20 Things To Do When You Are Feeling Slumpy

You know when you’re sick? And then everything seems a bit wrong? And before you know it you’re in the midst of a full-blown slump?

When your defences are down, and you’re lacking in energy, the finely-tuned machine that is your life can chug, maniacally off the rails. You become a wild-eyed, anxious, Catweazle-meets-Fat-Controller-hybrid.

Things that you normally deal with aplomb are now Problems (with a capital P.) Things that make you laugh now make you roll your eyes or hyperventilate. Tasks that seemed easy now require lifting yourself out of a FUG with much effort and some random groaning noises and creaks. Ugh. Slump-attack.

It’s okay, though. There are ways to get out of this slump. Simples strategies to lift things a little and let the sun shine through. Let’s get started.

First: Don’t go too deep. Don’t get sucked into the whirlpool of slumpyness. That’s no good for anyone.
Then: Use one of the following strategies to short-circuit potential darker disaster. You are welcome.

  1. Have a rest – with a blanket and pillow and the like
  2. Take a bath – some like it hot, some like it bubbly
  3. Take a gentle walk – the trees can help you
  4. Write it out – just take pen to paper or fingers to keys and go nuts. It doesn’t have to make sense
  5. Make a delicious snack – or get someone to make it for you? Soup? Cake? Roast potatoes?
  6. Watch something funny – maybe something with Bill Murray?
  7. Watch something sad and get it all out – maybe something with Julia Roberts?
  8. Clear your schedule – if you can – you deserve a break to help the slump pass
  9. Read a book – Little Women or Anne of Green Gables work for me
  10. Buy a rocking chair (I did this today and it cheered me up no end. It might work for you too.)
  11. Smell something nice – perfume that reminds you of your Mum, fresh flowers, lavender, Dettol (this works for me. I am strange.) It will calm you
  12. Meditate. I am bad at this but even I can do it if I use the Smiling Mind app
  13. Do some stretches – get things moving – some gentle yoga even?
  14. Cook something from your childhood – cheese on toast? tuna casserole?
  15. Find a big view to look at. Honestly. It really helps. Your slump will seem less huge when you look at something marvellous and big
  16. Phone a friend. Ring someone up for a chat. It’s nice to do that instead of talking online.
  17. Do something nice for someone else – send a thank you card, send a fan email, send a care package
  18. Gather yourself a care package – go to the shops and buy some special treats just for YOU.
  19. Start a project – crafty or garden-like or interior-ish. Work on something that makes your progress more tangible.
  20. Find someone to pat or hug. Make sure they are consensual, of course. Especially if it’s a cat because you don’t want to make a cat do stuff. They get scratchy.

I hope this helped. It’s helped me A LOT just to talk about it.

pip signature


Also – remember what my Great-Grandfather says…

Find time for yourself.
Feel it no shame at proper periods to be doing nothing.
Make seasons for leisure and for recreation.
Climb the hills; scour the valleys; row on the river; stroll along the beach.
Cultivate the friendship of the fields and the ferns and the flowers.
Laugh with the young folk and romp with little children.
Be at your ease.
Let the mind swing into an easy balance, a natural poise, an attitude of perfect repose.
The restless soul, eternally doing something, never accomplishes anything.
It is the person who can sometimes be at rest who produces the finest work in the long run.
Find time for yourself! 

FW Boreham


  1. Thanks for cheering me up with this Pip! I am in the midst of a job-seeking, why-is-everything-taking-so-long, starting-to-doubt-myself kinda slump and it’s little things like this that are getting me through it! Thankyou xx

  2. Finding time to do nothing is so important and one I’m trying to add back in as much as I can. Yesterday I managed about 2 hours of sitting still, which is pretty good for me!

  3. Thanks, Pip. I feel so slumpy right now too. Nothing obviously wrong, but nothing obviously right either. The weather is not helping. Hope you feel less slumpy soon. This too shall pass.

