Back on Track

Getting Back on Track: 5 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Slump

Sometimes life is traveling along quite nicely, then – BANG – for some reason you fall into a slump. You know the signs: low energy, lack of motivation, a don’t-give-a-f attitude and maybe even depression. What is harder to know, however, is how to pull yourself out of such a slump.

Of course one option is to roll with it and hope it wears off. A better option, however, is to implement some strategies that will boost your mood and hopefully get you back on track. I am all too familiar with such slumps, so I would like to share with you the following 5 strategies that I have personally found to be most effective in counteracting them:

1. Ditch the Routine

I enjoy my daily routine, but every so often I need to throw it out the window for the sake of my sanity. Instead of waking at my normal time of 5am, I will turn off my alarm and wake up at my leisure. Or, I might leave my ipod at home and just enjoy the sounds of everyday life as I travel to and from work. Sometimes I even find that acts that are seemingly against best practice – eg getting drunk, eating greasy takeout or lying on the couch watching mindless television – are for some reason psychologically beneficial.

2. Exercise

Exercise is a fantastic way to get out of a slump. It is well known that exercise stimulates various brain chemicals, leaving you happier and more relaxed than before your worked out. And by making you look and feel better, exercise will also help increase your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

3. Do a Good Deed

I always find that doing a good deed for someone else is a win-win act because, apart from helping that person, I am left feeling better about myself. The good deed could be for someone you know – your partner, a friend or a family member. Or, you may choose to volunteer for a good cause and/ or donate to charity. Personally I find that volunteering to help the underprivileged is an especially good way to regain some perspective on life and realize things aren’t so bad after all.

4. Clear Your Mind From Clutter

Mental clutter is a major cause of falling into a rut. Over time all those things that keep getting pushed back – your taxes, replying to an email, servicing the car – can build up and cause you stress, both consciously and unconsciously. You don’t need to necessary do all these tasks to clear your mind. The key is to get them out of your head by writing them down, and then specifying the next action that is required to either complete the task or move it forwards.

5. Completely Change Direction

Sometimes a slump can be brought on by stress related to one particular project or task. These can hijack your thoughts, making it seemingly impossible to think about anything else. When this happens to me, I find it is best to put the task or project aside for a few hours, or even a few days, and do something completely different. It amazing how returning with a new, fresh mindset will allow me to get done in 1-2 hours what may have otherwise taken a whole day if I had continued to struggle along.

Any tips for getting out of a slump? Please share them in the comments below….

Peter writes about how to change your life at The Change Blog. He is also the author of Starting a Blog and Audio Book Downloads.