We have all been there at some point in our lives – feeling like it’s groundhog day… where everything is the same and you’re pretty much just getting through the day – sleeping, eating, working and so the cycle continues… you have zero motivation, you lack fulfilment, tasks that should fill you with delight all seem so mundane and just meh, and you really, really want to make a change, but you’re so scared of getting out of your comfort zone that you end up stuck in a godforsaken rut.
For me, this moment is still in session, but I am slowly but surely clawing my way out of this major slump and I wanted to share with you a few ways in which I am forcing myself to get out of it.
Okay, that sounds a bit harsh, but damn, if we keep allowing our feelings to decide our actions we are never going to make any progress!
1. Understand and accept that you have very low energy right now
As with seasons, so will this slump eventually pass. However, there are some things you can do right now to speed up the process, but it’s just important that you find a balance of some sort. For now, just understand and accept that you have very low energy right now. That is the first step.
Okay, now breathe.
2. Take a break
This is a tough one, because oftentimes you feel like you’re in a slump is because you are on a break, because you are procrastinating and basically doing nothing. Thing is, you’re just really stressed out and usually it’s because there’s so much going on in your head that you need an escape and it manifests in the form of procrastination. The truth is, you need to face these demons. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Identify what is making you feel down
Find the source of your rut, and get to the bottom of the issue by doing some stream of consciousness writing. Make a list of what needs to change. Just let your thoughts flow, get it out of your mind and dump it all onto a piece of paper. Remember that you cannot change the past and the future is simply filled with anxiety. While you’re in this fragile state, focus on baby steps that you can take right now in this present moment – it’s the only thing you truly have control over when it comes to your next actions. Define your priorities because this is the time where you need to put yourself first.
4. Learn to get comfortable with the uncomfortable
We all have comfort zones and it’s important that we start to understand what our comfort zones are. One way to shake things up is to switch up your routine. You can start small – wake up 30 minutes earlier and do a relaxing yoga session, or make some warm tea and sip it outside. Perhaps you’re on your way home from work… try taking a different route or mode of transport. Find ways to switch up the space you usually find yourself in – sit at a different desk, have lunch with a different group at work, there are so many ideas.
5. Narrow your focus
When you want to make a change, you have this idea in your head of where you want to be, and where you are now is not what you want. You start to stress about all the things you have to do before you can get to where you eventually want to be. The trick is to not focus on that gap. Close the gap by narrowing down your focus and take the smallest action you can right now. Done is better than perfect and always focus on progress over perfection.
6. Do something worthwhile
Invest in passions or projects and tasks that resonate with you. Volunteer, do acts of service or simply help someone in need. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel. The other night, as hubby and I drove home from dinner, we saw a black and white border collie that seemed to be lost. I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes…. and had this been Sherlock, I would want someone to go after him and help him find his way back home! Hubby and I ended up following the doggie in our car through the neighbourhood. He kept running away, he seemed scared, so I got out of the car in my heels and ended up running after him for a few blocks. Eventually the dog just slipped into a yard through a slightly ajar gate, and turns out that was his home! His owner had accidentally left the big gate slightly open and he was so grateful that brought his dog home.
You see, little things like these can truly increase your positive vibration.
7. Do not hit the snooze button
Think about this for a minute… this is the very first decision you have to make for the day and by snoozing you are basically giving up control. Not only that, but your brain is wired to wake up after a sleep cycle, and by snoozing, you’re putting your brain into a new sleep cycle and this means that for the first few hours of the day you will not be productive. Can you relate to that foggy and hazy feeling you get after a snooze fest?
8. Get moving!
Go outside, go in nature, get some sun and some fresh air, whatever you do, just get moving! Whenever I feel crappy, I go for a bike ride and there is nothing more refreshing than feeling the breeze brushing against my skin. I always feel so much better afterwards.
9. Practice mindfulness
Meditate, listening to soothing music while breathing, do stream of consciousness writing, go on a social media detox, drink tea, sit down at a table and eat mindfully (i.e. not in front of a screen), better yet, eat with friends and family. Be kind – not just to others, but especially to yourself. In a recent Instagram post of mine, a good friend reminded me to be kind to myself, and this has become my mantra recently.
10. Remember that you are not alone
I have to throw this one in here, because we often think that we are the only one going through a slump. I mean, look at Susan’s social media – her Instagram is filled with amazing pictures of her travels to Bali, Emily is working out and drinking green juice everyday, Josh just launched his new online store, Mary is quite contrary, yada yada. Point is, everyone is doing amazing things on social media and yet there you are, scrolling through these feeds and feeling sorry for yourself. We forget that people tend to share highlight reels of their lives. Nobody really sees the behind-the-scenes.
So, remember that you are not alone. I can promise you that. Tell you what, if you’re in a funk, just think of me and the fact that I’m going through this with you right now.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Harvey