Ebbs and Flows – Tips to Identify and Resolve

It has become apparent to me that I have major ebbs and flows when it comes to my own creativity. I have been doing this social media/blogger/influencer thing for awhile now and throughout the years I have stumbled and fallen but through those failures I have learned a lot about myself and how I can work this business but still protect my energy.  Some weeks I am on my game putting out helpful content, sharing my story, connecting to those I want to have in my circle, and then there are other weeks where I have absolutely no desire to create content, share posts, or even connect with friends. I used to get down on myself when this happened. I would feel guilty for not doing my job the way it “should” be done. I would look at other accounts I looked up to and see them doing the dang thing and felt like I was alone when it came to creative slumps. As time went on and I started to track when these slumps happened and how others were showing up I quickly realized a couple things.

  1. I wasn’t alone when it came to this type of thing. Even the best bloggers or influencers would step back, take breaks, or not be as present from time to time.
  2. I realized there was a cycle to my ebbs and flows. That things that were outside of my control were affecting my creativity as well as things that I was doing that kept me stifled. I am still in the early phases of learning how to manage this but I wanted to share a couple things that have helped me through this process so far.

I forgave myself. 
I use to get really down on myself and feel guilty for not being able to give my business my all. I quickly realized that this didn’t help the situation at all. I actually allowed myself to get deeper into this creative slump and made it harder for me to become inspired. So now instead of getting down on myself I tell myself “it’s okay to step back” or “I am protecting my energy so I can give more when I am ready”. By just giving myself permission to disconnect to social media or my business I was actually more likely to be able to come back earlier and get out of this type of feeling.

I found the best time of the day for my creativity and scheduled time to be with myself and my thoughts.

I know that I am a morning person. I have the most energy right away in the morning along with the drive to get ALL the things done. So I took a step back and looked at what my mornings were like. I would wake up early and immediately grab my phone to look at social media to “help myself wake up”. Then I would eventually workout and go about my day. What I realized was that when I was doing this I was taking my mind away from myself and my own thoughts and putting them into something else or others. I wasn’t giving myself the time to process what I wanted to get done that day and how I wanted to share my energy. So I took a week to give myself an hour without my phone to be with my own thoughts. It was astounding how much of a difference that made for me. Honestly, the creativity began to pour out of me. The ideas started flooding but I had to be sure to be consciously aware of them and even write them down because as quickly as they came into my mind they would leave. Being intentional about connecting to your inner dialogue is a very important

I meditated
In order to connect with your inner dialogue, you need to be able to slow your mind down to allow those thoughts to come in. So every morning I would wake up, grab my all natural pre-workout and do at least 5-10 minutes of meditation. This meditation being either guided (I use the Calm app on my phone) or without anything and just on my own. Taking the time to clear my brain allowed more of that good energy and creativity to flood through me.

Going a little deeper on meditation I want to give you some helpful tools to do on your own. These are a few of the practices I do within my yoga classes that you can take into your own life and do when you’re feeling overwhelmed, dealing with an anxiety attack, or just need to become more grounded and connect to your body.

Rhythmic breath
Lately I have been doing rhythmic breathing at the beginning of my meditation class. I use it in a way where you breath in for 4 slow counts, hold for 4 counts (or 7 once you are comfortable with doing it), and breath out for 8 counts. Rhythmic breathing is a tool you can use to calm your nervous system, connect to your anchor (your breath), and can even help you get to sleep faster. I like to use it when I’m feeling myself get anxious over something. I pause and focus on the counts along with the feeling of my breath entering and exiting my lungs. Doing breath holds can also help improve lung health and capacity.

Have you ever heard of tapping? It’s where you tap specific areas on your body using these pressure points to reduce stress or negative emotion. It’s meant to access your body’s energy and send signals to the brain to relieve stress. Before beginning tapping it’s important that you acknowledge what exactly is making you stressed or feel that way. Then give yourself permission to feel those feelings and know that it is okay. Self-acceptance is an important part of tapping.  I found this article very helpful with instructions on how to start.

Body scan
Body scans are designed to help you bring awareness to your body along with the places you are holding tension to consciously be able to relax that area. This practice is used to reduce stress, and decrease aches and pains. I like to use it as a way to become present in my body when I feel like I am having an anxiety attack. It helps you snap out of the spiral and come back into your body. All you need to do is find a comfortable place where you can be free from distractions. You start at the top of you head. Taking the time to notice any tingling, sensations, aches or pains. Then moving down your body until you get down to your toes. Being sure to notice those areas where you are clenching or holding tension. Use your breath to breath into these areas allowing them to soften.

Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journaling is such a simple thing to start implementing and it doesn’t take much time. I keep it to about 3 things I’m grateful for daily but when I find I’m stuck in a negative mindset or feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, I will take a few minutes and just let a train of gratitude run through my mind. Listing one thing after another, always starting with the obvious things like my health, my loved ones, the food in our fridge or roof over our heads. Then I get down to those little things like the feeling of the sun on my face, a warm breeze in the air, baby hugs from my kids or my husband’s smile. This type of practice can instantly boost your mood, improve self-esteem, help relieve stress, and even allow you to sleep better.

You can use all of these tools or just one. Play around with them and see which one helps you the most. Just know that you are not alone in your feelings. We all have ups and downs; it's what we do to help us when we are down that matters most. Let me know below which one you try.

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