Slump to Pump: How to Start Again
This is the last post of Slump to Pump, a series very much based on real experience I’ve acquired the last few months. It’s all about what to do (i.e. what I didn’t do) when faced with an overwhelmingly stressful time in life. Each post has focused on a different phase in this battle and should equip you to be kind to yourself whilst getting the job done.
You can find the find the first post here – How to ‘Just Survive’, and the second here, - How to Hide.These posts guide you through getting to the end of the craziness and making sure you look after yourself when you’ve finally get to that well deserved breather. Hopefully, your hide out has been absolutely supreme, but now you’ve gotten to the point where you’re (almost) ready to get back to it.
This post is for that last day of hiding, most likely a Sunday, before you need to get back to reality. You’re still blissfully away from the world, but you need to start stretching your productivity awake. Whether you follow these tips or not, make sure this day is balanced. You’re not pumping yet so don’t rush into anything you’re not ready for.
Try to get up early (or don’t!)
Normally, I hate hearing about superwomen who wake up any time before 7am. That’s just not me. However, if you’ve only got one more day of hiding from the world, it couldbe an idea to stretch that time out.
Getting up earlier on a free day only gives you more time to spoil yourself. Start the day off with a walk, or pancakes, or coffee in bed…… or just sleep more! Whatever you want to do, start your day off right before you get cracking on with what needs to be done.
Plan your treat
When you’ve been doing nothing, it can be hard to find the motivation to get back on track. Have a think about what you can do later in the day as a reward for making a start on returning to orbit.
Maybe plan something small with one of your ‘solid’ people – you know – that friend that takes zero effort to have a nice time. Alternatively, a book and a glass of wine will definitely suffice.
The Master List
Hopefully, you’ll have been having mini-life auditsamongst all the craziness (don’t worry, I didn’t). Now that the biggest bulk of your work is done, take an hour or two to brain dump absolutely everything you need (and want!) to achieve. Go absolutely crazy on the page, with short and long term goals from every aspect of your life, until you literally can’t think of anything else.
Next step is to group and prioritize. What are your quick wins? What are the most pressing tasks? What are your long term projects? Break down each area into achievable SMARTobjectives and realistically allocate these tasks to your days in the coming week. Make sure you create a good balance between pressing tasks, quick wins and starting points for long term projects.
Revisit this brain dump in the following weeks and savor the satisfaction of each striked-through task.
Do one thing
Time to move some muscle and get something done. Choose one task to get you back in the swings of things. This can be one big thing or a few little things. Remember you’re treating yourself later so you need to earn the reward.
For me, I ALWAYS go for tidying. My environment really affects my mood and whilst hiding my mess in a cupboard does help in the short-term, I only feel like I’ve got myself together when my nest is looking slick and tidy. Tidy home, tidy mind ;)
Get an (organized!) early night
You’ve made your first step back and have remained relaxed and positive about the week you have ahead. Enjoy whatever reward you went for and finish the day with an Instagram-approved nighttime ritual.
I’m talking night-time tea, a long shower, a mask of some description – whatever gets you feeling nourished! Keep it tech free and relaxed with your soft playlist and candles.
However, no matter what you do the night before, there is still going to be a part of you that wants to rebel against that first morning back, so make sure you make it as easy for yourself as possible. Get your bag packed and outfit chosen the night before. This will save you time in the morning to add some last-minute spoiling before heading off for the day.
So that’s it for the Slump to Pump series!
As mentioned, all of these insights have come from hindsight of what I should have done in the madness of the last few months. I would love to hear any feedback or further thoughts you had on these methods!
Here’s hoping I never get to this point again where I have to actually use them… but we all know that’s definitely going to happen ;)