Feeling like you are stuck in a slump is not the greatest feeling. This happens to us all from time to time, usually after some sort of event we have experienced. Even though we are typically aware that we will eventually feel better, when we feel low it is so easy to spiral down into a negative mindset. We might feel useless, unmotivated or just plain low. I have been down this road many times, and so I want to share with you some of my tips on how to get out of a slump. The below tips are ones that I incorporate into my life when I am not feeling the greatest. I hope these tips help you in some way too.
RECOGNIZE HOW YOU FEEL
You are human and it is normal to sometimes have a down day. Nobody is happy or motivated every day of the week, 365 days a year. However, one of the hardest things about getting out of a slump is the stress we put on ourselves during it. It can feel so easy to give into negative thoughts. We can easily feel that we are not good enough, we do not do enough or we spiral into comparing ourselves with other people. But remind yourself that a slump is not that different to any other obstacle in your life. You cant just put your head in the sand and expect it to go away. You have to face it and move on.
So, the best thing to do is:
Acknowledge what is happening.
Recognize and accept your feelings.
To help lift yourself up maybe read some motivational quotes, read a book or get lost into a movie. Personally I love to re-watch Harry Potter and get lost into that magical world. I also like to keep a pin board of positive and motivational quotes on Pinterest to help uplift my mood.
Remember that negatively slamming yourself will not get you anywhere. Accept how you feel and KNOW that it will get better. Your situation is not set in stone for the rest of your life.
MOVE YOUR BODY
The way we feel can impact our want to move our bodies. When you are feeling down, naturally the last thing you want to do is get up and move. But movement can affect or feelings positively. Regular exercise can reduce depression and increase our happy endorphins.
Too often we forget that our mind and body are connected. While our brain is the master control behind our movement, the way we move can impact the way we think and feel. Moving our bodies enhances our “feel good” hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. These are all associated with a better mood. In return we also reduce our stress hormone cortisol which means less down days, and more happy days.
When you are not feeling your best, try and get yourself out for a 20 minute walk. Once you get yourself outside, you are more likely to realize that in the big scheme of things, your situation is not that bad and it will pass.
Also, being surrounded by nature and visually seeing greenery has a positive impact on our mental health. Being in nature can reduce our stress and increase pleasant feelings. It can make us feel better emotionally, reduce our blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and decrease the production of our stress hormones.
By getting yourself out of the house and moving you are more likely to come back home feeling accomplished and in a better mood.
TAKE A SHOWER
Okay, you are probably thinking what a weird tip. BUT I think too often we associate showering only with keeping physically clean. We don’t ever really think about the psychological benefits of a shower.
Long, hot showers can help us create a soothing and relaxing experience which can put us in a better mood. This is because a warm shower makes us feel comfortable and being comfortable relieves stress and improves our clarity of thought. A warm shower can also help spark our creative thinking.
Even short, cold showers have their benefits because they can make us feel more alert and sharp when we are not feeling our best. The feeling of cold water can release natural endorphins into your bloodstream and brain which can help uplift your mood.
While your at it maybe even have a bath. Why not set up a nice warm bath, with bubbles, some scents and even a candle.
TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Ah this topic I could talk about forever! Remember the days when we did not check our phones on multiple social media platforms all day long? I hope so, because I do! We didn’t even have social media apps not so long ago. Yes, social media has its benefits. However you need to realize that you do not have to hang out on social media platforms all the time.
Have you ever asked yourself what you did ten or fifteen years ago when social media was not there to consume you? For me, I was always outside, walking, I read a lot of books or I was creative in some way. Now we have taught our brains to always be occupied. We reach for our phones while simultaneously watching TV and being on a lap top or i-pad! We have forgotten how to focus and put our attention into one thing.
Spend your day pretending that social media does not exist and find other activities which fulfill your soul. Go for that long walk to explore your neighborhood. Go sit at a cafe, have a coffee & people watch (this one is my favourite). Leave your phone behind and go to a park. Maybe even visit that friend you have not seen for six months. Forget about living for other people, or what your next post will be.
Also do not apologize to anyone for ‘missing from social media’ because you exist in the real world. I find it odd that people feel the need to apologize for being “MIA”. We are all forgetting that we are real people with lives outside of our phones. So, leave social media for one day, even half a day and do something for you. Get back to real life, do things for you rather than for the gram.
GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP
Do your best to get an 8+ hour sleep where nobody disturbs you. Too often we hear the saying “sleep is for the weak” or “I will sleep when I am dead”. This is the most silly thing I have ever heard. In order to get yourself out of a slump and into a better mood it really helps to be well rested and recovered. Sleep is so important for the rebuilding of our bodies, to rest our brains and get ready for the next day.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there who somehow thrive on 6 hours of sleep or less. I don’t know how they do it but that’s great for them. However for the majority of us, a good, quality sleep is important. With better sleep you get better productivity and concentration. Sleep also helps your body regulate your appetite, have a better athletic performance, lowers your risk of heart disease and can help prevent depression. If you are not properly rested and recovered many other aspects of your life can suffer.
Try and create a comfortable environment in your room. When you are having a bad day, tell yourself that when you wake up in the morning everything will seem much clearer.
Don’t ever let anybody make you feel guilty because you need to have a longer sleep.
Sometimes when we go through a hard time it can be so easy to just throw ourselves a pity party and play victim. This makes it even harder for us to get out of a slump. But I am a believer in being grateful for hard times because they always teach us something or help us grow better as a person.
Maybe you learn to be more tolerant, calm and collected. Throughout life you learn what situations you want to respond to and what situations you will just leave because they are not worth your time. You learn the important skill of stop-reflect and then react. Too many people just jump to reacting to situations. The result of this is that they fall down the road of feeling bad and experiencing regret. Always avoid feeling sorry for yourself, acknowledge that when a bad time has passed you would have grown stronger.
REACH OUT FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP
There is a difference between being in a slump and continuously feeling low. In this case you should reach out for some professional help. There is no shame in this. Counselors, therapist or psychologists have so many resources at their disposal that can help get you feeling better. And by this I don’t mean medication. Sometimes you need the perspective of another person. This is because they can provide you with strategies to help organize your thoughts. They can also help you make sense of the situation you are in. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it does not mean that you are a burden to others.
I hope that some of my tips on how to get out of a slump help get you through those days when you are not feeling your best. Personally, the above tips to get out of a slump are ones that I stick to when I am having a bad day. I find that they genuinely help me. I do not always follow the above tips step by step but I utilize them regularly.
If you have any tips you would like to share, you can leave them in the comments below 🙂
Disclaimer – I am not a health care professional. This blog provides general information and discussions about health and wellness. The information and other content provided in this blog are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.