Everyone has low days when you just feel tired, weary, lackluster, or defeated. In this episode I’m talking about how to deal with life when you’re in a slump. I want to be really honest with you and share practical things that you can do when you’re feeling that way. I hope that this helps you guys, that you feel like you could come back and listen to this to get some inspiration when you're really feeling uninspired. Let’s jump in!
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
How to deal when you’re in a slump
What abundant life is and what it isn’t
The truth that everyone deals with “low” times
How meditation, affirmations, and a good nap can help you through your bad days
Mentioned in this Episode:
Words are powerful, and they're directly connected to our thoughts and our hearts. Speak life over yourself and your circumstances with positive affirmations.
I've put together a list of positive statements for every area of your life. Start saying them out loud and watch your world transform!
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey friends! This episode is so important! It is something that I have been working on for a long time. It's funny because things just kind of come up. You guys send me messages on Instagram, Facebook, emails. Some things I see, some things my team sees, but we all meet together regularly and we talk about you guys. I see what it is that you're asking, what it is you want.
And it's so funny because, more often than not, questions come up in waves. It's almost like everybody's asking the same thing at the same time. And it's really cool.
One question that's been coming up a lot lately is: How do you handle when you're in a slump? What if you're having a series of low days—not necessarily depression, that's a different issue—but where you're just tired, not yourself, lackluster? What does that mean and what do you do about it?
I want to dive into this topic because I'm a feeler. I go by how I feel. I dress by how I feel. I make decisions by how I feel. And I have to be really, really mindful of how I feel, and of the fact that I am a feeler and that I make decisions based on my feelings. I have to practice mindfulness a ton because of the way that I am.
Whether or not you're like that, I think this episode will help you. I want to be really honest with you guys and share practical things that I do and that you can also do when you're in a little bit of a slump.
I think the first thing to know here is that everybody has low days. It's very easy for us to be on social media and see people that we admire or that seem to have it all together and think that they never struggle. And that's just an absolute lie.
I'm normally a pretty positive go-getter, but every once in a while I just feel really low. I feel really “blah.” Not even really like, “I'm just tired, I just need a break.” Maybe it's defeat. Maybe it's weariness. Maybe it's a few days, maybe it's a few weeks. But whatever the cause or whenever the time, there are down times. Everybody has them.
Here are the facts that I want to get straight.
When I talk about abundant life and abundant motherhood that doesn't mean that you're always going to be highly energized, super excited about life, and happy-go-lucky.
I don't think I'm ever like that. I think people assume that about me because they want to, but I've never said that and that's not how I live. I definitely have my moods, my highs and lows, good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments in the same day.
Abundant life is actually about having space to live life, to feel, to be able to do what is needed. Whether that is being in a very energized, happy space where you're doing a lot, you're busy, you're in a full season. Or you’re taking time off to rest, restore and heal. To me, living abundantly is having space to do what is needed for you in that. That's going to change and shift.
I think people couple abundance and perfect happiness together and it's just a huge mistake. It's going to make you feel real bad about your life and yourself, because that's just not the truth.
I want to admit freely to you guys that I absolutely have lows. I get into slumps. In the last week, I feel like I came out of a slump that had lasted a couple of weeks. Nothing situational, really. Just kind of like, “Man, I'm just not myself. I'm tired. I feel like I don't really feel super excited to do this work or really excited to write this email.” And I'm normally not like that. I normally really love my work. I love writing emails to you guys. I love talking with you guys. I love interacting on social media. I was not myself. I was just tired, just tuckered out and kind of just blah. So, I took a break from social media for about five days and I let myself feel that low.
That's the first thing I want to say. I'm going to go into a list of what I do in the slumps for myself and you guys can take whatever you like from this and mimic it or shift it to a way that applies to you better. The first thing that I do when I feel like I'm in a slump is:
I let myself feel. I don't try to change it or force it away. I also don't use it as an excuse or lean all the way into it like, “Oh, I'm just so high maintenance, super feely and I'm just in a low place right now. So, everyone just needs to deal.” I don't do that, but I do let myself feel. I don't force it to change.
There's a meditation practice where as soon as you get still and you practice meditation, your mind immediately starts to come up with all these thoughts. Things you forgot, or things you have to do. And one thing that I've learned from practicing meditation on a regular basis is that you don't try to judge your mind for coming up with thoughts or try to force them away. You simply acknowledge that they're there and then you let them go. That's really benefited me a lot in my job with people's opinions, negativity, bad reviews, and unkind comments and messages. And also with things like this, with how I feel.
