DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way designed or intended to minimize the experiences of those who suffer from depression or anxiety or any other challenges. Please continue to see your therapist, take any medications, and continue your personal self-care practices. I understand how debilitating periods like this can be. I am simply sharing the things I did recently that helped me lift the fog. But know if you’re reading this and are managing depression, anxiety, or mental health challenges—I am praying for you. You are important to me, and I want you to survive.
When I look at this photo, I almost don’t believe that I spent the previous two days in bed. Not because I was sick.
I’ve been in my latest stint in therapy since Summer 2019–after finally opening up to a girlfriend about spending nearly a month in bed—with the only exceptions of church and commitments that would raise suspicion and questions I didn’t want to answer if I didn’t attend.
And the two days prior to me taking this photo felt just like that time period. I did not want these two days to turn into two weeks, a month, or longer (although it did extend a few days longer than I would have liked).
In 2017, my word of that year became “manage.” That year I was a relatively new full-time entrepreneur whose parents, in the span of 30 days, both had surgeries that required multi-week recoveries. Every day was an exercise in managing schedules, households, business, clients–and my expectations.
Since then, “manage” has been an attitude, practice, and even level of grace I’ve had to adopt as part of my life. And in this journey of addressing my mental and emotional health, I have had to use the word manage. For me, “manage” means that some days will be better than others. Some days it will be easier than others to write, record, engage, etc. Some days I need to do what I need to do to recharge and allow myself to feel what I’m feeling. And other days, I want and need to push myself a bit to get out of the funk.
Not for anything or anyone else—for me.
The day before this photo was taken, I decided to do something—anything—to help pull myself out of the funk. And I just wanted to share the small, simple, practical things I did. They aren’t rocket science or that deep, just practical. When you’re in a funk, simple things can seem complex or we forget about them. So I hope you’ll bookmark this so you can come back as you need.
I’ve adopted this from my dear friend, Pam. When I’m in my feelings, she says, “Ok, I’m going to let you be in your feelings until 12 noon tomorrow. Then we have to figure out where we go from here.” I dunno, something about giving my funk a deadline almost makes me snap out of quicker. I know all too well that suppressing and acting like things are ok is hard and sometimes makes things worse. So allow yourself to sit in the discomfort—but give it a deadline. And if you can’t—schedule an appointment with your therapist, spiritual counselor, or call a friend.
When feeling anxious and depressed, sometimes our breathing becomes more shallow. One of my goals for this year is to learn and utilize breathwork. I know we all understand that breathing is vital for life. But intentionally controlling and being aware of your breathing can increase oxygen to the brain and help reduce your blood pressure.
While employed at a church over 20 years ago, one of the pastors on staff taught about breath prayers. They are short prayers that you say on your exhale. When you’re in a funk or a depressive period, praying may be hard (it was hard for me). But simply taking a deep breath and saying, “Lord help” Is a complete prayer (Psalm 55:16-17). Compile a few breath prayers and store them in your phone or tablet. But the Lord will hear you and deliver you by just simply calling on His name (Psalm 50:15).
All I could say is “Lord help” before I finally got out of bed. Every time I felt myself wanting to crawl back under the covers, I said a breath prayer.
“Lord give me strength.”
“Lord empower me to keep moving.”
I said as many I needed as often as needed—and still do.
As soon as I got out of bed on the second day, I stripped myself and my bed and washed as much as I could. I washed my linens, towels, washcloths, clothes, etc. I believe our energy and emotions can be absorbed by fibers—just like smells. So I needed to reset my space. If you don’t have the fortitude to do it yourself, please enlist help. While things were washing, I took a long hot shower. I felt the fog I’d been in for the past two days begin to lift. I also went through my full skincare routine—including a sheet mask.
In my opinion, if you deal with anxiety, depression or have periods of being unmotivated or in a funk—routines are vital. Routines can put our brain and body on “auto pilot.” Yes, it is “going through the motions”—but routines can also trigger something to help you move through the funk. Even if it’s just your getting ready routine, try to use routines to help you move through a difficult or funky period.
