Thursday, October 9, 2014

How To: Get Yourself Out of a Slump

Since I've recently found myself in one of these very nasty "slumps" as I like to call them, I've had to become extra proactive in my attempt to basically slap myself back to reality. These are a few of the things that I did to get myself out of that slump (and am still continuing to do because it also helps you avoid getting back into that slump!) Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help you, too!

photo credit: ~Liliana via photopin cc

1. Clean & Organize. This may be the last thing you want to do (believe me, I know) but most of the time it’s the very first thing you need to do in order to get out of that nasty rut you’re in. Cleaning your room/house and organizing things helps not only declutter the space you’re in, but also your head. Creating a clean and essentially “new” environment for yourself to be in is one of the first step’s in feeling better.
2. Read. Get out of your head for awhile. Reading a good book helps me escape my own world and enter the world the author has created. I love getting myself lost in a good book. I love it even more when I finish reading a book and it stays with me, leaves me pondering. A good book can be life changing. It can change your perspective. It can spark new ideas. A good book can make the impossible possible. 
3. Talk. Even if it means talking to yourself (if that feels weird, just write it out). Sometimes talking about what’s worrying you or what the problem is really does help, even in the slightest bit. Not having those thoughts rattling around in your brain can really be a huge weight off your shoulders. 
4. Do something silly. Okay you may think this is completely ridiculous, but seriously, do it! Belt out your favorite song (it can be a Taylor Swift song, it’s okay, I won’t tell) or do a little dance that you would never in your life do in public. I guarantee you will smile. If only because you feel like a total fool. But that’s okay. A smile goes a very long way. (Pro tip: If you’re out in public and can’t necessarily do “something silly” just imagine yourself doing the most ridiculous thing possible. I used to imagine myself dancing like a lunatic when I was on the bus and I’d catch myself smiling. It works!)
5. Make a to-do list. It can be the most mundane tasks. List anything you want. Make them simple things. Stuff you can easily do. Just being able to cross things off your to-do list will make you feel better and more proactive. It’s a step in the right direction.
6. Binge-watch a show on Netflix. Okay, this is a no-brainer. It may not be the most ideal thing to do if you’ve already been lounging around in your bed for days. But sometimes we do need those moments of just doing absolutely nothing but mindless television watching. It’s a great way to distract yourself, if that’s what you truly need right now. Just don’t let yourself become so involved in that Netflix marathon that you become a lazy bum and you’re back to square one.
7. Create an inspiration board. This is good because it not only requires you to search for inspirational quotes and pictures online (I recommend Pinterest, of course) but it also means you have to get crafty and put those hands to good use. If you have a printer you can print out the pictures/quotes/etc and then all you need are scissors, glue and paper (or a poster board!) Don’t have a printer? Perfect excuse to get out of the house. Staples has a printing center and it’s fairly cheap. Or you can use your local library. Once you have your inspiration board all set, put it up somewhere you’ll see it every single day.
8. Set weekly goals. Sometimes when we find ourselves in these so called “slumps” it’s a little difficult to set long term goals. They seem so impossible and far off. That’s why you need to start small. Give yourself weekly goals that you know you can really accomplish. It not only gives you something to do, but it gives you something to look forward to. It also puts you back in control of your own life. (Pro tip: don’t feel bad when you don’t accomplish these goals. They’re not meant to set you back further or make you feel worse about yourself. Just keep trying.)
9. Try something new. This can be pretty much related to anything. Are you into cooking? Try a new recipe. Are you a fitness junkie? Try a new form of exercise. Do you like gardening? Plant something new. Is there a hobby you've always wanted to get into but never have before? DO IT!!! I recently signed myself up for guitar lessons (pro tip: put the credit card far away from your computer after you've had a few beers) and at first I was all mopey about it (long story, but mostly because I was feeling lazy and in that nasty slump) but I went through with it anyway and it rocked! I may just be the new Taylor Swift. Watch out world. What I'm trying to get at, however, is that trying something new can sometimes give you back that spark or interest in life that is so often missing when you find yourself in a slump, so it's definitely worth a try.
10. Volunteer. This can go hand in hand with the "try something new" method, but volunteering not only gives you something to do but you'll also be helping someone/something for the greater good and that is sure to boost your spirits. There are so many options for volunteering. You can sign up for something that requires time commitment so you also have something to keep looking forward to (I recommend Girls on the Run!) You can sign up for somewhere where you set your own schedule for when you come in if you have a busy schedule (example: many animal shelters let you pick the days and times you come in to help out). You can even volunteer for just one day, just to test the waters. I can honestly say that anytime I have volunteered, whether it was for Girls on the Run (best. experience. ever!) or for a hospital gift shop, I have gotten something good out of it.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're in a slump?
What has worked for you in the past? What hasn't?

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