[I template=”12″ link=”084a9″ via=”yes” ]“When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” — Dr. Seuss[/ctt]
I am in a slump. I’ve hit a rut and I’m looking for ways to get out of the slump, but I’m so deep in it the whole worlds gone beige. I have been here for nearly 2 weeks now.
Getting in the slump is not something I’m unfamiliar with. I have been here more times than I can count or would like to admit in my lifetime.
I have been through slumps that felt like they were going to last forever. Slumps that I thought I was never going to be able to get out of.
If you’ve been in a slump before, you’ll know how disempowering it feels. It feels as if you are stuck and you can’t seem to get anything done. You feel like a failure and like you have nothing to offer. How do you get out of the slump?
This past 2 weeks like previous slumps has been felt gross and messy.
When I’m not hunched over my phone, mindlessly scrolling my way through Facebook or Instagram feed that never seemed to change, I was binge eating anything (and everything) I could get my hands on – desparately trying to keep myself distracted from everything productive I had planned and failed to do.
So Saturday night, I decided I needed to do something to snap myself out of it and put aside an hour or two to get myself feeling motivated and productive again. The things I did are really simple.
We all have our ups and downs. And while it’s great to prevent having a slump in the first place, it’s also good to know what to do when one happen – because they do happen. Way more than we’d like.
So in this post I’m sharing the step-by-step process I go through to get out of the slump.
I hope you find it helpful!
9 Ways To Get Out Of The Slump
1. Acknowledge and Accep It.
A slump is not different from any other problem or obstacle or emotional blackout in life–you can’t simply stick your head in the sand and deny that it doesn’t exists.
Admitting that you feel really low right now is a good place to start.
Once I acknowledge that such a thing as being in a slump exists like every other problem I face, it becomes easy for me to accept that this is what is happening to me.
And so I say things like:
“ This happens and there is no getting around it.” “But it won’t last forever.” “I feel like a failure but I know I will get better.”
“I feel like I’ve wasted my life and I’ve nothing to offer my generations, but that’s a lie. Things will come around and I’ll understand better.” “This too, just like everything else shall pass.” And it will…
This is usually a mental exercise.
2. Be open and talk about.
Personally I don’t do this. I’ve never been the person who readily open up to others about my struggles. Since this is something I’m still learning to do. It will be difficult getting myself to open up to anyone about it which will only make me stay longer in the slump. So I usually skip this step.
But why am I advising you to do something I don’t do?
Because I figured people are different.
And if you have someone in your life with the same drama and who understands, please feel free to open up to them.
3. Do something that Feeds or Excites Your Mind..
I usually don’t do any reading at this point.
I just listen to a podcast (motivational, inspirational or ‘pick-me-up’), or watch some motivational videos or play music and dance to it– the kind of dance that makes you sweat and breathing hard.
Doing this alone always solve the problem and gets me back alive.
But if it doesn’t, I move to the next one.
4. Raise your energy level.
When you are feeling down, you need to do things that are going to raise your energy level.
The old adage “Move a muscle, change a thought” is certainly true.
Go for a walk or run. Do a quick workout. Do a few pushups. Do anything that is going to get you out of yourself for a few minutes and get your blood flowing.
With the music, podcast or video still playing in the background, I do some reflective thinking.
First: I reflect on the previous week or month.
When you are in a slump, the activities of the week or month leading to it always play a lead role.
I write through this process. So I pick my notebook and begin writing everything that comes to mind about how, where and on what I spent my energy on and how this was making me feel.
I do this without censoring.
During this process, it is important not to go into the victim mentality or blame anyone else in your life.
Keep this braindump process focused on yourself, around actions you did or didn’t take and the feelings that drove those actions.
Often, our feelings come from what or how we think about our circumstances so it is really important that you do not convince yourself that your day, week or month would have been better if someone in your life had done something differently.
Focus only on the things that are in your control.
This helps me discover what I did wrong or didn’t do so that I can plan for or do it differently.
Second thing I do during this reflective thinking is to turn to my coaching session notebook or notes I take when I listen to podcast, read books or watch videos that helps address my current state or findings.
I read through them to help boost my motivation or find a new way of taking care of the findings I made earlier on.
6. Shock your system and Create a To-do list for the coming week or month.
From the previous steps, I have realized how I got myself into the slump and I’ve reminded myself of a couple of things that always get me feelling motivated and productive, at this point I start to plan the week ahead.
And this is my favourite part because I LOVE planning!
Sometimes my planning may require changing everything up. Or just changing one big thing to shock my system.
Many times slumps come from getting in a rut and then they slowly get worse as you get more and more comfortable in that rut (even though you gradually feel worse and worse).
So you need to do something to shock your system into action.
Are you a night-owl like me? Try going go bed early and waking up early for a week.
Are you a super serious person who rarely finds things hilarious? Make laughter a priority for a few days.
Always online and on your phone? Try a digital detox.
Always indoors and isolated from people? Try taking walks, visiting a friend, going out to socialise with people or be in the company of your loved ones.
Change up your routine.
Plan the coming week or month.
If you are not a planner or the planning process just freaks you out, here is a simplified version of my planning process to help:
Brain Dump all your key activities and events for the coming week or month.
— get a notebook or your planner and write down all your activities for the coming week.
At this point don’t filter your thoughts or try to put down only ‘productive’ activities.
Write the unproductive activities too like watching movies, hanging out with friends, playing with your little ones, chatting away time, etc.
Put it all in your calendar.
— Putting your to do list in your calendar is the best way to keep from getting overwhelmed.
— Don’t block out every minute/hour of the day. Leave some blocks of time aside to finish incomplete or unfinished tasks.
Do it. Begin doing the things on your calendar. Starting from tasks that are easy and moving upwards, so it makes it easy for you to win your day.
7. Thank it. Everything in life is a lesson; it’s just up to you to see it that way.
What can be learned from this slump? What is it telling you? How is it helping you to change? As hard as it might be, be thankful for this experience. Be thankful for the lessons it is teaching you.
In the words of writer Haruki Murakami,
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
8. Help Someone else.
I can’t tell you how immensely happy writing this post has left me. I’m happy I have the opportunity to help another person who might be in the same or worst situation get better.
One of the best ways to change your entire mood is to help someone else. It’s quite possibly the most effective (and gratifying) way to truly get out of yourself and give back.
Finally, I’ll like to say be grateful.
See, when you are down there, it’s difficult to think of any good thing that has happened or currently happening in your life. It’s hard to even remember the kindness that was shown to you or the unexpected blessings. I get it.
Get a notebook and write down 3 good things that had happened in your life.
Or 3 bad things that would have happened if someone( whoever you can think of) didn’t show up or help in someway or if your plans didn’t work out.
Of you feel the need to keep adding to your gratitude list, why stop? That’s a sign that something is happening inside you.
When you are in the slump, it can be hard to get out or even think straight. But when you do decide to get out of the slump, I hope you find this post helpful.
This is what I do personally to get myself out of the slump. And I use it too to prevent it from happening in the future.
It is not an all-or-nothing list. When you find that it’s just 2 or 3 or 4 that worked for you, stick with it and you’ll be fine.
What do you do to get out of the slump? I’ll sincerely love to hear from you in the comments.
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