3 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Funk

When life knocks you down, how do you get back up?

It’s a given that life will do its best to knock us down, but it’s not a given that we will get back up. Look around and you’ll see person after person with wasted dreams and anger lines etched deep into their brows.

These people weren’t born that way. Something happened. Something that was too much for them to handle. And so they threw up their hands and gave in to the life they were dealt. No longer trying to overcome their obstacles, they succumbed to a life of resignation. They didn’t get back up.

I don’t want to do that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to judge a single soul. For all I know, if I had to face certain obstacles, I would be in the same, hopeless boat. But I hope not. I’d like to think I would still choose hope.

Just to give myself a little credibility here, I want to be clear. My life is good. I have a great husband, three amazing kids, and a peaceful home. I have great family and friends to call on.

BUT. My good life just so happens to be in spite of a few things.

For one thing, I have multiple sclerosis. For those of you who don’t know, this is an incurable autoimmune condition that effects the nervous system. And guess what the nervous system is responsible for…? Yep, everything! Symptoms come and go, but you never know what you’re going to get.

Numbness and tingling on a toe, a leg, or the whole body. Spasms in a hand, a leg, or the entire left side of your body. Double vision. Virtually any function of the body can be affected because of the way MS works: it interrupts your nerve signals, which in turn causes your body to do some pretty crazy, disruptive things.

So yes, I have a good life. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering what the future will hold. Maybe we should take an amazing vacation this year because—what if I’m unable to travel next year? I should do everything I’m capable of doing now, because—what if this or that thing happens? Even if I’m doing my best to stay in good health and know that, for now, these are pretty irrational thoughts, it doesn’t stop them from taunting me.

For another thing, after my husband and I got married 14 years ago, we went through some hard stuff with lasting effects. His mom’s death for one. Yes, everybody deals with death, I get it. But this was different than most. After suffering a brain aneurysm in a location that had never been successfully operated on, my mother-in-law’s amazing neurosurgeon (https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/lanzino-giuseppe-m-d/bio-20055067 ) pulled it off. He fixed her. After weeks of riding a life or death roller coaster, she was finally going to be okay.

Then some weeks later, the day before she was supposed to come home from the hospital, a nurse (who was supposed to be holding onto her) left her side for a moment, and she fell. After what we all thought to be a miraculous recovery, she hit her head and that was the end.

Legal and family drama ensued, and my father-in-law’s dementia rapidly progressed into Alzheimer’s which took his life a few years ago.

Those are just a couple examples to demonstrate that my family and I are not foreign to dealing with tough stuff. My street cred, if you will (ha!).

But you know what? Everybody is dealing with tough stuff. There’s not a single person I’ve ever gotten to know who is not dealing with something hard. Everybody’s tough stuff looks different, but it’s tough nonetheless. It’s enough to make us lose sleep, be in foul moods, and treat each other unkindly as we all stumble through our days trying to appear “fine.”

So how do we pull ourselves out of these tough spots? Mentally, I mean. Sometimes we can’t change our circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we have to submit to a bitter life. We can do better than that. We can set the bar higher for the world to see.

Here are three ways to pull yourself out of a funk. They’ve worked for me. I hope they work for you, too.

First, it’s pointless to try to do it alone. We were never meant to carry our burdens alone. Jesus makes this offer to us in Matthew 11:28, 30: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Give him your burdens. Holding onto them alone is only going to cripple you in the end.

And after you’ve given your burdens to Jesus, find a friend or family member who truly cares, and let them help you. “Oh, I don’t want to worry them. They’re not responsible for my burdens,” you may be saying. Stop it! The people in your life who love you are probably more than willing to help. Let them. Letting others help isn’t a sign weakness, it’s a sign that you’re human, which, guess what—people already know! Let others help and then be willing to help others when you’re in a better place.

Second, engage with God. Don’t just hand over your burdens and walk away. Let him be a moment-by-moment part of your day. Talk. Listen. Be still. Let it be a relationship that grows deeper by the hour as you learn to lean on him and trust him. He’s a good, good Father. Really, he is.

Third, find a thing. Something you can turn to in the busyness of your day that will pump some inspiration into your system. My thing is music. Whether I’m bustling around the house homeschooling and doing chores or whether I’m sick in bed and can barely move, worship music is there to speak truth to my weary soul. (Lauren Daigle in particular – can’t get enough of her albums!) Some days inspiring music makes all the difference in my attitude toward life and trials.

Trials will come. But if we let Jesus carry our loads, partner up with God and other people, and find a way to regularly remind ourselves of the hope God gives us, we’ll be well on our way to overcoming any situation this world might throw at us next.

Leave me a comment and let me know your strategies for overcoming difficulties – I’d love to hear from you! And feel free to drop me your email address in the “subscribe” box so you can receive future blog posts delivered straight to you! Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “3 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Funk

  1. Hey, Jessie. When it comes to struggling through tough times, all the things you mentioned are spot on. The key is whether we’re willing to do those things. I’ve discovered it is sometimes hard to motivate myself to action. That’s why point 1 is crucial. When times are good I nourish good relationships so that when tough times come they’ll motivate me.
    I have to have a lifeline while my head is above water. Otherwise I’m already drowning.

    1. Absolutely agree. It can be super hard to stay motivated to do these things, especially when you’re spent from dealing with everything. But it’s the only lasting solution I’ve found, even when it’s hard! And yes, that’s why a support system is so crucial! 🙂

  2. Hey Jessie,
    Awesome post. I do all three you listed. I love music, too. What helps me is staying in an attitude of gratitude. I give thanks to God for everything, from small to large. There is always something to be thankful for, even when we go through hard times.
    Thank you for telling us your story. Take care!


    1. Thanks Christina! 🙂 I agree, being actively thankful helps a LOT — I should add that to my list!!

  3. Yes, music – especially Lauren Daigle – helps me every day. When I really need a boost I sing just a bit louder than usual. I love your tips! I tend to go inside myself, but I know I shouldn’t. I guess I think others will think I’m complaining and I have no need to, given my many blessings. If nothing else, though, I know I have Jesus and music.

    1. Thanks Nicole! Yes, I think somehow we’ve been conditioned to try to go it alone before asking for help, but I hope we can break past that for all of our sakes! And I always love to find a fellow Lauren Daigle fan! Her stuff is so powerful.

  4. Hi Jessie, you offered some great ideas for getting through the tough times. Much needed encouragement, thank you! You are right, each person’s suffering and difficulties are real and really hurt. Sometimes we need a little reminder to readjust our vision through something like music. Music and praise helps me, too. May God send you the songs you need just when you need them. Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Melissa! Isn’t it wonderful the power worship music has on us? Have a great night! 🙂

  5. Such a powerful post, thank you.
    My own disability (rheumatoid arthritis) also gives me a few surprises, rather like a painful lucky dip!
    Making the most of each day, trying to keep faithful.

    1. Thank you, Kevin! I’m sure RA is an extremely difficult journey. Keep being faithful and God will do the same! 🙂

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