How I Get Myself Out Of A Mid-Year Slump.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.
2020 has well and truly been a challenging year for many of us. I am yet to come across a single person whose personal or professional life has not been impacted in some way as a result of recent events. Our plans, commitments and routines have been derailed, resulting in many of us feeling overwhelmed, anxious or simply burnt out.
Despite our current circumstances, I generally like to take some time out mid-year to reassess my goals for the year. What has gone well? What hasn’t gone so well? What do I want to achieve for the next 6 months? These are all important questions to ask ourselves, and now more than ever.
There are a few practices I’ve put in place to review, reset and prioritise, and to get myself out of a mid-year slump.
1. IDENTIFYING FEELINGS
When I’m in a slump, one of the things I do is to simply identify and acknowledge how I am feeling. Several studies have demonstrated that denying our emotions or how we feel is not healthy or productive in the long term. It’s important to admit to ourselves how we really feel. Once this has been identified, and you’ve given yourself some time and space, you can then work on putting some processes and systems in place. This practice helps to overcome any particular obstacles or pain points.
I ask myself a series of questions such as:
- How do I feel? Am I genuinely burnt out and need to rest, or am I simply making excuses / uninspired / unmotivated?
- Before I think about quitting, I ask myself why I started. What is my greater purpose? Why did I start this?
- What would my mentor / someone I aspire to be do in this situation? How would they handle it?
Asking myself the right questions can ensure I understand the reasons why I’ve fallen into a slump, and what to do to get myself out of it.
I’m a big advocate of self-care and taking the necessary time out to destress and decompress. When I’m in a slump, I find little things to act as a pick-me-up. This could include:
- Eating some of my favourite food.
- Running a bubble bath.
- Enjoying a coffee or tea.
- Indulging in some pampering – getting a massage, facial, nails or hair done give me an instant pick-me-up.
- Getting outside in nature and enjoying some fresh air and sunshine.
Self-care helps me to feel more calm and in control. I find it’s often the little things that bring me the greatest sense of joy.
3. ESTABLISHING A ROUTINE
One of the most effective strategies when I’m in a slump, is to create and implement a morning routine. My days are so much more positive and productive when I rise early and spend the first couple of hours working on myself, without any interruptions or distractions. I find routines particularly effective when when there is a lot going on in the world and around us. Having a series of predictable steps to start the day puts me in a better position to deal with any uncertainty or challenges throughout the the day.
You can read about my current morning routine here.
4. TAKING SMALL, DAILY ACTION
When I’m in a slump, the last thing I want to think about is the mountain of tasks and issues I need to overcome. I start with a really small task, and the completion of this small task encourages me to do another task, and another. Some days, small actions such as making my bed first thing in the morning or going for a walk can encourage me to get back on track.
I also find that spending some time at the beginning of the week to set my intention, and to get really clear on my priorities is really important. I write a to-do list for all the things I want to accomplish in the day / week. This simple action helps me to stay accountable.
5. PRACTICING POSITIVITY
One of the greatest gifts I’ve given myself, is to live a positive life. It is very easy to let negativity infiltrate your space and consequently, your mind and your life. Some of the ways I maintain a positive mindset include:
- Practicing Gratitude: Every morning, I write down at least three things I feel grateful for in that moment. It could be as simple as my health, my family and technology for allowing me to work from home.
- Mindset: Whenever something seemingly negative occurs, I ask myself “Why is this happening for me?” rather than “Why is this happening to me?” This simple shift in phrasing enables me to look for the lesson or learning in any given situation.
- Uplifting Content: Whilst negativity bias can result on us focusing on negative news and content, it is important to limit the amount of news and negative content I consume. I restrict the amount of time I spend on social media and the internet, and choose to consume more positive, uplifting content. Sometimes, somehing as simple as watching a motivational video on youtube, reading an inspiring book or listening to some uplifting music can really help me to get out of a slump.
GETTING OUT OF A MID-YEAR SLUMP
What are some of the strategies or practices you use to get yourself out of a mid-year slump? I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and suggestions, let me know in the comments below!