Sunday, October 04, 2020

Surviving slumps

 I've known people who had long slumps, slumps that lasted months and years. I ached for those people and tried to help as I could. I just weathered a three-day slump. Fortunately, I was able to give into it knowing that slumps are a natural occurence in everyone's life, and an especially regular situation when your facing pandemic limitations and ramifications. 

What caused the slump?

The slump was caused by a number of physical and environmental factors. There was also an element of procrastination related to completing some needed, undesireable tasks. The more I neglected the tasks, the greater the weight of procrastination came. From 6-22, I was a great procrastinator who put off doing my school work until the last minute all the time. Once I left college and began working, I learned how to avoid procrastination and, for the most part, completed tasks ahead of time. I loved what that change brought to my life. But recently, a few new and not-so-inviting tasks led me back to some deep and unhealthy patterns of procrastination which, in part, led to the slump.

Slumps often reveal hard truths

There's always some truth to be found in a slump. I remember that one friend who experienced a lengthy slump had to face some truths about his family and his own personal limitations that were unpleasant. Once he faced those, he moved out of the slump. For me, I had to face some hard truths about some work that has to be done--work that's quite ordinary as you think about people's lives, but work that is not inviting, but has to be done. The hard truth is that I simply have to do those jobs--there's no way to avoid them. I can do them and I will. That proclamation lifted the dark clouds of the slump, and I'm over it. 

Slumps will happen

Slumps happen in every aspect of life. The key is to figure out why they happen and the truths those slumps reveal. Once you've remedied the situation by taking care of your physical needs and embracing the truths and resulting actions you need to do related to those truths, you're ready to move out of that slump. In general, it's best to give into the slump at first to figure out what that slump means. Of course, if it starts to last too long, you'll need to get some help to move out of the slump. 

Life is rarely a steady stream. There will always be good times and challenging times. As we acknowledge this, we learn to work with it in good ways, ways that help us to live lives we're proud of and lives we enjoy. Onward.