Slumps are one of those predators that don’t discriminate its victims in any way at all. Whether you’re in high school, a working adult or close to retirement, a slump can hit you with blunt force out of nowhere, and honestly, all you want to do is crawl out of that pit of despair, but it takes everything out of you just to be able to complete day to day, menial tasks. It gets worse when you realise that you’re actually quite well off, in normal circumstances: you’re in school, you have a job, you have a family that cares for you, so why on earth should you feel so hopeless?

What people still need to understand is that a slump is not something that comes about because it is a deserved punishment because you haven’t been doing well; successful people fall into slumps from time to time as well. The most important thing is being able to bounce back from it. While that may feel impossible when you’re barely able to get yourself out of bed, there are baby steps you can take to slowly climb out of this rut you may be facing. Remember: everyone’s journey is unique to themselves; as I’ve mentioned, what’s important is being able to get out of the dreaded slump.

1. Acknowledge it

It starts with accepting the fact that you’re currently in a slump. Denial isn’t just a river and it can actually inhibit your healing process if you refuse to acknowledge the fact that there’s something wrong with your current situation. Sometimes it’s enough just to acknowledge that something needs fixing, if you can’t begin to figure out how exactly did you fall into this slump in the first place.

2. Strip down your to do list to its most basic form

The moment you look at your calendar and you’re immediately filled with dread is when you need to reevalute your schedule. Is it filled with too many unnecessary tasks that can be condensed into a single bullet point? Are you taking on too much on your plate? Is there any way that you can rearrange your deadlines and coffee dates so that you can have more time alone to rejuvenate?

3. Change up your routine

This comes after you’re done revamping your calendar, because when you’re in a slump, you’re tempted to forgo your entire routine in favour of, well, not doing anything. However, this is usually not possible, considering your life still continues to move along even when your mind feels like it’s trapped in a dark corner of despair. What you should be doing instead is try to mix things up, just one part of your day, each day. Stop by the park after work, go and explore a new food joint, take a different route than you usually do; the key here is to get out of the mundane cycle that’s repressing your ability to function.

4. Look for inspiration and motivation

Read cheesy articles like these if you have to and don’t allow yourself to be judged for it. Search for new books, music, or art and simply surround yourself with all the motivation and inspiration you can get your hands on. Self-care is real, people, and it’s incredibly important for our physical and mental well-being.

5. Realign your goals, and take it one at a time

It’s no use changing everything up and then trying to blitz through the recovery process. Your burnt out self is what got you into this mess in the first place. Instead, take it one goal at a time, and commit to it. Give yourself space and don’t be pressured to reach it in a specific amount of time.

6. Celebrate the small successes and continue moving forward

It’s a process, not a quick fix solution. Be grateful for the successes you achieve and will achieve, but keep building on them. The only way to go is forward.