Lighting candles is part of my normal morning routine. But when I’m in a funk, candles and aromatherapy help to reset the atmosphere and trigger my brain to who I am and what I love. It’s also important to let natural light into your space. Vitamin D from natural sunlight is a mood booster. This is why we sometimes get the “winter blues,” because the sun isn’t out as much or for as long. I have huge window with an amazing view that I didn’t open for almost two days. So after I got out of the shower, I opened the shades and let the sunshine in! If you don’t have much natural light in your home, try to go outside for 5-15 minutes for a Vitamin D boost. Also consider a sunlight lamp for light therapy. There are several highly rated ones on Amazon to select from including this one featured on Shark Tank (affiliate link).
Sights, sounds, and smells impact our moods, trigger reactions and behaviors, and can help us move toward a better place when we use them when feeling in a funk.
Beyoncé. Celine Dion. Biggie. Maroon 5.
Or D. All of the above.
Psychology suggests that music can be a powerful trigger. Studies suggest that if you listen to 5-10 songs you can boost your immune system and reduce depressive feelings by 80%. Use this to your advantage to help move through a funk.
I have a “Wo-man This is Hype” Playlist that I love! And for the past few months, I’ve been listening to Beyoncé Homecoming album (do they still call them that or am I dating myself?) for almost everything—writing, driving, dancing, hanging with friends, etc.
Dance and movement have numerous heath benefits including boosting memory, increasing flexibility, and diminishing depressive feelings.
So take that playlist and milly rock, two step, or running man (I’m totally dating myself with this one) yourself through a funk.
I danced while getting dressed and that shot of endorphins and good hormones did a sister good.
For me, accountability and vulnerability is an important component to my moving out of a funky, depressive period. I had pretty much been off the grid for those two days—not even talking to my mom (who I talk to daily, sometimes multiple times a day). So the first thing I did was respond to text messages that went unanswered and put “I’ve been in the bed for two days” in the group chat with my dearest friends. They asked what they could do, and I responded, “nothing really. I’m just doing this to not continue in isolation.”
After I sent that text, my best friend called and said, “I’m near your house and I’m coming to get you.” Now we don’t talk much on the phone—we text and talk in person. But I hadn’t even text him in about a day and a half and here he was calling me. #friendsbeknowing So we hung for a couple of hours and that helped tremendously.
This was one of the last things I did because I wanted to be on the move out of this funky period. However, I recommend doing this earlier in your funky period. Think of and try to communicate what you need from them in this period—support, presence, or actual help.
And of course, if you’re seeing a counselor or therapist, this is something to communicate and unpack with them. They may be able to help you recognize patterns or triggers that you can then try to manage.
When you’re in a funk, it can be hard to do even smaller things that can help you move out of that place. I hope you will tuck these gentle, loving reminders in your arsenal for the next time you are in this place.
I’d love to hear what you do that helps you get out of a funk.
Adeea R. Rogers, known as The Trendy Socialite, believes her calling is to help empower others to develop and pursue their purpose. And as a result, she is known as “The Purpose Pusher.” Adeea seeks to equip others with the motivation and tools necessary to create and design the life they want. Adeea believes in creating the change you want to see through creating events, communities and movements. She created International Natural Hair Meetup Day (INHMD), giving women around the world the opportunity to guide each other in their natural hair journeys. In July 2015, she co-founded Black Biz Live, a community-based initiative where black owned businesses are featured on livestream platforms. Adeea’s perspective on living a purposeful life, personal branding tips, and content marketing ideas, cause her to be a sought-after event host, workshop facilitator, speaker and panelist. She also hosts a podcast, The Trendsetters Podcast. Adeea has a profound love for three things: Her Savior, Jesus Christ, Starbucks, and Statement Jewelry.