Life is a series of ups and downs but sometimes we get caught in a cycle of the “downs” or a slump. You’re fatigued, irritated, unmotivated and/or unhappy. You’re not yourself and you may not completely know why you’re in this state but you know you need to get out of it. It happens to all of us but it doesn’t have to stay like that. There’s plenty of really easy things you can do to get you out of your slump:
- Take responsibility
First step is taking responsibility for your situation. Acknowledge that you’re in a slump and make the conscious decision to get out of it. We often times want to blame the world or others for our circumstances, and although you may have had some misfortunes lately, that’s not the cause of your ongoing slump. Your slump is all mental and that’s something you can change. You have complete control over your emotions, mood and state of mind and realizing that is essential. You are the only one who has the power to get yourself out of this mindset so why wait!
- Plan some time for yourself
Set aside some time for yourself to relax and reflect. Understand your current state of mind and why you are feeling this way. I find the best way to do this is through meditation. It’s easy to distract yourself from the fact that you’re not 100% by constantly being around other people or binge watching Netflix. Ignoring the issue unfortunately won’t make it disappear. It’s important to take some “me” time away from the distractions to really get a clear understanding of yourself and your mindset. Once you understand it, you can conquer it.
- Practice gratitude
I am a huge advocate for practicing gratitude. It will improve your mood, mindset and situation dramatically. It’s essential to take the time to appreciate the things in your life and how far you have come. Even in your slump, there are endless things to be thankful for. Life is balance, yin and yang. There is some good in every bad situation – you just have to look for it. One simple way to work on gratitude is to write down 10 things you are grateful for every morning. Check out my post that discusses other ways to implement gratitude in everyday life.
Studies have shown that exercise not only improves your physical health but your mental health as well. It boosts your mood and gives you more energy throughout the day. And of course the physical results are mood boosting on their own – who doesn’t want to look good! Even if you’re not a gym person, there are great alternatives and at home workouts.
- Eat healthy
Eating healthy is another one of those double bonuses for your body and your mind. When you are getting the proper vitamins you feel energized and upbeat. Vitamin deficiencies such as a lack of omega-3, zinc, vitamin D, or iron have been known to cause depressed moods. Unfortunately, most of us do not get all the nutrients we need. Try to implement more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet and avoid fatty processed foods which only suppress your mood more. Also, a good way to ensure your meeting your vitamin needs is by taking a multivitamin.
- Make a to-do list
Many times the cause of our slump is being overwhelmed with too much to do. The anxiety can be absolutely debilitating. Organization can release a lot of this anxiety and help you start to tackle the things you need to. Make a list of all the things that need to be done and organize them by urgency. Then tackle them one at a time, crossing them off as you go. There is something so satisfying about being able to check or cross things off a list. Every time you cross off an item, you can feel the anxiety lessening.
- Talk to friends and family
Sometimes we think we are the only ones feeling this way therefore we don’t think it’s helpful to talk to anyone about it. Or sometimes it’s just that we think we are being strong by hiding our struggles from others. The truth is it takes courage to open up to someone and show your vulnerability but when you do, it can be so beneficial. You don’t have to go through your slump alone and you shouldn’t. We are social creatures for a reason. Although we may not all have the same reasons, everyone has been in a slump. Talking to friends and family about the issues you’re dealing with can be a huge help. Just having a person to vent to can make you feel 100 times better. There are people out there who care about you and want to see you up again.
- Reflect on a time when you were successful
You may be in a slump now but you haven’t always been. Something what helps me get my confidence and my “mojo” back is reflecting on times where I was successful. Maybe you crushed a project or presentation at work one time. Maybe you use to play sports and you sunk the game winning shot. Maybe you nailed an interview and got the job you wanted. Maybe you tried a new recipe and it turned out awesome. It could be anything, just think of a time when you were proud of yourself and reflect on how it made you feel. Reminiscing on that feeling of success can inspire and motivate you to get that feeling back again.
- Make a change
I find that a lot of times I just need some type of change to get me out of my slump. I get bored of too much of the same routine for too long. I’ll find myself down in a slump with really no reason to be and usually it’s because I am just yearning for a little something different. Experiment with some different changes in your life and see how you feel. You might need a significant change to revive you such as a new job, but often times you just need a little modification. Try to change up your style or hair. Maybe feng shui your apartment or take a different route to work. Try a new hobby or go out and meet some new people. A little adjustment can go a long way.
- Write a list of aspirations
Write a list of your goals and aspirations. I can find myself in a slump when I lose sight of what I am working towards. What do you want to achieve in the life or even just the next month? What are some things you want to try or some places you want to go? They don’t all have to be life-altering aspirations either. Just some things you want out of life. Once you have a list of some goals, go through each one and write out the steps you need to take to get there. For example, if your goal is to try surfing the first step is probably to plan a trip to an ocean, unless you live close to one. To do this you probably need to start saving money. To do that you may need to make a budget and/or cut down on some unnecessary spending. Go step by step for each of your goals you’ll be on your way to getting back on track.
- Find a creative outlet
Even though you may not think so, we truly all have some creativity in us waiting to be expressed. Creative expression is something that is embraced as a child and slowly taken away from us as we grow older. Get back to your carefree child-like nature and find an outlet to express yourself. Many therapies involve this type of practice. There are a million ways to do it – painting, drawing, dancing, writing, cooking, photography, and the list goes on. Just daydreaming can bring out your creative and imaginative side. Finding that creative outlet can really help you get out of your slump.
- Spend time with mother nature
The earth has many healing and energizing properties. When we’re cooped up inside all day every day, we lose touch of our natural abilities and natural instincts. Not only that, but the lack of vitamin D provided by the sun is a huge cause of depression among people. We need the nutrients the earth provides. Just think, the oxygen we breathe comes from the trees around us. Take a walk in a park, go for a hike or visit an ocean if you can. You’ll be surprised by the effect some fresh air and trees can do for you. We sometimes forget that the earth is a living being that grows and goes through the cycles of life just as we do. Find that connection with nature again and see how it improves your well-being.
Life gets tough but you’re tougher. Remember that your thoughts and your mindset create your life.