Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up in a funk? You feel grumpy for no reason and you feel increasingly irritable with every small inconvenience you encounter? I experienced this recently. It was a Monday. I didn’t sleep well the night before. I had made the decision to give up caffeine and it was my first day without my morning cup of coffee. It was cloudy all day, I  slammed my fingers in my front door, my dog kept wrapping me up in his leash and I ran into several roadblocks while trying to accomplish administrative tasks. It was a collection of minor challenges that I just didn’t have the patience for that day.

Once you get stuck in a funk it can be hard to shift out of it, but it is possible. Next time you feel grumpy give these a shot and see how you feel.

Change your Environment

If possible, leave your current environment for a bit. Go outside, go to a coffee shop, wander around your favorite store or park. If it’s not possible for you to leave your home or office, try making some minor changes to the environment you’re already in. Open the blinds or windows, light a candle, move to a different room. Turn on some music that matches the mood you’re trying to get too. When you feel grumpy it can be hard to muster the motivation to do anything, but even a small change in environment can shift your mood. 


If you have time for a full exercise session, great! If not, even just a few minutes of moving your body can give your battery a jump. Walk around the block, stretch for five minutes, or do ten pushups or jumping jacks. 

Reset your Body

Resetting your body for the day can be helpful. Here are some ways you can do that: take a shower, change your clothes, do your hair and makeup. Dress yourself to match the mood you’re aiming for. If you want to boost your energy and have a productive work day, dress like it (even if you can work from home in your pajamas). 

Call a Friend

Interacting with someone outside your immediate sphere can help shift your perspective. Pick up the phone and give a friend or family member a call (don’t just text!). When we feel down in the dumps it can be easy to spend the whole conversation venting about our own problems. Sometimes venting to a trusted person is helpful, but if you’re trying to get out of a funk it can be counterproductive. Instead, try expressing curiosity about their life. Ask what they’ve been up to and what they’re looking forward to. Try to spend at least half of the conversation focusing on the other person. Notice how you feel before, during, and after you chat.

Let go of the Struggle

As we teach in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT),  it’s impossible to completely avoid unpleasant thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. As long as you’re a human participating in life you’re going to feel unpleasant sometimes. Rather than focusing all your time and energy on trying to get rid of the discomfort, try noticing your thoughts and feelings and letting them be. Normalize having an off day. Try a few things that might help you feel better and accept that you’re going to feel off sometimes. Try to avoid drawing any larger conclusions about yourself or your situation from one difficult day. Sometimes the less you fight against the funk, the quicker it will pass.

If you’re stuck in a funk for a few weeks or more it may be helpful to get support from a therapist. I specialize in helping high-performing adults lean into meaningful, values driven-lives. Schedule a free consultation to see if we are a good match.

This blog post isn’t intended as professional counseling or clinical advice. If you’re in need of support, please consider speaking to a professional to be evaluated.