Sometimes you just don’t feel like working or cooking or taking care of the kids or even making love. You simply want to lay in bed in the fetal position.

Yep, you are officially in the dumps and your life sucks. And because you are in the dumps you do not have the energy to do much of anything.

I have come to realize that there are two reasons why you get into this funky mood:

  • You have low energy – most likely the cause of poor nutrition, lack of restorative sleep, little to no exercise, or (and) stress.
  • You get trapped into believing the negative comments – most likely the cause of self-doubt, self-oppression or unsupportive friends and family.

Sander van der WelUnfortunately, these two reasons work in tandem. Like tag team wrestling champions, they are masterfully relentless in their assault.

Almost immediately, the mind retaliates by acting like a child. It throws a cranky, selfish, grumpy fed tantrum. This is not your proudest moment but you are suffering, and you’re looking for comfort.

I totally get, and you need to acknowledge the childlike-tantrum but give it very little power.

Instead, you must listen to its needs. Your inner child wants to sleep and to feel comforted. Here are four ways to get out of the dumps:

1. Fix your sleep. You need to give your body the sleep it requires so make it your top priority:

  • Get 8 hours of sleep
  • Avoid screens before bedtime
  • Have a caffeine curfew
  • Keep your bedroom cool
  • Meditate in bed
  • Use blackout curtains
  • Exercise in the morning

2. Talk to someone. It helps dramatically to talk to someone else, who can offer you guidance. Make sure the person you talk to will be supportive like a spouse, close friend, a parent – don’t be ashamed to reach out for help.

3. Start doing some work. Only after you have taken care of your sleep and talked to someone – it’s time to get some work done. But don’t go all Rambo, just yet.

It’s better to ease back into work. So create a to do list and work on getting some quick wins so you can re-launch your self-esteem. As you are getting back into your groove increase the workload.

4. It’s OK to be in the dumps. It happens to everyone – from time to time. I like to think of the dumps as a layover after a long trip. Sometimes the body and mind just needs a moment to recharge after a prolonged period of poor sleep and constant negative thinking.

You are the expert of you. So if you notice that you hit the dumps after a long time between breaks you should schedule some downtime before it happens. The break does not have to be grand. But it should be something only for you – like a run in the morning, tea at a local coffee shop, or even a barefoot stroll in the grass.

You are the most important person in your life. As such you should take great care of protecting your limited energy; because there are people who love you, and who are relying on you.

Question: The dumps will happen it’s the price we pay for being busy adults. But what will you do to make sure you minimize your time in the dumps?

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Image Credit: Sander van der Wel