Confessions of a Twenty-Something: Coming Out of a Slump
Boy have I been in a slump PLENTY of times! More times than I'd like to admit really...
But I'll admit it for you because I feel like we don't talk about being in a slump enough. It's such a common part of life, yet societal pressures make us feel like 1) it's not okay to be in a slump because most of the time "it's #firstworldproblems" and 2) we're supposed to "stay positive." Well, I'm here today to break up with that mindset! Who's with me?
In order to break up with this toxic positivity and allow ourselves to come out of a slump in a healthy way, we first need to recognize when we're in a slump and show ourselves grace. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, acknowledging the negativity is often the most difficult part of the healing process.
So, I challenge you right now to think about what your last slump looked like and record it somewhere (on a piece of paper, in your Notes app, in a voice memo, etc.). What did you feel like? How did each day flow? What were you most drawn to doing?
As someone recently in a slump with the passing of my grandma, the signs are still fresh in my mind. Here's what a slump looks like to me:
VERY low energy/vibration
Little to no attention span
Doom scrolling/increased social media usage
More rest needed
Negative Nancy Syndrome
If you struggle with the same symptoms, I'm sorry. It's TOUGH 😞
However, I know you're tougher 💪
Before I dive into my mindset-changing tips to breaking out of a slump, I want you to evaluate how you're doing now. Are you experiencing any of the symptoms you've written down? Do you feel like you're fully in a slump or at the start of one? If you answer yes to any of these questions, implement these strategies IMMEDIATELY! As always, regardless of if you're in a slump or not, take what resonates and leave what doesn't.
Step #1 Give Your Body What it Truly Needs
This is such a crucial step for any time you're experiencing anything out of sorts with your mind or body! Your body will often communicate exactly what it needs from you and it's up to you to listen attentively. Unfortunately, we've been trained not to listen to our bodies at certain times (ex. hustle culture telling us to "go go go"), so if you're not hearing those signals from your body, it's very likely that you're disconnected. If that's the case, it's time to listen to those inner whispers any time you hear them and help your body out!
Now, I chose the word "need" for a reason: Your body is going to want SO many different things. Lots of these things are truly beneficial to us, from healthy and/or comforting food choices to rest, but sometimes what your body requests isn't something that's going to truly help you, like doom scrolling on social media. It's important to sift through the cues you're getting by asking yourself if it's a need or a want.
Some of the most important things to do for yourself during this time include:
Nourishing Your Body
Moving Your Body (Yoga Especially)
Focusing on Your Mindset (Meditation Especially)
Step #2 Write Out Your To-Do's
If you're like me, your mind is a whirlpool of overwhelm when you're in a slump. It feels like there's always 10,000 things to do and none of them are getting done because you can't bring yourself to get anything accomplished.
It's important to take this step in those moments not to get things done, but to help yourself realize that the to-do list isn't as bad as it seems in your head. Often we allow mental to-do lists swirl around in our heads because we don't want to forget. Therefore, by creating a record of our to-do list, we no longer need to keep that action swirling around our headspace.
I personally use this strategy on a weekly basis to avoid overwhelm (which is a HUGE culprit of leading me down the path to Slumpsville). I go through my Notion board full of personal goals and life deets, which I HIGHLY recommend incorporating into your routine, and take note of everything I'd like to accomplish for the week to move the needle on my goals.
***If you're in a slump, I highly recommend pulling back on needle-moving activities and instead focusing on rejuvenating activities***
After I have my to-do list, I schedule each of these items in my Planbella app (another must-have for all my organizational girlies) for a specific day. Some weeks, I get it all on the schedule and some weeks I have to save items for a future date- this way I don't overbook myself into a bout of overworking.
Another mindset hack I feel called to mention here is a strategy called "The Big Three." "The Big Three" is the habit of setting your three most-important tasks for the day. These are the tasks that, if you accomplish them, you'll be satisfied with what you've accomplished for the day. For example, my big three for the day I'm writing this (2/25/2023) are: 1) Write This Week's Blog Post 2) Write This Week's Email to My Community (sign up here!) 3) Work on Client Content for March
This strategy has completely transformed my mindset and I can't recommend it enough! It take some work to learn how to be satisfied with ~only~ three items checked off the checklist, but it's so worth it for the peace of mind that comes afterwards- especially on those days where the checklist is stacked HEAVY and it's virtually impossible to hit every single item on the list.
Step #3 Be Proud of Yourself Every Step of the Way
Listen- life is wild. Oftentimes, it's extremely hard for us to see how we're going to get through our negative situations. However, if you're reading this, you've survived 100% of the challenges thrown your way. So I implore you to celebrate that with yourself- regardless of how much you've checked off a checklist or how low you allowed yourself to go. The fact that you're still here, fighting to make yourself the best version of yourself for yourself, is something worth celebrating today and every day.
Before I dive into the more typical ideas to celebrate oneself, I want to mention something that I do often that has transformed my mindset- showing gratitude and pride for myself in my self-talk. It can be as simple as a "thank you for doing that" or "wow I rocked that," but the repetition of those statements in various situations is absolutely transformative.
Now, if you're in need of some ways to celebrate yourself, here are some ideas to incorporate into your self-care routine:
Plan an activity that you enjoy, whether it's simply sitting in the sun at your house or taking a trip
Make/buy yourself a special meal (good food is a good mood!)
Do some skincare
Buy yourself a treat (my most recent treat was a new pair of sunglasses)
Spruce up your look (my fav right now is getting my nails done)
If you're in a slump, I hope that you take this process to heart and learn to lift yourself out of it. As always, I'm sending you light and love ✨