How to get yourself out of an unwelcome slump

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I’m doing this new thing when I’m feeling in a slump where I ask myself “what would I want my boyfriend or BFF to do for me?” then whatever the answer is – I do it for my damn self.

When I was younger I put a lot of weight in having other people care for me and do the things that I wanted them to. If they didn’t do what I thought to be the proper thing or what I would have done for them, it crushed me. To a very unhealthy level. I put a lot of stake in other people’s actions. Hoping that I could influence them, manipulate them, and persuade them into doing what I wanted. It led to a lot of misery.

“Trying to control other people’s actions will lead to a lot of misery.”

So, here I am now. 23 years of age. Almost 24 (even though my mom likes to act like I am 24 when she wants to make me feel old).

I’ve grown a lot.

Matured into a more spiritual, independent person who favors positivity over drama and being alone over subpar company. I’ve become so much more comfortable with my standards and what I want. While I still question whether I’m being too picky or whether I should stick to my guns, I’ve gotten better at cutting myself off short of that thought and asserting that I’m not being unreasonable and I deserve whatever it is that I want.

I’m starting to trust myself more and have really become a friend to myself – a concept I didn’t fully understand half a decade ago. I’ve gone to two concerts by myself in the past 2 months and made friends both times! I’m really progressing. Seriously.  *Pats self on back*

Anyway, back to the subject of this post.

Last week, as I was starting my day I noticed that I was feeling super out of it and uncharacteristically anxious. I had to force some deep breaths to try and calm down but that wasn’t a long-term solution.Worst of all, I had no idea what the source of my anxiety was.

What I did know was:

Number 1, I knew that I needed to get out of my house since it was my day off from work and being deprived of social interaction and the presence of other humans can put me on edge. I went to one of my favorite cafes and calmed myself with tea.

Number 2, I knew I needed a mental pick me up. A good dose of positivity and empowerment. Whereas a bf or BFF would ideally tell me how awesome I am, how much I’m conquering life and how much they saw promise in my future, I instead got some great doses of hope, inspiration, and laughs from my screenwriting book, Writing Movies for Fun and Profit and Napoleon Hill’s famous Think and Grow Rich (shout out to my aunt for gifting me that book last Christmas!).

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The opening quote of Think and Grow Rich

Number 3, I knew I needed some yummy food to quell the light remains of icky feelings in my gut, even after my great reading and uplifting session. On the way home I got off of the highway early and treated myself to my favorite and rarely consumed Peruvian chicken with the yellow and green sauce and plantain. (Oh my GOD. Seriously. Just smelling it on the way home got me all tingly & happy inside.) Oh and I knew I wouldn’t want the chicken to end so… I got a full chicken for myself! Haha that joy lasted 4 solid meals (another perk of treating yourself… you don’t have to share!)

As a bonus, I ate my yummy meal while watching a Parks & Rec rerun on Netflix and by the end of that day, I was back to normal. Now THAT’s how you get yourself right out of a weird and unwelcome slump – if you’re me, that is. Eh, it worked that day at least. And I felt good about being able to successfully face and address my unwelcome downcast mood instead of leaning into it and just ending up feeling worse.

Other cool options to consider for cheering yourself up include: Buying yourself flowers, writing a little ditty about how amazing you are (we all need reminders), getting yourself a manicure, treating yourself to a decently healthy craving (you don’t want something that’ll make you feel guilty after), reading a magazine, listening to your favorite music, cleaning/organizing/cooking (working with your hands can be calming and feeling productive is a mood booster), exercising or meditating (I love yoga for stress), going for a walk in fresh air, calling or texting an old or new friend (try keeping it positive and avoid dwelling on your sour mood), making fun plans to look forward to, remind yourself of the good in the world by finding a reason to smile or laugh (@cuteemergency is one of my fave resources or a funny video clip).

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. It’s just a starting point for anyone to jump off from. Everyone’s different and it’s important to find out what specifically works best for you. It may change from day to day or season to season but I encourage finding out what lifts your mood. Give loving yourself a try and see how your life improves.

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Have you  found yourself feeling inexplicably down or unsatisfied recently? What do you do to get yourself out of a random slump? I’m curious to hear what helps you feel better in the comments!

(photo sources: foxeia.tumblr.com, peytonfulford.tumblr.com)
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