Slumps hit all of us.
As a trained economist I can actually vouch for this even more. One of the first thing you learn in Economics 101 is about the cyclical nature of the economy. There will always be ups and there will always be downs. It’s part of a natural rhythm.
What you do with those cycles and changes is what makes all the difference. To the longevity of the economic impact. Or, in your case, the impact it has on your life.
Whether you were on a high after an award-winning season at work, only to be catapulted into a disaster project, or you were at the peak of your running distance only to take a three week holiday and come back feeling sluggish and heavy – those peaks and troughs hit all of us.
And with those troughs, many people see that dip in their results as a judgement on their own selves. You tell yourself “I’m just not good enough” or “why aren’t I trying harder”, which only makes you feel way worse.
The problem is you get more stuck there, because nobody wants to keep taking action when they’re feeling bad.
So you can see how we get ourselves spinning in a perpetual cycle. We may have a few great “seasons” yet the moment the downfall hits, we tell ourselves we sux and deepen into a slump of “where is my life going”.
Well, the good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way!
Here’s what I’ve found to work best when it comes to slumps, and most importantly – to getting out of them.
The softer you can approach those transition points and the downturns the more graceful the turnaround will be. Instead of beating yourself up for “not being there yet”, acknowledge yourself for the distance you’ve come so far. When we’re gentle with ourselves we start to feel a bit better, and the energy that comes from that is contagious.
- Natural Cycles
What’s beautiful about knowing that life is cyclical, is that you also know it’s inevitable that you will end up in a slump again. Knowing that, it means you can essentially “plan” for those seasons, even if the planning is as simple as recognition in that moment that it’s natural to be here. Just take one small step at a time. The small steps multiply and magnify over time. That’s how any economy turns around too.
- Make It Easy And Fun
One of my favourite questions is to ask myself (and my clients) how could this be easy and fun? It’s quite a shocking question for any recovering over-achievers. Because our natural tendency is to think that things have to be hard in order for us to “accomplish” and be recognised for doing well.
But what if it could be easy and fun? When we make things easy and fun it also gives us a faster route out of the slump zone because we put ourselves into a state of joy. Joy eases tension and brings more mental clarity, spring-boarding us back towards that which we want.