10 Ways To Snap Yourself Out Of A Slump
Ah, yes. Feeling blue. The doldrums. Sad & listless. A feeling of ennui. Apathy & lassitude. Stagnation & tedium. Quelle drag! We all feel like this from time to time, & it can be hard to know what to do about it. Especially when all we really feel like doing is hanging out in our pyjamas (which are probably in desperate need of a wash), flicking between the channels, eating chocolate & pouting at ourselves in the mirror!
What you need is what I like to call a glee jolt! Something to snap you out of your sad, shuffling ways. A sweet little blip of excitement & joy to propel you forward into the next phase of your life. Here are some of my favourite ways to break the shackles of a slump. Let us know your suggestions in the comments!
Go for a strop around the block & see if it doesn’t make you feel better. Drive safely, of course, but put your foot down. There is really nothing like a quick blast of blood to the back of the brain to wake you up & get your adrenaline pumping! Watch the sights go whizzing by, feel the tyres bite into the road below you, crank up some of your favourite tunes & enjoy yourself. You don’t need to drive anywhere specific, though if I had my choice I would probably head towards the sea for an ice-cream. (If you don’t drive, have someone else be your personal carriage service.) Admittedly, I’m a bit of a speed demon. I have lots of great memories from childhood where I sat next to my father while he absolutely booted it down the road as he drove me to school, so this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly works for me!
Yell some positive affirmations
I know that the concept sounds lame, but honestly, they work. What we say or think out loud we start to believe, so you might as well feed your psyche with positive messages! In my experience, affirmations work best if what you say means something to you, if you say it loudly while looking in the mirror & if, at the same time, you beat on your chest like Tarzan! Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but trust me when I say that it amps you up! If you need to wear some tiger-print gear to really feel it, then damnit, just do it! Feel free to yodel & swing on vines if you have the urge, too!
Scare the hell out of yourself
We all reach a point of complacency & boredom at some stage. One of the best ways to deal with this is to do something which terrifies you. Maybe that means doing aerobics in public, taking an acting class or ditching your relationship which isn’t working, but whatever it is, you should do it! If not now, when?, & all that stuff. The best thing about doing something which scares you is that when you’ve actually done it, once the trembles have subsided & your heart-rate returns to normal, your body will inflate with a sense of accomplishment & general awesomeness. You will be amazed at how well you just did. You will feel gooooood! You will feel unconquerable! You will feel emboldened & fabulous & ready for serious, magnificent change! Those kinds of feelings are worth enduring the shakes for. Don’t be timid — be vivid! — & reap the rewards.
Get away from everything
If you’re feeling bogged down & sluggish, escaping your normal life can be a fantastic way to get back on track again. It feels so good to do something completely different for a while — it gives you an entirely new perspective on what your life is like & what you should do next! Your idea of what “getting away from it all” is will depend on your situation, & could range from a weekend on the ski slopes to a night dancing in Las Vegas to a week in a silent meditative retreat. I also often find that just the simple act of planning or dreaming about a holiday is enough to break me out of my doldrums, but maybe that’s a Virgo thing! Wink wink!
Spend time with an unusual person
Like Sark says, “Invite someone dangerous to tea”. Of course, your workmates & close friends are wonderful, but sometimes what you really need is someone to give you a bit of a shake-up. They don’t need to be an ex-con or someone with Problems (with a capital ‘P’), but someone with radical political ideas or a penchant for wearing wigs can stimulate your brain & get you feeling excited about life again. Conversations with people like that are fantastic; you never really know what they’re going to say next & they can give you all sorts of ideas that may never have struck you before. Don’t be afraid of new people — they might be just what you need.
Find some aesthetic stimulation
I think that mostly, the feeling of being in a slump comes from a lack of enthusiasm about what’s going on in your life. You might have a goal but perhaps you feel discouraged, or just a bit demotivated. I’m a very visual person so for me, having pictures which delight & thrill me is really important. I love to peg advertisements & photoshoots on string, but when I lived alone in Auckland, I had a wall behind my couch covered in photos of my friends & I having fun. If you’re in a city that doesn’t really turn your crank (like I was at the time), having a visual reminder that your life is actually pretty awesome is a great thing.
There’s nothing like a fledgling romance to make life shiny & new again! Oh, the excitement! The deciphering of text messages… the thrill of getting to know each other… the glee as you discuss it all endlessly with your best friend! You get to hold hands, share sweet fluttery kisses, have sleepovers & compose filthy emails — all valuable past-times! It doesn’t have to be an epic romance for it to be fun & worthwhile; even if it only lasts a couple of weeks, it’ll still be fun!
Dress in one colour
…But not black. It doesn’t count, you goth, you! Pick something bright & marvellous — like pink, purple, orange or blue — & go crazy! If your wardrobe isn’t comprehensive enough to make this happen, talk to some friends & see what you can borrow in those shades. Then make a day of it. Pile on all your pink/purple/orange/blue clothes & hit the town. Go to the supermarket. Walk the dog. Eat some cake. You’ll be gob-smacked by the response you get from the general public (honestly, they love pretty much anyone who takes sartorial risks) & being surrounded by all the bright colours will make you feel incredible.
Switch up your routine
Even the smallest change to your day-to-day life can make a huge difference to the way you think & feel. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant either — though, of course, expensive & extravagant changes can be a lot of fun! Try something simple, like catching the train to work instead of the bus. Go out for dinner instead of ordering in. Visit your local pool after work & have a spa. Trade books for television or vice versa. Take a French class or paint your bedroom. Just make little tweaks, & see how they impact your general happiness.
This one gets mentioned last because it makes an appearance on pretty much every self-improvement list ever published on the internet, & I know that gets tired. But hey, the reason exercise gets name-dropped with such ferocity is because… wait for it… it works! Okay, so you don’t have to go for a run if you don’t want to. Make it enjoyable! Try bunny-hopping across your living room, dancing the can-can, lying a broom across two chairs & doing the limbo underneath it, doing some contortion or climbing some trees. & if you simply cannot find something which gets your heart-rate up that you enjoy, bribe yourself to do it by buying yourself a chocolate bar afterwards!
Hunt for treasures in vintage stores. Find a hammock. Throw yourself an unbirthday party (complete with cake, candles & alcohol). Buy fireworks. Hire a fancy dress costume & wear it to your friend’s house. Record your lover snoring. Make a video of you impersonating a celebrity. Write long love letters. Sleep upside down. Refuse to get dressed. Start a collection of false eyelashes. Re-write all your social networking profiles. Stretch. Eat flowers.