I have learned that feelings are just that. They’re just feelings. They’re kind of surface.
They don't really last. They're not really dependable. They're not things that we should make decisions out of. They're not things that we should depend on.
So, when I feel like I'm low, not really myself, and in a weird slump, I don't really super dive into it and try to figure out where it's coming from or freak out and think, “Am I getting depressed?” I don't judge myself for feeling like I feel. I used to think, and sometimes I still do, but I try not to think, “Oh my gosh! Of course, I'm feeling like this now. Of course, I'm lacking energy right now. I have all this stuff to do. Of course, this would happen.” I don't get like that.
I just let myself feel. I acknowledge that I'm feeling that way and that's it. I don't let my mind take over and I don't let the negativity win. I allow my thoughts, I allow those feelings, but I don't let them come in the gate. I just let them come up to the gate. I don't let them come inside, take over, and kick the positivity that I've been working on so hard all the way out the door. The negative thoughts like, “Woe is me. Oh my gosh, of course! This is such bad timing. We're about to do a big launch and I'm feeling really low. Oh my gosh! Where is this coming from?
Because, when you've had postpartum depression or you’ve struggled with depression at all, it can make you feel panicked to have any kind of slump.
Hey friends! In this episode I talked about my affirmations. I mentioned them off hand, but really this is an incredible download that you can have on your work computer, on your home computer, your laptop, your tablet, your phone, you can print them out.
Actually, one of my business coaching clients showed me the other day on our video call that she had printed them out, hole-punched them, and wrapped a ribbon around them so that she could flip through them anytime. And I thought that was just genius.
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What you say becomes flesh, right? That's a fact. And it also really determines how you're thinking about things. We act out of how we're thinking and talking about things, so this is huge!
If you want to change your life fast, change the way you speak. Begin to speak truth and life!
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“Oh my gosh! It's coming back!” I have those thoughts, but I let them come up to the gate and then I don't let them in. You will have thoughts, almost uncontrollably. But what you do with those thoughts is the part that you can control, and that's what you need to watch.
I don't let them take over. I don't let them kick out the positivity; I counter them with positivity. This is why affirmations are so huge. I have a really low-cost affirmations packet (I think it's 15 bucks or something) that are pre-done, written-up-for-you-affirmations for every area of your life. Those are the actual affirmations that I use in my life. I keep them on my phone so I can just scroll to the affirmations I need.
Sometimes I'll just go through them all, but usually there's one area of my life that I just really need to spend a little more time being positive on and speaking life and speaking truth over. And so, I'll do that. By the way, I'll link to that packet here, if you want to grab that. It’s just really handy to have affirmations saved in your phone, so you can pull it out whenever you're feeling low, you're doubting something, or if you're feeling nervous or anxious. It's a really good anxiety combater too.
I don't let my mind take over and the negativity win. I just allow it to be there. I notice that it’s there. I let myself feel. I don't force myself out of it, but I also don't let it come into the gate and take over my inner house.
Another thing I do is: I rest as much as I can. I might look at my calendar and think, “Is there something on here that isn't high priority that I could cut out altogether or push back to when I'm in a more energetic place?” I actually just did that when I shared that I was in one of these low slumps a couple of weeks ago. It ended this past week but it lasted about a week and a half, maybe two weeks. I looked at my calendar and I saw there were things that could be pushed, that could be canceled. It wasn’t going to serve me, this other person, or anybody else for me to show up like that. It's going to make this linger longer and I want to do things to help myself pull out of it without forcing myself to feel differently.
And so, I create rest. I cut things out of my calendar. I pass on new commitments that pop up and I just create rest. I don't lie on the couch, eat potato chips, and watch Friends on Netflix. I mean, sometimes I do, but I don't just because I’m resting. Remember, we can't use things as excuses. We just need to take care of ourselves. So, I will create rest.
I will create less commitments, less events, less interviews to have on the podcast, less press, less work. I'll see what can be pushed. Maybe this could be done later? Do I really need to write these emails right now? Do I really need to record these podcasts episodes right now? I push anything that I can.
I won't completely clear my day because I need to have normalcy, I need to get my things done, but if there's something that's extra and really not life-giving and can be moved, I will do that.
And you know, I'm big on naps. That's the next thing—I take naps. There is so much power in taking a nap. I've got friends that are not nappers at all, and that's fine. But even if you're not going to fall asleep, just lying down for 20 minutes, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing is incredibly powerful—especially for moms.
