How to Deal When You’re in a Slump

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Have you ever felt off, but you weren’t able to explain why? Sometimes it lasts a day, or sometimes it lasts a week or longer. There’s that nagging tug at your heart that you know too well and your mind feels heavy. Someone says or does something that rubs you the wrong way when normally it wouldn’t bother you at all, you’re feeling particularly moody, and your confidence seems to be lacking.

This is the vivid description of a slump.

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A slump mustn’t be confused with depression. Though the symptoms seem the same, the main difference is the length of time; a slump is something you are able to overcome in a shorter period of time, while depression lasts longer and is generally more severe.

Sometimes my slumps are triggered by something that happens during the day that upsets me, or sometimes I can just wake up sensing something’s not right. Neither one is ideal, and they can both leave me feeling down in the dumps.

This whole post will probably sound cliché, but I believe these tried-and-true methods really do help alleviate the symptoms of the occasional slump. Besides, a little reminder never hurt anyone.

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The first thing to do is tell yourself that you’re probably taking things too personally. If someone said or did anything that upset you, it more than likely wasn’t intentional. Your co-worker probably didn’t mean to come off cold at the afternoon meeting; he or she may have just had a rough morning that set the tone for their work day. You have to ask yourself, “If the same thing happened two weeks ago when I was in a better mood, would it have still bothered me?” If not, you’re probably just experiencing a symptom of your slump.

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The next way to combat your slump is to distract yourself. You need to get out of your head and away from those ill feelings. Take a walk to clear your mind, do something that actively requires your attention to keep your wandering thoughts at bay, and/or talk about how you’re feeling to someone you trust. These are all great ways to cope, and they will help you get back into the right state of mind.

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Finally, remind yourself that it’s okay to feel this way. Everyone has off days. If every day was smooth sailing, we would never have anything to learn from. Sometimes you just want to lay there and feel what you’re feeling, and that’s perfectly fine. Just remember that you have to pick yourself up and get back on your feet. Don’t let your slump keep you down for too long.

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When you’re in a slump, most of the aforementioned above are easier said than done. Sometimes it’s not a quick fix, and the only cures are the passing of time and a good night’s sleep. However, I personally practice all three of these coping mechanisms and find that they truly do provide some relief, which I am always grateful for even if that relief is brief.

Do you have anything in particular you like to do when you’re in a slump? What advice would you give to someone who told you they’re feeling down? I’m always interested to hear other people’s thoughts, so let me know in the comments below!