Ever since I entered high school, I've consistently dreamed of the day when final exams would be over and I could enjoy the holidays.
Well, as my dream of sleeping till noon and doing nothing all day came true each year, I slowly found myself slipping into a slump, and while I completely hated the feeling, I couldn’t seem to break out of it.
If you've been in a slump before, you can most certainly relate to how disempowering and draining it is. Besides, I think everyone has gone through such a phase wherein you don't feel like your normal self and don't really know why.
In this article, I'm sharing some tips and tricks on how to snap out of this funk.
What is a Slump?
“When you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
According to Princeton's WordNet, the term slump refers to "a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality." It is often characterized by a lack of motivation or the feeling that you've hit a dead-end, stuck and unable to get anything done.
How to Break Out of a Slump
Whilst every student fantasizes about having no pending homework or revision for school, this particular idea left me feeling unmotivated to the point that I could barely even get out of bed. However, with each passing day, the guilt and nagging feeling of sitting around and doing nothing eventually led me to recognize that it was necessary to get my life back on track.
The first step to returning to your normal life is realization. When you're in a slump, you have to acknowledge and accept that you're not okay. By denying the issue, you're only making it harder to free yourself from the quicksand of dullness and lethargy. Try reflecting on the root cause of this rut- Why are you feeling this way? Once you've discovered the source of your slump, you can easily think of a solution to snap out of it.
For me, the decline in my day-to-day productivity was due to the fact that I had little to no responsibilities, no homework, and no particular goals to achieve throughout the summer.
The timeless art of journaling is a tool of self-reflection. When journaling, you start to develop self-awareness by keeping track of your emotions and what makes you feel happy or productive.
Since journaling can help get things off your mind, making a list whenever you feel sluggish is known to improve your overall wellbeing and boost your personal growth. Try starting with gratitude lists, which help you gain a new perspective on what's important to you and what you truly appreciate in life.
Moreover, journaling does not necessarily need to be done on paper. Your phone could be a great medium for jotting down your thoughts. Another creative yet powerful way of expressing yourself is writing on your mirror, just like in the movies. Try to list things that make you feel alive and empowered. Trust me on this one!
Clean up your personal space
Cleaning has been found to have a positive impact on our mental health, as it helps us gain a sense of control over our environment. It has also been found to help improve our mood and provide us with a sense of satisfaction.
To beat this rut, you can start by pushing yourself to make your bed first thing after waking up. I personally like to clean my room whenever I feel demotivated. Small tasks like organizing my clothes, tidying up my desk, changing the bedsheets, and rearranging my bookshelf make me feel accomplished.
Get lost in a book
If you love reading, a great way of pulling out of a slump is by getting lost... in a book! Reading is a great way of escaping reality during hard times. Entering the fantasy realm will surely be a great way to keep you distracted and make you feel productive!
I know it's hard to read during a slump, but you can try out genres that you enjoy or read books that are highly recommended. Personally, when slumping, BookTok and Bookstagram have a huge influence on me, as the vibes and warmth make me want to start reading again!
Set deadlines and goals
You may sometimes find yourself in a slump when you feel as if your life has no direction or when you focus on too many things at the same time. If you feel like there's too much going on in your life, it's time to take all the fluff out of your calendar and re-assess your goals. Using daily planners to evaluate your plans and set deadlines may be incredibly useful in regaining motivation!
(Tip: Try to keep to one goal at a time in order to avoid burnouts or even worse slumps.)
All these tips and tricks won't work if you aren't practicing self-care. Taking the time to care for your holistic well-being is important in feeling productive and healthy. To become your best self, your social, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health should all be accounted for.
Meditation, mindfulness, going on a walk, working out, and binge-watching your favorite TV shows are all different types of self-care activities you can try out. In addition, adopting a skincare routine is a trendy act of self-care, providing both comfort and rejuvenation.
When I'm in a slump, I enjoy wearing face masks, sipping on chamomile tea, and listening to podcasts and motivational speeches. It's a peaceful way of having "me time," reflecting on various issues, and finding inspiration. Find whatever makes you feel loved and safe and live it out!
Take care of plants
Growing plants and taking care of them is in vogue. You've undoubtedly stumbled upon people posting pictures of their plants or incorporating them into their aesthetic room decor. In fact, being surrounded by greenery can improve your mood and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, which in turn can help you break out of your slump.
Despite having a huge garden, I've only recently started spending time with my plants. I found myself obsessed with daisies and urged my parents to get me a daisy plant. Now, whenever I'm bored or feeling down, I surround myself with my plants and water them.
Do things that you enjoy
When stuck in a rut, it's encouraged to do the things you enjoy the most. You can play the guitar, write short stories, bake, and more. While self-care activities make you feel calm and safe, these ones make you love being alive!
Last weekend, when I was going through this phase, I baked a chocolate cake and found myself feeling great. It's often the little things that make you feel motivated again. The effort you put into your hobbies will transmit positive energy and nurture a healthy mindset!
Make a vision board
A vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do, or have in life. It's a great way to visualize your goals. Cut out images and pictures that make you happy, not insecure. You may even fill your board with motivational quotes or pictures of strong women/men that inspire you.
Pinterest is an amazing place to collect images! There, you'll find yourself going down an endless hole of quotes, aesthetics, and life inspirations. To make a digital vision board, you can follow these steps!
On The Bright Side
The truth is that we all stumble into slumps. They form a part of the highs and lows of life. It's totally normal to not feel excited and happy all the time. However, whenever needed, never hesitate to return to these tips and work your way back to your normal self!
On that note, we may even say we should be thankful for the occasional slump, as we're sure to make a much-needed positive change in our lives very soon.