It’s hard to get through life slump free. We all have ups and downs, and some of those downs last longer than we’d like. Enter: the slump.
During a slump, you might feel unmotivated, lost, unproductive, angry, annoyed, or stuck…which can engender a whole lot of negative emotions. And, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but few aspects of life are immune to slumps.. If you don’t take action to make positive changes, you might just fall deeper and deeper into the slump, in which case it’ll be harder to pick yourself back up.
Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to get out of a slump, no matter what kind of slump you find yourself in. Here are 3 different types of common slumps, as well as how to get out of them.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the workforce for 2 years or 20 years. Slumps at work happen, and they can cause your productivity and happiness to plummet. But don’t worry, being in a slump doesn’t mean your career is doomed.
How to get out of a career slump
There’s no single way to climb out of a career slump, but here are some suggestions that can help jumpstart your efforts:
- Figure out what aspect of your career is slumping
Are you down because you’re super stressed about a project you’re working on, or are you having an identity crisis and rethinking your whole career path? Figure out what’s bugging you, and address it. If your slump is caused by being bored at work, there are steps you can take to change. Speak with your supervisor about taking on more responsibilities, or see if you can get involved in a project with a cross functional team. If your slump is because you’re stressed and overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to discuss that with your supervisor, too.
- Start networking
So many people talk about networking that it seems to be just a mythical buzzword, but it really can be beneficial. Networking with other professionals —whether they work at your company or they work in a different industry — can help you get a different point of view. It’s a great way to get career advice firsthand. Try meeting up for coffee with someone you really admire, or someone who has job you’d like to have one day. You can also attend networking events or happy hours pertinent to your industry.
- Have a change of scenery
If you’re a remote worker or freelancer, try a change of scenery. For example, if you work from home, switching things up and heading to a coffee shop to buckle down for the day can give you some newfound motivation. Additionally, you could try out a coworking space or plan a meetup with other remote workers you know.
- Speak with a career coach
Career coaches are the experts — you should turn here if you’re feeling especially lost or if your slump seems never ending. They can help you explore other options and figure out what your true goals and values are when it comes to your career.
Mental Health Slump
If you deal with mental health conditions, it’s (unfortunately) natural to go through slumps and some times are simply harder than others. For example, you might be feeling like your depression is kicking it up a notch, or your anxiety is higher than usual.
How to get out of a mental health slump
Similar to the work slump, there’s not one way to pull yourself out of a career slump, check out these suggestions to help get you feeling better:
- Make sure you’re not skimping on self-care
You may already have some favorite self-care activities, but if you don’t, try some of these ideas: Journaling, making lists of things you’re grateful for, meditating, calling up a loved one, having some phone free time, or exercising. Everyday, carve out a good amount of time to do at least one of these things.
- Go back to the basics
When you’re feeling poorly, it’s easy to let yourself go and forget about the basics of taking care of yourself and being healthy. Making some simple changes can have a big impact. Make sure you drink a lot of water, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep (or at least try to). If you take meds, remember to take them!
- Ask for help
Don’t be embarrassed to get a family member or friend involved. Tell them that you’re going through a rough time and that you need extra support. It can also be nice to have regular check ins with other friends who struggle with mental health issues, to connect with someone who really gets what you’re going through. You can both provide a shoulder to cry on as well as hold each other accountable for making positive changes in life.
- Know when to bring in a professional
If things start to get really bad, be sure to loop in your therapist. If you don’t have a therapist and you’re struggling mentally, it can be very helpful to get a mental health professional involved. If you’re feeling suicidal, please don’t hestitate to call a hotline like the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Sexual slumps are common, especially in long term relationships or marriages where boredom tends to hit. Sex is an important aspect of romantic relationships, so you should try to address the problem before it really takes a toll on your partnership. Alternatively, a single person might be going through a sexual slump if they’re experiencing a dry spell or only having unfulfilling, boring sex (who wants that!?)
How to get out of a sexual slump
Just like slumps in your career and mental health, there’s not a silver bullet when it comes to getting out of a sexual slump, but these suggestions should give your sexual slump a little umph.
- Figure out if there’s a root cause
Sometimes, the cause of a sexual slump doesn’t really have to do with sex, per se. For example, maybe you and your partner have been fighting a lot recently, or maybe there are some trust issues. Or, hey, maybe it’s a work slump that’s all consuming and crossing over into the bedroom. Address these problems first, and then the sex part might come a little easier.
- Make sex a priority
Want to have good sex? Make it a priority. If you’re in a relationship where you and your partner have gotten “too busy” or “too tired” for sex, figure out how you can make time for sexy time. It might mean cutting back on TV or social media at night (which definitely isn’t a bad thing anyway). Decide together what works and what you can sacrifice to make time for intimacy.
- Ask for what you want
This is a simple idea that’s not always so simple to execute. It can be embarrassing or nerve wracking to be truly open about your desires, but not asking for what you want in bed can not only contribute to a sexual slump, but can also harm your mental health. When you communicate openly and honestly, it can inspire your partner to do the same. This piece of advice is also applicable to singles having casual sex. Just because you aren’t in a committed relationship with your sex parter it doesn’t mean you can’t ask for what you want!
- Try something different
Share your turn ons, fantasies, and kinks with your partner, and see if they’re down to try something new. Something new could be as simple as having sex in a different room of the house instead of the bedroom. Spicing things up is definitely a fun and effective way to get out of a sexual slump. If you’re single, you can spice up your solo sex life by treating yourself to a new sex toy to hold you over until you find the right person to bring to bed. (Masturbation is also great for your mental health, FYI).
- Consider casual (safe) sex
If you’re single and having a dry spell, consider hooking up outside of a relationship. Under the right circumstances, casual sex can be just fine for your mental health. It can even be empowering, fun, and stress relieving. Put yourself out there to try to meet new people, and have an open mind. But if you are having casual sex, always rememeber to practice safe sex — use protection, talk about STIs and consent, and get tested.
We hope you feel more equipped and ready to power through whatever slump you might be in. You got this!
Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.
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