How To Break The Funkby Surmayee Tetarbe on Oct, 29 2012
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and we’re all hitting that point in the semester. Come on, you all know what I’m talking about… that point you reach juuuuuust over halfway through where you look around, bored and tired of the routine and tedium your life has become. Personally, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve stopped being able to differentiate between different days of the week. Looking back on them, I forget the details. Small things, like what food I had, who I met, what I did. All I remember is going to class, coming home, going to a meeting, eating something, meeting someone, doing homework till my contacts started drying out and then going to sleep. And then starting it all over again the next morning.
It sucks, and that’s putting it a little too nicely. You’re not motivated and all you see is the long weekend coming up and Thanksgiving break just around the corner. If you were a poor unfortunate soul like me, your Halloweekend was ruined by the inevitable midterm they placed so perfectly to make sure the only scares you’re getting are from the class material you realize you don’t understand the night before a midterm. So these last few nights, while everyone else was getting ready in their ridiculous and awesome Halloween costumes , anticipating the weekend, I was getting up close and personal with thermodynamics and Taylor Swift (or this).
No joke, I sat up on the roof of my building, alone, listening to her newest album for a good 45 minutes. And that, my friends, is how you know you’ve hit rock bottom. Alone time is one thing; that much alone time listening to depressing songs about heartbreak is another. While I appreciated the fact that the night was beautiful, I had had enough. Enough of this feeling wavering between discontent and content. When your life can be summed up into the word ‘meh’, you have a problem on your hands. And while I cant assure you that at the end of this article, after trying the things I propose, it’ll all be fixed, I can tell you that you’ll feel a lot better.
- 1. Change Your Routine
Always study in Bechtel? Obsessed with the North Reading Room? Can’t get enough of Café Milano? Tired of your favorite study locations? Change it up. You’d be surprised at how detrimental your favorite spots can be when you’re in a funk. They go from inspiring you to work and motivating you to making you restless and bored. Move to a different place, give your favorites a break and you’ll appreciate them that much more after.
- 2. Do Something Different
This one terrifies me because it involves getting out of your comfort zone. There are a dozen different thingsgoing on in Berkeley at any given point in the day. So just go to something you’ve been planning (or not planning) to attend. Take a class at RSF in Afro Cuban Jazz, ask someone out on a date, drag a friend to that giant social for that one club you’re kind-of-but-not-really involved with. Just do something, anything that you wouldn’t normally do.
- 3. Don’t Isolate Yourself
Like I said, alone time is one thing, alone time being sad and moody is another (even if TSwift released the perfect album for this kind of night). Everyone needs quality time alone, but when you’re worried and stressed, take the saying ‘misery loves company’ to heart, and go whine to a friend. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to whine back. Then your hearts can sing as you agree to go to Yogurtland and drown your sorrows in flavored yogurt and endless toppings (it’s yogurt so it must be healthy, right?!)
- 4. Do What You Love
Something I really miss is being able to read for fun. There were days in high school that I would just snuggle up with a great read and get absorbed in that world for hours on end. I felt like I never had enough time to do that here. And I don’t, but half an hour here and there dedicated to something other than homework made the world of difference. Don’t underestimate how important your enjoyment of activities is. If you adore knitting scarves for the homeless, take some time out in your week to do it. If you’re a huge foodie, hunt down the next great food adventure and do it. The time you take out will be well worth the extra hour you spend on schoolwork.
- 5. Get Active
It’s so easy to fall into this whole, “I need to study so I can’t move from my spot all day” thing, but seriously, get up and take a walk. Your legs were not made to remain stationary while you pour over books for hours on end. Get that blood flowing and do something active. Plus, tell yourself the endorphins from the active lifestyle will make you happier… it’s probably true but convincing yourself of that makes the effect even stronger, I swear!
Now, if I were a self-help book, I’d tell you to make a list of things that you want to get done and put it up somewhere prominent in your room. Or I’d tell you to write down your motivations and reflect on how everything you do relates to these motivations. But in case it wasn’t apparent, I am by no means at all a self-help book. I’m just another student, stuck in the mid-semester rut, looking for a way out. It’s a kind of thing that really only you can fix, but these things were a start for me. And really, all it takes is one thing to change everything.
So go listen to some loud, energetic music (yes, this once no one will judge you for knowing all the lyrics to every single Top 40 song out there) and run around Memorial Glade if your heart so desires. Just do something out of the ordinary, and I swear it’ll make the funk that much easier to break.