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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

We all have those moments when we just don’t feel ourselves. We may feel sad, unmotivated, doubtful and overall burnt out– but that’s okay. Whether or not you know why you feel this way, your funks are temporary and universal. Sometimes they pass on their own, but typically you have to pull yourself out of it by taking action.

Common signs you may be in a funk:

  • Sudden lack of motivation
  • Easily frustrated or sensitive 
  • Long hours or days of sadness
  • More closed off when interacting with others
  • Issues in communication
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks 
  • Activities you usually enjoy become less enjoyable
  • Desire to stay home 
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Lack of energy

Regardless of how long you’re experiencing a funk, here are some ways to help you get out of it:

Acceptance and reflection.

Accepting that you’re not okay is hard, but if you’re feeling a few or all of these symptoms, the first step is to accept it, reflect on what’s going on internally and externally, and what you can do to make yourself happier. Know that people experience funks more often than you think, some are just better at hiding it than others. Be easy on yourself. Sometimes, being in a funk is a sign that you might need change, whether it’s your routine, work, or social life. This is just the beginning of your path of self-discovery and growth.

Prioritize sleep!

Naturally, we’re more cranky and less productive when we don’t have enough sleep. Scientifically, not getting enough sleep causes a hormonal imbalance, specifically cortisol. High levels of this hormone could also cause weight gain, high blood pressure, and high stress management. Easier said than done, but getting yourself on a consistent sleep schedule should be your first priority when you’re in a funk.

Avoid alcohol consumption.

It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol during this time because alcohol is a natural depressant. It may take your mind off of whatever you are going through at the moment, but its after-effects can worsen your funk. Not only does alcohol slow down your normal functions and affect your brain’s ability to think clearly, but over time, when alcohol is consistently consumed, the amount of dopamine in your brain depletes.

Engage in activities that increase dopamine. 

When you are already feeling down, it is important to focus on increasing dopamine. Health Direct defines dopamine as a neurotransmitter that gives you feelings of motivation, pleasure and satisfaction. It plays a significant role in controlling mood, sleep, memory, learning, and concentration. If you need a dopamine boost, try taking daily walks, engage in activities that make you feel relaxed, plan something exciting, get out of the house, and eat foods that are both healthy and give you joy. 

Disconnect and surround yourself with company.

Limiting your screen time and exposure to social media is a healthy practice, especially when you’re not in the best mindset. The habit of checking your phone and scrolling through social media already has the potential to cause negative emotions that do not help you get out of your funk. There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself while figuring out what’s causing your funk, but too much time spent alone can lead to over-thinking and isolation. Try to balance your time with yourself and with people you can be comfortable around. 

Mercury Retrograde?

 If you’re wondering what’s causing your funk and don’t have a clue why you’re feeling this way, it may just be that mercury retrograde is in effect. Mercury retrograde occurs about three times a year when the planet Mercury travels backwards. Mercury is known to rule communication, travel, news, and technology. That being said, many people believe that when mercury retrograde is happening, it impacts our experiences, such as mishaps, emotional breakdowns, illogical or foggy thinking, issues in communication, and other disruptive incidents. The predicted retrograde dates for 2024 are April 1st-24th, August 4th-2th, and November 25th-December 15th. So, it is important to pay close attention to when you may be experiencing these occurrences, for they may have to do with the retrograde period. During the Retrograde, you should take time to seek understanding, patience, reorganization, think before you act, and reflect on your past and future. If you want to learn more about how mercury retrograde affects you based on your astrological sign, you can read Mercury Retrograde and Zodiac Signs | Astrology | The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Whether your funk is triggered by unfortunate events or Mercury Retrograde is to blame, we’re not always going to feel 100%. It’s all part of the process of human development, especially as we’re experiencing adulthood for the first time. So, other than taking these steps, the best way to tackle your funk is to look at it as an exciting challenge while thinking about all of the things you are grateful for. Our mindset is what makes all the difference as we go through new and uncomfortable phases of life.

Zoie Aguiar is a writer for Her Campus at the University of Tampa. Her articles cover a variety of topics including wellness, lifestyle, work, academics, travel, fashion, gen-z culture and aesthetics. In addition to sharing relatable and credible content on these topics, Zoie aims to connect with others by spreading positivity. Her core values are: well-being, passion, integrity, peace and individuality. Zoie is a Junior studying Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. In her free time, she loves to cozy up in her bed and watch reality tv, take pictures, DIY, design, decorate, play volleyball and shop. Zoie loves to travel and explore new things. Her favorite places to be are the city, beach, and mall. She loves to express her personality and style through writing, art and fashion. Ultimately, Zoie loves to be creative and have fun!