Well… we’re right into the winter season here in Melbourne and I’ve spent a lot of time over the last week or so piling on the warm layers and shuffling around the house in my Ugg slippers.
And… I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found the weeks of winter gloom quite challenging… going out and about feels hard, the washing takes forever to dry and I’ve exhausted my repertoire of warm, comforting recipes.
Whether you know it as the winter blues (for those south of the equator) or the mid-year ‘blahs’, knowing it affects me means I’ve come to expect it. I’m no longer surprised when the start of July finds me feeling a little flat… and, over the years I’ve developed some strategies to get me through this time of the year.
Using the middle of the year to refresh and reset
We celebrate the beginning of a new year with fireworks, parties and champagne and we talk ad nauseam about intentions and plans for the year ahead. But by this time of the year, real life has well and truly intervened, you’ve lost focus and you’re back to the regular, repetitive grind.
The midway point of the year provides a logical opportunity to pause, take stock and assess where you’re at and where you’re going. Taking the time to figure out the cause/s of your mid-year slump is a great starting point to create the antidote and boost your flagging motivation.
Fortunately, there’s a few simple tactics you can implement to combat fatigue and frustration to boost your energy, enthusiasm and inspiration and regain your mojo.
How to stay inspired during the mid-year slump
1. IDENTIFY HOW YOU FEEL
Identify and admit how you’re feeling. This provides an opportunity to address the causes and develop antidotes. Be honest with yourself though – are you genuinely feeling rundown or are you making excuses? Interrogate what’s causing your slump… is it your environment, your health, lack of time or inspiration? Understanding why you’ve fallen into a slump helps to inform how you plan your way out.
2. TAKE A BREAK
It’s important to take some time out to create a mental refresh and reset. Continuing to push through when you’re feeling flat or fatigued leads to increased anxiety, decreased decision making capability and eventually burnout. Even if you can’t afford a holiday or weekend away, aim for an hour to change your environment… take yourself out for lunch, book a spa appointment, or go for a long walk. Protect your most important asset… [that’s you First name]… by finding time to take a break.
3. DON’T WAIT FOR MOTIVATION
I’ve written about this before but it’s a curious human trait that we tend to wait for motivation to appear. But motivation is driven by action, not the other way around. Set yourself a small, achievable action step and then do it… don’t wait, just do. Completing one step sets the ball rolling and before you know it… you have momentum.
4. BE CONNECTED
When you’re feeling flat, nothing boosts the happy feels more than spending time with like-minded people. We all have a need to belong so aim to satisfy this need by setting aside time for social and professional catch ups… yes, even when you don’t feel like it! Sharing how you’re feeling, talking to your friends and peers, and sharing different perspectives is critical for your wellbeing.
5. TIME FOR A TIDY UP
In the spirit of “control what you can control”… sometimes one of the simplest things you can do to kickstart your motivation is to feel the satisfaction of a clear out. Clear that pile of sticky notes off your desk, put things away, maybe even tackle that overflowing inbox. If you’ve got the time, de-clutter your entire workspace… arrange to give away books or recycle old equipment. Then kick back and appreciate your hard work.
If you need a renewed spring in your step for the second half of the year, then hit pause and hack your career mojo back into action.
If you like a nice template to follow… I’ve created this FREE workbook for you to capture your self-reflections and make 2022 the year you make your career happen.