5 Ways to Cope When You’re in a Shlump
I felt like I should be thanking my lucky stars. Everything around me seemed like it was going great. I had my own place, my own community, my own flow. I had a flight ticket booked somewhere exotic and pleasurable men inside my bed. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted. Except that I also felt overwhelmed, confused, and stuck.
While my outside looked picture perfect, my insides felt like they were melting with uncertainty, confusion and basic feelings that I can only describe as MEH.
You know THOSE times, right?
Those times when life appears okay on the outside. You force out the smile to go with the “I’m fine” and “it’s all good.” You have everything you should want to have and you should be feeling thankful. Except you feel pretty fucking BLEH about life.
These kind of feelings creep up on me at least twice a year, if not more – normally around my birthday and just about when New Year hits. Sometimes it happens when I’m in consistent GO mode and I haven’t stopped to look where I actually am, meaning I’m completely burning out. It’s those times when I know some part of my life needs to take a turn – but I have no control of the wheel and I have no idea where I want to go anyway.
It happens to all of us, and if it hasn’t happened to you yet – well, truth is you might be avoiding some heavy-hitting feelings deep inside you.
What I’ve learned in those MEH moments, which can last for a couple weeks or a couple months even, it’s okay to feel confused, miserable and depressed even if everything seems like it should be good, great and glorious.
What’s important is to let go of the should's and just let those feelings be. Allow and acknowledge the painful uncertainty, the chaotic confusion, and the deep darkness. Just acknowledge everything that you’re feeling. The only way they will pass is if you choose to feel them. This is a perfect time to also treat yourself with extra love and care. To be kind and gentle with yourself.
Because it’s okay not to be okay. It’s called life – and it’s meant for living and feeling and experiencing to the fullest – from the highest peaks of pleasure to the lowest valleys of MEH – and all in between.
I know because I used to avoid it, shaking the negative feelings away and just trying to move forward, to keep going, to keep doing until it went away. What I realized was that the more I tried to push it away, the deeper in I got stuck. It’s not about pushing away – it’s about pulling yourself through – building up that inner strength, resilience, and getting to know ourselves, and what we need, a little bit more.
With that said, here are 5 resources you can use when you feel all “shlumpy,” and you have no idea what to do about it.
1. Call on your support system
Now is the perfect time to surround yourself with the people who allow you to just be you, to sulk, to ponder, to listen, to lean on. The people who have your best interest at heart – who see you, feel you, and truly hear you. The people who care about you and will go out of their way to lift you up, and will keep it real with you. My mom always used to say – your real friends are the people who put things on hold to support you – and this still rings true for me today. Now is the time to call on your core, talk about what it is you’re really feeling – and support you while you break through whatever it is on the other side.
Just talking to a friend about these feeling can help you come to some realizations and release the things stirring deep inside.
Most importantly, these are the people who will understand when you demand happy hour every hour or vodka at noon, who will cheers with you, and be with you just as you are.
Sometimes we don’t realize just how much we deprive our bodies of sleep. Just because we lay in bed for 8 hours does not mean we’re getting good sleep. If you’re feeling exhausted, it could be for a slew of reasons. Maybe you’re drinking too much caffeine your body isn’t loving it, maybe you’re sitting in front of too many screens that your brain is too turned on to fall asleep properly, or maybe you lay awake in bed, tired as fuck, with a mind that refuses to go to turn off.
When our bodies and brains don’t get the break they need, at least 7 to 8 hours a night, our entire system is affected, like our emotions, and it can slow us down in ways we may not realize. If you feel like you need to nap, take one. You’re not a waste of life. You need to nourish your home, aka your body. Curl up for 20 – 30 minutes and power through it.
3. Create something
Anything. Cook something delicious. Draw on a napkin. Move your body. Write in a journal. When we’re feeling stuck the best thing we can do is release energy; however you do and however feels best to you. Whether it’s going for a run or a dance class, having crazy sex, or putting all your love into a chocolate cake, releasing your energy means it’s moving out of your body and into the world. Once you let out out this pent up energy, your body tension may also diminish. The more you let it out, the more space you have within you for new things. We can only hold so much tension and stress in our bodies before we close up. We must continuously do things which allow us to open.
Having conversations, singing out loud, dancing wildly, going for a walk are all fabulous ways to release the beast inside you.
4. Get into nature
Take a step back from the world and from yourself and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Whatever situation it is that has you feeling blue, taking time to connect with our one wondrous world is crucial. When we settle ourselves into nature and allow ourselves to feel small, we’re able to gain new perspective on life. Take a moment and breathe in the vastness of the sea or the trees. Bask in the warmth of our star’s sunshine. Dig your feet into the grass or the sand and acknowledge the physical connection to the earth, who always has your back (and feet). See the bigger, huger picture and realize that life is meant to be light, and sometimes not to be taken so seriously.
We live in a world with a million happenings at every moment, with ups and downs and waves of constant motion and energy. Take a moment to feel small and it may help you place yourself
in the right perspective to know you will move past this downhill wave.
5. Treat yo’self
When we aren’t feeling on top of the world, the most important thing we can do is be kind to ourselves. This means being gentle with our words and our judgments towards ourselves. We often expect a lot from ourselves, and our minds can be (or are) our own worst enemy. We would never speak to other people the way we speak to ourselves. Watch your words. They matter.
It’s also easy to feel down and get into the routine where we feel bad for ourselves. This is okay sometimes, but other times, we need to find the strength to keep moving forward – even if just a teeny, tiny baby step. It’s the simple and small things we do for ourselves everyday that make the biggest and most tremendous differences in our lives.
At any given moment, ask yourself what you need. Is it rest and quiet? Is it a fun night with friends? Is it curling up on the couch with a book and a cup of tea? Always ask yourself what you need – only you know what is right for you – and you have all the answers deep inside you, choose to listen.
If you need a daily reminder to be nice to yourself, like I did, and want a world of women to play along with, join our Treat Yoself Adventure, which is 21 days of delightful dares to remind you to live your best, fullest and happiest life. Learn more here. Our next adventure starts October 1!
By: Zo Flamenbaum