How to Get Back on Your Grind After Losing Motivation
Let’s face it, being focused and motivated 24/7 is unrealistic. Life happens, breakups happen, depression happens, deaths happen, and so much more. No matter how on top of your game you may be, there will inevitably come a day where you find yourself in some sort of “slump”. Even as a multi-passionate go-getter myself, I tend to slip into phases of low motivation that result in a loss of productivity. In fact, I went through a three-month slump prior to graduation that almost dragged me into a depression. I questioned my career path, dealt with feelings of inadequacy and failure, and experienced extreme senioritis that actually had me thinking about dropping out of school even though I was so close to finishing. This led me to pause my blogging, and rather than going the extra mile by pursuing my creative passions, I focused on simply trying to get through the day.
Getting my mindset back to normal was no easy feat and it took a level of intentional living that I advise more people to adopt. So today I’m going to tell you how I got refocused and re-energized to get back on my grind.
Step 1: Recognize the warning signs
Rarely do we feel amazing one day then wake up the next day feeling mentally washed and drained. There’s usually a slow decline in energy that occurs over a period of time. My slump usually begins with a combination of negative life events that cause me to feel discouraged, which then produces low energy and eventually a decline in productivity.
Step 2: Enforce your self-care activities ASAP
The quickest way to bounce back from a slump is to implement your self-care as soon as you recognize the warning signs. The quickest way to turn your slump into depression is by doing nothing at all. If you don’t have a self-care routine or activity, I advise you to establish one as soon as you can. For me, self-care includes exercise, getting cute (even when I don’t feel like it) and getting out of the house, singing at the top of my lungs in my apartment, and spending time with my family and friends. Check out this article I wrote on understanding self-care to help you establish your own self-care routine.
Step 3: Take time if you need to
Small periods of burnout are normal if you’re an ambitious go-getter. This could be your body telling you to slow down and relax. Sometimes I take a full day or two to do absolutely nothing. I allow myself to be a little lazy and catch up on my favorite shows over a bottle of wine (yes, a bottle). This allows me to recharge my mind and body and prepare to get back to work!
Step 4: Try to do a little more today than you did yesterday
Trying to do everything at once when you truly don’t feel like it can be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, do a little at a time. Even at my lowest energy level, I’m at least thinking about what my next blog post will be about. When I start to feel a little better, I write down blog titles, and so on and so forth. Even the tiniest effort goes a long way.
Step 5: Begin your day with inspiring content
It’s difficult to gain inspiration from myself when I’m not feeling my best so I like to listen to podcasts about blogging, branding, and business to help. Hearing stories about how other people grew their blog and/or created their business not only provides me with an opportunity to learn, but it also keeps my big goals in mind. This way, I feel a little more motivated to get back on my grind and I don’t let my personal circumstances drive me away from fulfilling my purpose. The podcasts I use to keep me on track include:
How I Built This by NPR
Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman
Side Hustle Pro by Nicaila Matthews Okome
The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
Secrets of Wealthy Women by The Wall Street Journal
Step 5: Assess your inner dialogue
There is a difference between talking to yourself to motivate and talking to yourself to criticize. What are you saying to yourself when you’re in a slump? Saying “Okay Zo, let’s just brainstorm two blog topics. You got this.” is MUCH more helpful than saying, “Ugh, it’s been a month since I’ve posted a blog, I should just quit”. Fight your mood with positive and productive thoughts and self-talk if you want to make it out on the other side swinging.
It can be difficult to pursue passions outside of your 9-5, especially when you’re not getting paid for it yet. Some days I wake up thinking, “Who the hell told me to voluntarily do all this work for free!” LOL. As rewarding as it is to have this blog and hear people tell me how much it’s helped and inspired them, it is difficult to juggle this along with everything else I have going on. Feeling overwhelmed and burned out are bound to happen, what really matters is what you choose to do when these moments occur. I want to know what you think about these tips and tricks and if they have helped you! Leave a comment below so that I know I’m doing something right. Happy hustling y’all!
The Life Therapist
Photo by: Dave Funchess