So, I will create space in my calendar and I'll also create space in my day. I'll set my phone timer for 20-25 minutes and just lie on the couch, close my eyes and focus on my breathing. That's a meditation practice, too. Anyone can do that. Place your hand over your abdomen and just feel your breath. Breathe in and out slowly until the timer goes off. It’s so good for you.
Another thing I do is: I move my body. I've been exercising pretty regularly, but I will also make sure that I don't skip. Because when you're tired and feeling “blah,” the first thing you want to drop is exercise. But don't drop it. If you already exercise, keep it up. If you don't exercise, consider movement. We’re really made to be active. And a lot of us live sedentary lives nowadays. So, take a walk. Go for a hike.
If it's hot outside, I'll take the kids somewhere like the mall and just walk around the floors of the mall and let the kids play in the kid’s play area. It's indoors, it's air conditioned. I'll just walk around that kid's area over and over again. Or I’ll take them to the park and I'll let them play outside if the weather allows. I'll walk around the playground and just move my body. Do some squats. Have a dance party in your living room. Your energy probably won't match that last one, so, you might want to do something different.
Movement is so important, so I make sure that I make time for moving my body. Whether that’s a yoga video on Youtube, going to a Pilates class, taking a walk with the kids, I’ll do something.
Another thing that I do is: I choose a salad over a cheeseburger. This is a metaphor for not indulging in crap (even though I really feel like eating crappy food when I'm in a slump) because it isn't good for me. It's not serving me to indulge and enjoy at this point.
So, this isn't about diet culture. It's about what your body needs from you right now. When you're in a slump, you need to fuel your body and serve it well so that it can get back to serving you. I try to make it a point to avoid and not give in to the sudden craving for Oreos when I'm in a slump. It's emotional eating and I've shared before on the podcast that emotional binge eating is a struggle that I've had. So, I need to be very mindful and aware.
I always try to limit dairy, gluten, and sugar. I have them in my diet, as a part of my diet, like any other food. But I try to really limit them. Especially in these seasons of life when you get into a little slump, really make conscientious choices and eat a lot of greens. Get a smoothie if you can't fit all your greens in, whatever, but try to choose the healthier option, especially when you're in a slump. Then when you're done you can get back to your more balanced eating and have the occasional piece of cake or whatever it is that you normally do.
Another thing I do in a slump is: I get back to my normal as soon as possible. Usually a slump will just last a few days. They don't happen very often, maybe a couple times a year for me. It’s usually just a few days, but every once-in-a-while it's a couple of weeks and I just need to rest. But I do try to get back to my normal as soon as possible.
I do that by doing all of these things that I'm listing, but also prayerfully and mindfully walking forward and trying to be back to normal. So, I'll look at my task list and my calendar for the next day and just kind of ask myself, “What about this is making my spirit fall when I look at it? Is there an interview, a work task, or something that makes me feel sucked dry of life when I think about doing it?” That's not me normally. Normally I'll just push through and I know I wouldn't have anything on my task list or my schedule if it wasn't important and so, I'll push through and do it even if it's not my favorite. But if something is really making me “fall” like that, I'm not ready.
So, I check in and I get back to my normal ASAP. And that leads into my last point. I sense when to push through, get back at it and when to extend my pause. It's really about learning to get to know yourself and to feel where you're at. And this is all coming back to mindfulness.
Mindfulness is such a hot topic right now. It's trending and everyone's learning about it, but few people are actually practicing what they're learning. This is ancient. This is biblical. This is old school. We've known this for so long. We're just not doing it. Our culture is getting further and further away from mindfulness with smartphones and all these things.
Really, it's just sensing where are you at? Is it good to push through tomorrow? Is that going to help you? You want to try it? If it's a huge mistake, you can just rest extra the next day. Not saying things like, “Oh well, I have kids so there is no rest for me.” Yes, there is. You can rest with your kids. I do that every day and you can absolutely do that. Even when my kids were toddlers and babies. Yeah, I was exhausted and it was a very frazzled, chaotic season of my life, but I still could create rest. Your kids just want to be with you. What happens when you sit on the floor and you have babies and toddlers? They climb all over you. They love it. They love you. They want to be with you. You can make that restful. It's all about your mindset.
These are the things that I do when I'm in a slump and I feel a little stuck in a low place. I hope that this helps you guys, that you feel like you could come back and listen to this to get some inspiration when you're really feeling uninspired.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!