We’re all familiar with the phrase “in a slump.” We’ve experienced it at some time or another in our lives. Technically, the term slump refers to teams who are experiencing a particularly bad losing streak, but for the rest of the population, it refers to a prolonged period of their lives when they’re feeling defeated, like life will never get better for them. For some of us, that might mean we’re bored with where we are in life or we feel like our lives aren’t going anywhere.

It’s moments like this when a much-needed change is in order. Motivation or inspiration to move on is needed, but you might not know how or where to find it. To begin you have to learn to recognize the emotions you’re experiencing. But how do you know if it’s a true slump or something much more serious?

Do yourself a favor and track your emotions for the next two weeks. Write down what you’re feeling, the time of day and what the circumstances around you are like (are you at work, at home, in a crowded bar, etc.). Focus on anything that triggers you to feel differently, whether good or bad. If you see a consistent pattern of being down in the dumps, that’s the time to seek professional help. Let your doctor know what you’re feeling and show her what you’ve tracked. Your doctor can help you come up with solutions. If what you experience isn’t necessarily a deeper issue and appears to more related to boredom, there are simple techniques to help combat that.

Here are a few tips to help you get back on track:

  1. Call your feelings what they are. If you can say them out loud, then you’re halfway to finding your way out of your slump. The more you talk about what’s going on and the faster you reach out to someone qualified enough to help you deal with your emotions, the better.
  2. Understand that this too shall pass. When you’re at the center of turmoil, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep in mind that you’ve found your way out of other situations. You’ve survived your share of issues. Write down little reminders that you have been through worse or that what you’re feeling won’t last forever.
  3. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Even if you choose not to seek professional advice, just the mere act of discussing your issues with a trusted friend can help you get out of your funk.
  4. Do something different. Change your routine. Take a different route to work or school. See something new. Start a new hobby. Do anything that gets you away from your normal routine.
  5. Take care of yourself.
  6.  Seek out inspiration.
  7. Fake it until you make it.
  8. Do good for others. Helping someone else often does wonders for you.
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