How to be Funk Free
It’s like there’s a mood shift when the countdown begins when I have to go back to school from a long break. I enjoy my job, but not getting up late, not drinking hot coffee, and not going to the bathroom whenever I was want would put anyone in a funk.
But what is a funk? And how can we get out of a funk faster?
A funk is a mild depression. You are experiencing a chemical imbalance but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Plus, there is an explanation of why you are feeling like this which can help us get out of the funk. There will be circumstances where you will need medical attention but don’t feel ashamed to seek help.
When I get into a funk, I don’t want to do adult things but how can we change this for this happens the next time?
The first that you should understand is that you are in control. By recognizing your feelings, you will be able to step out of your funk and move into back into a “normal” phase.
There’s a difference between being happy versus being unhappy. We can get into bad moods or be in unpleasant situations but you won’t be able to understand happiness unless you know unhappiness. They go hand and hand together. Those who understand the unhappy dark side are a little bit more aware of their emotions and will actually benefit from this.
There are five difference chemicals that helps with your moods; serotonin, dopamine, testosterone, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Serotonin is that feeling of calm.
It helps us feel in a state of balance. One of the best ways to get your serotonin when you’re lacking it is to recall your happiest moment or taking a deep breathe. You have you physically calm yourself down by being still. Positive reminiscing, writing in a journal, or scrolling in your camera roll can make you feel better. I know, scrolling through your camera roll, how can that help? Sometimes cleaning it out makes me feel so better because I feel calm after.
Dopamine is the feeling of pleasure.
It’s a neural transmitter. It’s an emotional response for then you receive a gift or a reward. When you are not having the dopamine responses, you can actually fall into a funk but there are so many ways you can boost your levels. Creating a bucket list and crossing off something can create dopamine. Another great way to get that dopamine level up is to make plans doing fun things.
Testosterone. Wait, I’m a lady. So, it is in charge of the feeling of power.
If you’re feeling powerless, this could be caused by a lack of testosterone. It can also cause a lack of sleep and effect your relationships. Your body should regulate testosterone and if you are feeling like you can’t get out of bed, I would suggest you head to your doctors to seek medical help.
Oxytocin is the feeling of love!
I know mushy but the best way to tap into this is to reach out to your support system. The moment you are in a bad mood, you need to find someone who supports you. Simple hugs, some who can listen, or someone who can give you that warm and fuzzy feeling and a sense of belonging. For me, I just ask my hubby for a great big hug. Anxiety blankets also help because it’s like a hug. Oxytocin is great when you feel like you are spinning. It’s actually consider as the cuddle hormones.
Endorphins are the feelings of excitement and our body release these little guys naturally whether it’s a response for pain or stress.
Strange, right? Walking or moving can create endorphins. Some even say eating chocolate or chili peppers can help. Even dancing around like a fool can make endorphins. Moving around will help. Plus, you can get a two for one! By calling up a friend and going on a walk can increase both oxytocin and endorphins. Win, win!
It’s super important to understand the scientific because it makes me not feel alone and I feel like it’s something that I can handle. You need all five to not feel like you’re in a funk and if you are feeling like you’re in a funk, it means one or more of the hormones needs a boost.
I love my job. But when I have to go back to school from a long break, I truly do get into a funk. It’s not my students, colleagues, or one person to blame this on except the fact that it’s the feeling. Teaching is a lot. I don’t care how seasoned you are or how new, you are constantly thinking so many things at once. I struggle with the high level of stress which means that I almost became a statistic of becoming a burnt-out teacher. I was that person who was always a positive light on social media but it became extremely toxic. It was overwhelming to be that type of teacher all the time and I just can’t. When you are constantly putting yourself in that stage of stress, you are not giving yourself a break from the stress hormones cortisol. By watching other people’s Instagram about teaching has made some slip into this state of “keeping up with the Jones” for the teacher world. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay not to always be in that teacher space and you shouldn’t feel guilty that you might not feel happy about returning to work. We need to stop saying that you’re not a good teacher for having feelings. I have no idea where we got the idea that we can pass judgement when it comes to sharing our feelings but it needs to stop.
Here’s the thing. I am a teacher. I am a GOOD teacher. I enjoy teaching. I also was so involved with it in such a high level that I wanted to leave the profession. If we don’t share our feelings and accept that it’s okay for teacher to have funks, there’s going to be more who are going to leave the classroom.
The message I want you to understand is that it’s not okay to judge others because you don’t know their circumstances.
When I decided to step away from Meg Crayons and become Meg Slope, it was because I wanted to share other content that was outside of the classroom. Even though I made this choice for myself to protect my mental health, I had to hear other educators tell me their opinions and say that I’m awful just because of a name change. This basically told me that they don’t care about me as a human.
We as a community as educators are always quick to do what’s best for our students but not for ourselves.
What’s up with that? For some reason, there’s so much judgement for taking a personal day and to other’s eyes, it comes across as being selfish. There’s just so much negativity for wanting to take care of ourselves but we have to remember that we are human. We are not super heroes. That’s okay! We are not opted out of emotions just because we are teachers. If we share our feelings to connect, there is still a lot of negative judgement and pushback. By me posting a positive story about my classroom is basically me being asked to not accept my funk but instead post something happy and provide you false advertising. Isn’t there something wrong with that?
If you’re in a funk, don’t worry about it because it’s normal. You don’t have to hide it because it’s not a bad thing and you didn’t commit a crime. You just have emotions.
Dear teacher, no matter what stage you are in your teaching career, it’s okay to be in a funk. Stop being so hard on yourself and let’s stop judging others.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!