizing sleep
- Spending time with friends or family
- Taking a day off of work
- Having a staycation
- Binging a new TV show
- Calling a friend
Get Quality Sleep
Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on mental health, and people with poor sleep quality are more likely to have a mental health condition like depression. Up to 80% of those with mental health diagnoses report having chronic sleep issues. Improving the quality of sleep can help regulate emotions and symptoms of depression.
When To Seek Help
Dealing with feelings of sadness can be difficult on your own, but there are many ways to find mental health support and professional care from the comfort of home. If you are looking for a free and easy-to-use tool for addressing your mental health, the Nobu app can provide a perfect solution. Nobu offers mindfulness activities, mental health lessons, journaling tools and many other helpful services. For an additional fee, you can even connect with a licensed mental health expert and receive professional teletherapy treatment. Sign up for Nobu and download the app today, available for free on Apple and Android devices.
Edited by – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor’s in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. He has written, edited and published content for health care professionals, educators, real estate agents, lawyers and high-level university faculty… Read more.
Written by – Danielle Boland
Danielle is a licensed clinical social worker, currently living and practicing in central Connecticut. Danielle graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a Masters of Social Work, and always had the goal of opening her own private practice. She specializes in women’s issues, maternal health and postpartum mental health. Danielle is passionate about empowering people of all ages and hopes to use her writing skills to provide more resources for those looking to improve their mental health… Read more.
Medically Reviewed by – Dr. Angela Phillips
Angela is a licensed therapist and clinical researcher, and has worked in public, private, government, and not-for-profit organizations, across clinical and research-oriented roles. Angela’s clinical and research experience has included suicide prevention, cognitive behavioral… Read more.
- National Institute of Mental Health. “Depression.” February 2018. Accessed May 18, 2022.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Depression.” August 2017. Accessed May 18, 2022. Walden University. “5 Mental Benefits of Exercise.” Accessed May 18, 2022.
- Avitt, Andrew. “The wellness benefits of the great outdoors.” Forest Service, U.S Department of Agriculture, March 24, 2021. Accessed May 18, 2022.
- Yip, Deborah. “Can Mindfulness Help When You’re Depressed?” Greater Good Magazine, January 10, 2020. Accessed May 18, 2022.
- Harvard Medical School “Sleep and Mental Health.” August 17, 2021. Accessed May 18, 2022.