What to do when you realize you’re in a slump

You know that feeling — that potentially-disastrous feeling — when you just can’t seem to find any motivation? Maybe you have a big art project to complete or a marathon to train for, or maybe you’re just trying to do basic things for human functioning, like get dressed in morning — but whatever it is, you just can’t seem to muster up the conviction to do anything about it. That, my friend, is a slump, and we all find ourselves in them from time to time.

A slump might last for a few hours, days, or even weeks (don’t panic — even the longest slumps have an end), but there is always hope. Don’t give up and don’t assume that your slump will last forever. In fact, identifying that you’re in a slump is half the battle. If you’re trying to get motivated and get back to being your usual productive (or at least functioning) self, follow these easy steps to help kickstart your return to the land of People Who Actually Do Things.

1. Pay attention to your body and mind.

Perhaps there is a reason you’ve fallen into this slump. Have family problems been stressing you out? Do you lack energy and focus because of sickness or lack of sleep? Recognize if there are any external forces that may be blocking you from achieving your goals, and tackle them as hard as you can.

2. Eliminate distraction.

When you’re in a slump, you can’t get motivated to finish the actually important projects. So how do you fill that time? With distractions. First, it’s copying down a flan recipe from Pinterest, and three hours later you’re on a website about the color of a hippo’s milk (it’s pink, by the way). When you catch yourself boarding the distraction train, get off ASAP. You can indulge later — after you shake your slump and get your work done. 

3. Set goals.

This is the most important step, and there’s really no avoiding it; whether it be opening a Word Document, getting out of bed, or reading ten books in one month. These goals give you something to work towards, and without them, you’ll be lost.

4. Get inspired!

Envision the results of your hard work (but don’t become too wrapped up in the fantasy). Listen to music to pump you up. Go on a nature walk. You know personally what will motivate you.

5. Take baby steps.

Start off small; it will be that much easier to handle the bigger things. When going for those bigger things, divide it up into baby steps, one at a time. You will be able to breathe much easier, I promise.

6. Congratulate yourself.

You could allow yourself a nice meal out, pat yourself on the back for your effort, or maybe have lots of cuddle time and a movie with your pet. Appreciate the hard work you’ve put in. Even if the results were not what you expected, anything is a learning experience and you got to it.

(Images via here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)

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