How To Get Out Of A Slump

Buddy do I know a thing or two about resetting after a slump. Yes, that also means I know a thing or two about finding myself there in the first place, but we're focusing on the positives. After a bit of a dip during the middle part of March, I come to you today as a Slump-Free Individual, and I'm ready to spread that joy. I've previously written a post about How To Un-Rut Yourself, but I consider a slump somewhat heavier than a rut. A rut is just a bit of a dip in motivation and inspiration, whereas a slump is a crash you experience with your entire being. Not necessarily a huge emotional low, but more of a consistent feeling of bleh with no appealing solution in sight. In my experience they're often accompanied (or brought on by) a general sense of overwhelm, so I've decided to be as thorough as possible here to hold your hand tight as you reemerge as the glowing and motivated blessing you were truly meant to be. Here's how to get started.

GET UP EARLY
I'm putting this first as though it's the easiest step, but for me it's actually the most difficult. I am an absolute night owl, but that's not always the most productive way to live. In fact, there is nothing more discouraging than sleeping through half the day. Do whatever you need to do to sort out your sleeping pattern, and make sure you're getting in enough hours to avoid feeling dead on your feet.

INTRODUCE SOMETHING NEW
This doesn't need to be anything gruelling, just a little shake up to your routine. Anything from stretching in the morning to listening to a new podcast on your commute or making a smoothie before you leave the house. 

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
If you work or study, chances are you don't really have a choice on this one, so fab work with that head start. I, however, now work from home so if I'm not careful I can go literal weeks without leaving for anything other than absolute essentials i.e. grocery shopping. Leaving the house and getting some lovely fresh air (apologies to those of you who live in London) is often a game changer in terms of sorting out a stagnant mindset.

LISTEN TO A WORTHWHILE PODCAST
This can mean whatever you want it to. I love The High Low for pop culture and current affairs, Goal Digger for business advice, Potterless for nostalgic wizarding fun, Nobody Panic for #relatable millennialism, Stuff You Missed In History Class for exactly what the name says and Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations for feeling like you've actually transcended the realms of mere mortality. 

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS JOURNAL
Never underestimate the power of a good brain dump. If you're anything like me, you're storing about nine hundred separate ideas at once in the very front compartment of your mind, and that can get a little busy. Starting off a journal entry (I find typing faster than handwriting, but you do you x) with some basic info like how you're feeling or what you want to get done today should be enough to get you going, and from there you just follow whatever tangent your stream of consciousness leads you on. Lather, rinse and repeat til ya feeling empty. In a good way.

REARRANGE YOUR PRIMARY LIVING SPACE
Self-explanatory. Get things tidied, clean and refreshed. Cluttered space = cluttered mind. Reorganise your desk, move the furniture around in your living room or reshuffle the collection of very essential items on your bedside table. Just make sure there's a visible difference in whatever area you spend the most time, and that it's all nice and clean. Create separation between you and the slump.

EXERCISE
Like I won't say that I hate this one, but I hate this one. I also love it once I'm doing it, but at my core I am not an active being and once I'm out of the habit it's a bad time trying to get back in. It is, however, an essential and ultimately rewarding component.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU DO SOMETHING
Find a specific area of your life that you're not particularly satisfied with and change the way you approach it. For example, if you feel like your social media posts are stagnant, try out a different kind of caption. If you dread your commute, leave early to bypass rush hour and spend an hour reading in a cafe. Pull out a fresh notebook and start mapping out your To Do list in a more visually appealing way. Do some meal prep. Try out a new productivity app. Sleep on the other side of the bed. Get wild.

REVISIT AN OLD IDEA
Being a genius, I come up with heaps of fab ideas 24/7. Unfortunately, there is not always enough time or energy to follow through, so I'll make a note and move on. If you're feeling stuck, the solution can often be found in something you've already thought of, so trace back through your phone notes and saved documents until you find something that makes the little light in your brain ping on. The best part about revisiting an old idea is that some of the work has already been done for you (by past you), so there's an in-built sense of achievement from the get go.

SET GOALS
Idk why I've put this so far down the list. Probably because I wanted to lull you into a false sense of security that you may escape my absolute vendetta of Structured Productivity. Bitch u thought wrong. If you're feeling stuck, here's my post on How to Set & Achieve Your Goals.

START ON ONE OF THOSE GOALS IMMEDIATELY
Do it. Half the power of a slump is in the mentality that you'll get started on [insert literally anything from starting a business to getting out of bed] later. Ticking off a goal will give you an endorphin boost and set you on your merry way to success.

