I am experiencing a bad week. Not just a bad day but a Funked. Out. Week. For the past few days I have been stuck inside my own head swarmed by negative thoughts that have sparked extreme emotions. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted. Yet, I have come to realise that I am not alone.
I think that as artists we are so connected to our feelings and emotions that sometimes they get the better of us. We easily become overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions that are often triggered by the world around us. For example, on a daily basis we strive for acceptance from others, everyday we are constantly reminded that our bank accounts remain at low levels yet we work rigorous hours on our creativity. When we already work and live for an industry that is often times deemed as abnormal, we strive to rein in our feelings to be as ‘normal’ as possible.
But after awhile that build up ends up exploding, and in comes a bad day.
I am writing to remind you, and really myself, that everyone faces bad days. Bad days do not discriminate against age, race, gender, occupation, religious beliefs, etc. They just exist. Bad days are those times when nothing seems to go right: it’s a chore to get out of bed in the morning, or creativity is a struggle and ultimately the weight of the world is pounding down on the soul.
In the hopes to help others who are seeking ways to overcome their own bad days, I would like to share some steps that I turn to that help me bounce back. Please note, I am by no means an expert in any of these tips nor do I claim to know or understand the science behind these steps:
1.) Acknowledging the bad day. As many counselors have reminded me during my experiences, bad days are healthy. They keep us balanced, and bad days give me an excuse to be more grateful for the good days when they come up. When I acknowledge that I am having a bad day I am actually taking a step toward a solution. As Dory from Finding Nemo says, ‘just keep swimming!’
2.) Remember that I am not alone. Everyone has bad days. I am not abnormal for feeling down and overwhelmed by doubt, fear, hurt or anger. I am normal and I am human.
3.) Accept a change in my routine. If getting out of bed in the morning feels like a chore to me, then work with it. Maybe this is the universe’s way of saying I need some rest. If I take some time to figure out how I can get through the day by staying in bed then do it! Similarly, if my daily go-to creative activity isn’t working smoothly, try a different creative outlet. Because I do a lot of my writing straight on my computer, I find that when I write in a journal with a pen in hand and simply write my thoughts, no matter how illogical they may be, it clears my head. I feel so much better after 10 minutes dumping a pure unconscious streaming of writing.
4.) Talk about the day with someone. I have a tendency to bottle up my thoughts and emotions and not share them with others. This trait frustrates my partner immensely! He simply wants to help but can’t do anything until I take action by talking to him about the issues. I constantly fight against bottling up my emotions and thoughts. I find then once I let it out by talking, I feel 85% better than I did before. Likewise, I call my best friend from the US. I know that she is there for me through thick and thin just as much as I am for her. I am confident that she and my partner do not judge, they do not criticise and they do not turn me away. Additionally, I’ve discovered that more times than not either my partner or my bestie is also having a bad day and we end up facing the day together J
While these are just a few tricks that I use, there are plenty more to help conquer those bad days. I thought that if I open up to my readers by sharing my experiences it might help spark an important conversation. It is important for us to be honest with ourselves and with each other because it’s the first step in building long-term relationships with our audiences. Please feel free and safe to share your story by answering what helps you get out of a funk? I believe that by sharing we can continue our creative contributions to society together.