Thought Collective #1 – Getting Out of a Slump

I have been thinking a lot about my content online recently and what value my posts serve. Not just on this blog, but on Instagram and Twitter as well. I want my platforms to provide value of some kind and be a space that I am proud of.

In full transparency, I had an entirely different post planned to go up today, but I felt like it was so meaningless and I didn’t feel confident in posting it. Which is sort of where this post idea came from.

I feel like I have been writing a lot of posts this year where my heart is not entirely in them, but I knew that other people would be interested in them or they followed some trend, so I wrote them anyway. And that put me in a big rut. I haven’t been feeling motivated or inspired at all. There were even a few days where I considered just deleting my blog entirely.

But then I spent some time thinking it over and reminding myself why I started this blog. It is a creative outlet. A place to express myself. A safe space to share my thoughts and find others with similar interests. And I don’t want to lose that.

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However, I do want to start sharing more of my thoughts on here—my ramblings, the things that I am passionate about.

This is how the thought collective was born. This is a new series I’m doing, probably about once a month (maybe more, maybe less), where I just write about whatever topic is on my mind that week.

I hope that at least some of you will find this interesting or useful! Don’t worry, though, my book content is not going anywhere! I just need a bit of a bigger space here. And if there’s any topic you want me to write about, please feel free to comment or message me on any of my social media accounts :)

Now, onto the topic of today’s post- pulling yourself out of a slump!

During quarantine, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do, do, do. I thought to myself that if I have all of this time at home, I have to use it to accomplish everything and anything I ever wanted to do but kept putting off.

At first, this was great. I worked on a new novel, I started research for my undergrad thesis, I read more than ever before. On top of this, I started running and working out daily, baking, and taking on other projects (an internship for one).

This was a really toxic mindset, though. I didn’t realize it until a few weeks ago, when I tried to have a relaxing Sunday, but all I could think about were the tasks I had on my to-do list. I wasn’t enjoying reading anymore because it felt like I was only doing it to be ‘productive’, I couldn’t sit still long enough to watch a movie or even tv show because my mind was on other things, and I was constantly exhausted.

I’ve finally burnt myself out. Since the first of August, I have had no desire to wake up in the mornings and work on any of the goals I had set for myself. I would wake up, try to be productive, and then end up scrolling through social media or watching Youtube videos for hours.

I am slowly working my way out of this creative (& life) slump, which I talked a bit about on Instagram. There, I also shared some of the ways that I get myself out of this sort of feeling, so I’m going to elaborate more on those now!

Take a Break

The first thing to do is to give yourself a break. It was so hard for myself to accept that this was what I needed, if I’m being honest. I’m awful at taking breaks, and I can’t do it for very long. But this time around, I took a week-long break. That is probably the longest I’ve gone without being productive in years.

Your body needs time to rest and recover, though. And it’s so important! Not only is it a good time to refresh your mind and maybe consume some content that inspires you, but it can also improve your physical well-being, too.

**By the way—don’t wait until you’ve burned yourself out to take a pause. It is good to do so often!!

Change Your Routines

Change can be scary. But it is oftentimes exactly what we need. I tried out a new morning routine in July which involved me waking up extremely early and getting work done from the minute I got up until about noon. I quickly realized that this did not work for me at all.

So, I’ve reinvented my routine, and I made it much more suitable to my needs. I now get to sleep in more, I get a bit of work done, but I also have a slow, peaceful morning. And it is so nice! I can definitely do an entire post about my morning routine, as well, because it is something that I find is essential to a productive day!

Create Freely

One thing that I love doing when I’m in a rut is allow myself to create… ANYTHING. This is something I do just for me. I want to talk more about this in a future thought collective post, but I’ve realized that with having any sort of social media platform, there is a pressure to post everything you do. I share a lot of my days online through my Instagram stories, and I like creating things to share with others. However, you don’t have to post everything you create. Some things can (and should) be just for you!

I like to do this by painting or art journaling. Most of the time, the things I create are imperfect. They are messy. But they make me happy! That is all that is important here. Allow yourself to do something without the fear of failure or the pressure of critique’s from others! It is such a therapeutic thing to do. Trust me!

Write Out Your Thoughts/Feelings

The next step for me is journaling. Now, I try to journal everyday, but I usually just do morning pages where I write out anything that comes to my mind or I talk about my previous day, just to get my creative juices flowing.

