If you subscribe to that whole #GirlBoss lifestyle and you’re always busy, always productive and always hustling, a. . . . well, a: good for you (feel like teaching me that?). But b. I’m sure you are more than familiar with slumps. Slumps, funks, deep dark pits of melancholy and uselessness.
Or, maybe more accurately, burnout.
Where there is a high, there is a low – and when you’re operating at full speed, high-output . . . that crash is going to come and it’s going to come hard. (If your mind didn’t even slightly go there, I think this is the wrong blog for you.)
Slump (noun): A dark pit of procrastination, exhaustion and overall uselessness you fall into from time to time. Makes working, productivity and general human-ing way more difficult than it should be.
It’s completely natural to fall into these funks from time to time; the skill, however, is in getting out of them.
The first step? Well, it’s like overcoming an addiction – the first step is admitting you have a problem.
1. What’s Causing Your Slump?
There are a whole host of reasons that your brain can just up and strike on you, but the best way to overcome a problem is usually to understand it. Here are a few reasons that you may find yourself stuck in a slump:
- You’ve let self-care take a real backseat.Most of us are guilty of this – especially when life gets really busy and there’s too much to do and you’re always on the go and you just have to finish this one last thing and you just have to visit this one person and- see?Look at all that stuff to do – where’s the time to make sure you’re getting enough sleep? Where’s the time to sit down and eat a full meal? (No, frozen doesn’t count.) Exercise?
- If your self-care habits have slipped, we’ve all been there – but have a read of my REAL self-care checklist and get back on track.
(Post plug over, back to the topic at hand.)
- You haven’t given yourself any mental downtime.Something I find myself thinking about a lot at the moment is the fact that our brains haven’t actually evolved past like just after we escaped neanderthal level. (Such strong science.) (No but like this is an actual fact. It’s obviously developed past literal neanderthal level, but our brains our still the same as they were pre-technology and pre-8 hour a day work.)Why do I think about this? Because our lives most definitely have. Most of us live very, very busy lives – lives our brains weren’t developed to handle. While I love being productive and time-efficient . . . our brains need some time to switch off. We need mental downtime and ignoring that need can lead to serious slumpage.
- Because our brains aren’t straightforward and sometimes they suck. Sometimes there’s no reason or rhyme to it.
- You aren’t happy about where you are in life. Because that happens sometimes and that sucks too.
For me, it’s a mixture of 1, 2 and 4. I’m painfully busy at the moment – not busy doing anything fun, either, but doing boring shit – and working longer hours, so I’m tired all the time and uninspired and I just want to vegetate.
Once you know what’s causing your slump, you can start to identify what you need to do to get out of it – and, equally importantly, stop it from happening again.
2. Remember that slumps are just a vicious cycle
The thing that makes slumps so damn difficult is the fact that they’re like quicksand – once you’re in one, you’re stuck. I mean, you’ve already put doing the things you were meant to do off by a few days . . . why not a few more?
Break the cycle.
I know it’s not that easy, but it actually kind of is. When you’re in a slump, say to yourself (and mean it) tomorrow I’m going to get up early, I’m going to make myself a big healthy breakfast and I’m going to do something I’ve been putting off. Just one thing – that’s all you need. It can be small. It can be calling that person you’ve been meaning to call, throwing away some old stuff, reading that book.
Just do one thing and break the cycle. I promise you, it’s like stepping out of quicksand.
3. Things You Can Do To Get Out Of A Slump
Right, so you know why you’re in a slump (which is great information for when you’ve broken out of it and need to take the steps to prevent another one . . . but isn’t really helping you now) and you know that once you break free of it you’ll be fine . . . so how do you break free of a slump? Here are my top tips!
Make a To-Do list
To-do lists are great for a multitude of reasons – not least of all the fact that human brains are weird and we love to write things down and tick them off a list. Saying to yourself “I’m going to get my life together” is far too big a goal, especially when you’re in a slump.
Breaking that goal down into small achievable steps on a to-do list? Now, that is achievable.
Have a break!
If you guys remember my OOTD post: Jumping Into Summer With A Break, you will remember that I praised the fact that May was essentially one long break for me. It left me feeling motivated and rejuvenated – and I now have fully complete posts scheduled all the way until August.
If you’re in a slump, give yourself a break. Relax, recuperate and recharge – long term, you’re going to be better off for it.
Talk to people about it!
Honestly, guys, a problem shared is a problem halved. Getting a new perspective from your friends, or just unloading on them, can help you to realise that your problem . . . might not be such a problem. Plus, spending time with people is a great way to have some fun – and fun usually breaks you out of your funk!
I know that when you’re in the middle of a slump all you can think about is “wow, I’m such a useless human”, but just take your slump for the sign it is. Your sign to slow the fuck down. Take a break, give your mind some time to recuperate and come back swinging!
Hopefully, this post was somewhat helpful. Burnout is such a common thing for us constantly connected humans – and I want you to know that you don’t need to feel bad when it happens to you. Use it as an excuse to catch up on your favourite TV show, or read a book, or even just have a bloody lie in. (Seriously, guys, the benefits of a nice long sleep cannot be overstated.)
Are you ready for a Pinterest plug? (No, seriously, plugging my Pinterest at the bottom of blog posts has been doing my account good, so I . . . I mean, I’m sorry but I have to plug it.) If you guys enjoy tips about wellness, make sure you’re following my healthy life board.
Do you guys suffer from creative slumps? How do you deal with burnout? Have you tried any of these tips? Let me know your thoughts down below!