My days at the moment all seem to go a little something like this;
I half-wake, begrudgingly, at the sound of the alarm, but dragging my whole self out of the realm of sleep seems impossible. Despite this I start to scroll at something I can barely see – it’s my phone, obviously, and it’s probably Instagram, but while I’m doing it I can never really tell what I’m looking at – without purpose, and inevitably fall asleep again. Another alarm goes off, and then probably another, until I manage to extricate myself from the duvet.
I rush to work, somehow managing to be running behind schedule every day despite not getting anything done in the morning (usually I would get up early and do emails/write/edit photos) or making myself look particularly presentable, and I arrive a flustered mess. I don’t have time to consider what I’m about to say to my colleagues in greeting before some moan about the weather has tumbled out of my mouth yet again. Seriously; I am boring myself to tears with the amount I’m talking about the weather.
The view from my window at work is probably a) rain, b) snow, or c) dreary (here I go again), although one day this week there was a surprise option d) a car with its front wheel in a sinkhole, which I’m starting to think was some kind of visual representation of me right now; unscathed, but feeling kind of stuck.
I spend ‘free time’ (which sounds like an item on a Brownie camp itinerary, but which in this case I’m using to mean time during which I’m not at work, at the gym, at a social occasion, asleep, or cooking/tidying up) in a strange halfway house, neither relaxing nor getting through my ever-present to do list.
I’m in, I’ve decided, a bit of a pre-spring slump.
Incase my penchant for overdramatising things makes you think otherwise; I’m fine. Keeping perspective here, I’m absolutely dandy, with no major problems or goings on to report. I’m just very ready for the sense of renewal that a new season brings, and our final trudge through winter seems to be rendering me a bit useless; unproductive despite having a lot to be getting on with, and completely unfocused despite actually having some ideas I want to start working on. I’ve been easily distracted, completely unable to stick to one task and instead flitting between a few of them then getting sidetracked with scrolling.
More often than not, an absent-minded scroll becomes a frustrated one when I realise I’ve just spent 15 minutes looking at and achieving absolutely nothing and not even enjoying myself while doing it. And because I’d been spending so much time doing this type of faffing about, I decided this week that it was time to start taking steps to ride out the pre-spring slump in a less useless way.
Sleep and routine
While I’m sure that getting up at my usual time and fitting in an hour of work before going to my actual work would make me feel like I was more on top of things, setting my alarm for that time was only really making me hit snooze 17 times – I was tired and grumpy, and I never got the stuff done anyway. For now, I’ve accepted that it’s just not happening at the moment, pushed the alarm back half an hour, and dropped the semblance of a blogging ‘routine’ I had in favour of a daily life and sleep routine. It’s made my uploads quite haphazard, but when you’re already feeling unfocused lack of sleep is never going to improve things.
Making my own plans
I’ve got some lovely things in the diary this year, but I realised recently that they’re all things other people have put in there for me – occasions and events for or organised by my friends and family. It’s great, and I’m excited about all of them, but I’m trying to put in some of my own at the moment (from bigger things like travel to smaller things like date nights) to help bring personal focus and control to my time.
This feeds into the previous point, but if I have a gym class to go to or I’ve planned a gym trip, I genuinely feel quite put out when someone then tries to make plans; usually, I would just sigh internally and go ahead with whatever it is, but at the moment I’m treating my exercise plans like I would any other engagement. Exercise is the one thing I do for myself that I both really enjoy and am really good at committing to, so I’m making it a priority that I don’t let other things take away from me.
Fine, I confess; I’ve turned into a grown up, and found genuine pleasure in tidying and cleaning. When I’m feeling distracted and unproductive I find a messy environment exacerbates that even further, so since the temperature outside has been less than pleasurable, making the indoors a nicer place to be by getting out the hoover, clearing out the wardrobe and keeping our flat tidy has made me feel generally less cluttered.
A tentative first step into meditation and mindfulness
The lovely Natalie often talks about the importance and benefits she sees in meditation, and after too many months of saying I’m going to try it while taking no action, I finally downloaded the Headspace app. I felt little bit stressed at having to select my reason for using it when signing up (am I looking to sleep better? Find calm? Destress? Why can’t I select all of them THIS IS TOO HARD), but I started using it two days ago…have managed not to laugh awkwardly at myself so far, so a medal for me please.
What do you do to ride out a slump or get yourself out of a rut?
What I’m wearing
Beret – Quiz | Tee – Topshop | Jacket – Topshop | Skirt – Topshop | Bag – Primark | Trainers – H&M
Photography: Rob Poor