But, when I’m in a rut, I like to specifically write about why I’m feeling the way I am. This journaling is much more intentional, and it takes more time, but it can really help you figure out the root of your slump.

Here are some prompts/questions to get you started:

  • What am I feeling right now?
  • What is currently upsetting me?
  • What are three things I am grateful for?
  • What distractions are hindering my productivity and how can I eliminate them?
  • What does my dream life look like?

Revisit & Revise Your Goals

Finally, I think frequently reading over your goals can be super motivating! However, sometimes you may look at them and realize that they are no longer things you want to focus on right now. And that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to take off some of your goals or revise them to better fit your current needs.

I’m very competitive with myself, so I push myself to achieve goals even if I no longer care about them, which just isn’t productive. I’m learning to be okay with letting go of my goals, even if I don’t always achieve them! This is such a vital lesson to learn.

The most important point of reworking your goals is making sure you are making them realistic but challenging. And prioritize the things that are most important to you!

That is all I have for you guys today! I know this was a long and rambly post, but I hope you got something good out of it. If you have any other tips for getting out a rut, feel free to share them in the comments!

Also, remember that what works for me may not work for you! It’s all about trial and error because everyone has different experiences. If you do try any of these, let me know how they went :)

I’ll see you all on Thursday (with another post I am very excited about)!

15 thoughts on “Thought Collective #1 – Getting Out of a Slump

  1. This post is so important!! I loved reading it. I’ve been in the same position many times with blogging where I start to question why I’m doing it, what purpose my posts deserve, and if they even mean anything- and usually the only way I can get myself out of that mindset is by remembering my passion for books, how happy it makes me to discuss this with other people, and how much I love interacting with the community.💛 I really love all the tips you shared for helping with a burnout! Taking breaks is so critical and can really help put a new perspective on anything. I’m so sorry you’ve been experiencing this and I’m sending you all the positive energy and virtual hugs. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to hear you’re working your way out of this slump!! I definitely agree that a change in routine and a nice, long, mindful break can make all the world of difference when creativity, inspiration, and motivation are lacking. Doing what works best for you and changing what doesn’t is the only way to move forward in a healthy way! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this post soo much! You’ve definitely given some great advice! I have been in a bit of a rut recently where I just didn’t see the point in blogging. I was also focusing too much on numbers which is just not healthy. But then, as you’ve mentioned, I remembered why I started. I created my blog to just talk about books. That’s it. And I honestly want to focus on the content itself. Anyway, I hope you’re feeling a bit better and I am sure you’ll get out of this slump. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly! I’ve been there- thinking, what is the point? Remembering you’re why is super important! But also, if blogging is something you no longer want to do, that is okay, too! I feel like sometimes we feel an obligation to continue something that is no longer making us happy, so it’s important to know when to stop, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such a great post!
    I’ve also been putting too much pressure on myself to be extra productive, and it led me into a slump. It was awful. Now I’ve decided that I can work as much as I want to during the week, but only from 11 am to around 8 pm, and I have Sundays off. As in, I cannot do anything “productive” on Sundays. At first it was hard, and I felt adrift and with no purpose during the whole day, but now it’s so nice to have nothing on my to-do list. I usually just watch youtube videos, play with my pets, read and spend time with my sisters. It’s great, and it’s helped a lot in keeping my stress levels down.
    Revisiting your goals is so important! I try to do it every Monday, and then I schedule whatever I need to do during the week to accomplish them.
    This new series sounds very interesting! I can’t wait to see what te next topic will be ;)
    And I’m so happy you’re getting out of your slump! They truly are the worst

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah that’s something I’ve been doing, too! I set specific times for myself to work during the week, and then on weekends I try to relax (aside from blogging/writing). It has definitely helped me to set these schedules. It’s easy to get swept up in hustle culture, so I’m glad you were able to recognize it and work on it!! I’m so happy you’re excited about the series :))

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jess, LOVED this post. And you. Please don’t go!! I’ve been feeling rather the same, also contemplating just deleting everything and disappearing forever welp. Same as trying to be so busy that I didn’t even realise I was slowly burning myself out that I just STOPPED for long periods of time. Which is not the best because it makes me feel guilty sometimes. Really need a better system ahh. Anyways LOVE all your tips, they’re so helpful and important to remember xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah no :(( I feel like we’ve all been there but no one ever talks about it!! I hope that some of these tips will help you get out of this rut. I think what’s most important is giving yourself a bit of a break sometimes!!

      Liked by 1 person

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