ADDRESS KEY AREAS TO ATTACK
What have you let slip? What is the highest priority on your To Do list? Which changes, big or small, will make the biggest impact?

CODDLE YOURSELF CONSCIOUSLY
This isn't all about tough love and productivity. Sometimes the best way to get out of a slump is to give yourself some conscious time out, and keeping this going on a regular basis is essential to prevent feeling drained and horrible again in a week's time. Turn your technology off and read a book or a magazine. Have a slow morning with tea and mediation. Create a comforting bedtime environment complete with scented humidifier and ambient sounds to send you off to snoozetown. Make some soup. Whatever is going to make you feel calm and taken care of, do it. This does not include procrastinating or oversleeping.

FIND NEW INSPIRING CONTENT TO CONSUME
I can't tell you what this is because it will vary person to person, but Pinterest is a great place to start. Search literally anything and you'll find a bunch of resources, including lists of great podcasts, blogs and youtube channels you may not have found on your own.

IDENTIFY YOUR UNPRODUCTIVE COPING MECHANISMS
Mine are sleeping and scrolling through social media xo

LIST THINGS YOU DO AND DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR
Short list, should take less than five minutes. For instance, I do have time for meditation, reading and planning out instagram captions that are not just aesthetically coherent emojis. I do not have time for watching every single person I follow's instagram story or running every move I make through a filter of "What will [literally every and any person possible] think?" or oversleeping.

TALK TO SOMEONE HONESTLY ABOUT THE FACT YOU FEEL SHIT
Foreal.


LIST THINGS YOU'VE BEEN PUTTING OFF/THAT ARE STRESSING YOU OUT
When I say list things, I mean list everything. Write down every single thing you can think of that you want or need to get done, regardless of category or size. After you have your big list, break it down into whatever sort of structure makes most sense to you, and make sure you put the most urgent ones together. Take this list of things that are stressing you out the most or are most time-sensitive (organising paperwork, making a certain appointment, answering emails) and get these done immediately. Like right now.

CLOSE YOUR TABS & CLEAR YOUR DESKTOP CLUTTER
These are the kinds of digital background noise that add up to real subconscious anxiety, and you'll feel better for it. If you really must finish watching the videos you have open, save them to 'watch later'. Anything else that you feel super hesitant to close, save the URL and a little note to a word document to come back to later. Then go through your entire desktop and either delete things or organise them into folders.

MAKE YOURSELF A SIMS CHART
What that is and how to make one - here.

SERIOUSLY, JUST GET SHIT DONE
Stack the dishwasher. Fold your laundry. Set up an Etsy page. Start plotting a novel. Write a shopping list. Make yourself some coffee. Spend $70 on stationery at Officeworks. Whatever feels most manageable, just do it. The hardest part is getting started.

FINISH YOUR IMMEDIATE TO DO LIST THEN PUT YOUR TECH AWAY
I know this is a classic bandaid solution, but taking time off technology really does make a massive difference. Most of the time I'm good to be on my phone all day, but eventually I'll start to feel that subconscious tension building up and the only way to get rid of it is to disconnect. Once you have your most urgent, stress-inducing tasks sorted, just do it. Put your shit on do not disturb and read a book, do a puzzle, go for a walk, paint something, play piano, go for a drive, idk your life but just get yourself away from the internet and your phone.

It's not healthy to be constantly available to every single person you know. Seriously, just switch your phone to airplane mode for a second right now and feel your brain decompress. Yeah. It's fucked. Tbh I would also say watching a good movie is an acceptable disconnect activity, as long as there is literally nothing else going on (so preferably on an actual TV but I know that's a big ask in The Year 2019) and your phone is away.

MAKE A VISION BOARD
If you don't know what you want or what you're aiming for, making a vision board is a great way of figuring that out. Perf tech-free activity.

BE DONE WITH DO-OVERS
This is when you start getting things done. It's not the start of another do-over. If you start out already having the mindset that you have to do everything perfectly, you're headed right back to Slump Town. The answer to having a bad week or getting behind on a project is not saying you'll start again in x amount of days and then giving yourself a free pass to wallow until then. Make the conscious decision that this is when you start building the life you want, and that messing up is just an inevitable part of that. Procrastination is self-sabotage.

PLAN THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Momentum is the name of the game my chums, so get scheduling.


Let me know if you found this helpful, and keep up to d8 with my unslumping on twitterinsty.


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