  4. Your Great Grand Dad sounds amazing! great advice thank you! Hope you feel better soon.

  5. What a great post! This could not have come up a better time, I myself am in a semi slump right now. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Pip since i am sick a lot I keep number 18 at the ready in a nice bag in the spare room. I loved your ideas for keeping out of a slump it is soo important thankyou for such a great post.

  7. Isnt it wonderful that we notice things when we need them.
    This is a yukky and lonely day. I’ve done the active stuff – weeded and carted wood, the neat ending up stuff – washed sheets and made beds, eaten well, yet the yukkies are still lurking.
    So, a lovely candle, ugg boots, tea, biscuits, knitting and North By NorthWest are planned for the rest of the day

  8. Hello Pip, poor you , shingles are the pits. I really hope you are feeling better and giving them the flick. I just love all these tips for getting out of a slump, they are good to the core and Im laughing about the smell of Dettol! I love it and really, every Malvern Star Dragster should have some in the basket! Or is that just me?
    All year I’ve been going to write to you for 52 Letters so when I saw your link to finding a “big view” I decided to take that as a sign to stop procrastinating and just get on with it!
    All the best and keep warm in these chilly times! x

  9. Little White Dove

    I hope you are feeling better and heading outta slumpy town on the next express… stopping no stations til healthytown x

  10. What a great list Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it’s one of the little things that helps the most. I resort to vegemite on toast in times of need!

  11. I find it funny that although i know all the things listed will make me feel better, i didn’t think to do any of them until i read this!

  12. Like many wonderful souls who have read this post Pip, I also want to say thank you! I needed it and it totes hit the spot. Especially that picture of your delightful couch (what a great place to settle into!). It can be really tough when we feel a little all over the place. I hope you start feeling a bit clearer and lighter soon too. x

  13. Oh this couldn’t have come at a better time! Maybe we are all afflicted with that S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) phenomenon where our moods sink in winter cause we are not getting enough sunshine. I’m in a fug – I call it a funk – too. Your list was great, some of my old tried and true tricks to get out of said funk, I’d like to also endorse: read a good children’s book it really raises the spirits, also an uplifting DVD my favourite is the Rosalind Russell classic ‘Aunty Mame’ it makes me feel so up at the end of it. Physical exercise usually helps, I particularly like cycling. Getting on my bike and peddling, I like to think I am riding away from the blue mean feelings.

  14. This is wonderful advice and Im going to add one more thing.

    Go and buy or download some Catweasel episodes. I’m stoked that you remember that show Pip.

    Thirty Five odd years ago it was my Friday night escape from another week at school, roughly on around 5 or 5.30pm I’d rush home from the library with my weekly pile of books make myself a cup of strong black Liptons Tea and two cheese toasties and sit in my chair and watch Catweasel in glorious black and white.

    Thanks for sparking a memory.



  15. Comforting tips! I like sweet tea and scotch finger biscuits when I’m feeling low 🙂

  16. That’s all such good advice. It is always best to DO something, isn’t it? I would definitely go with eating something like boiled eggs and soldiers whilst watching Wes Anderson today (Bill and Wes #dreamteam) And lol – Dettol (!)

  17. I am in one of those as we speak. Trying to get out of it. I think sewing is in the cards for today. Love your list. Nice to know others have days like it to.

  18. Great tips. Glad you shared!!

  19. Great list Pip, these are the kinds of thing I like to do when I feel in a slump too! In fact the last time I blogged (oh my it was in March!) was kind of a similar kind of list, things that make me happy! A few others that I have on my list of cheer ups would be: go somewhere to look at water, a lake, a river, the ocean, etc. Water is so soothing! Trees too, I love that you mentioned trees. I feel so grateful to live near trees and water. Also, I have a pinterest board that I made called happiness that I fill with lovely things to look at when I feel blue and can’t do some of the other things that might cheer me up (like if I’m at work or something). It might seem silly but it helps! 🙂 I think it’s so important to figure out what makes you feel better, (self care!) so you can pick yourself up! 🙂 And seriously, everyone needs to read Anne of Green Gables at least every few years, it really is wonderful!

  20. Such good advice! I’m with you litt women always helps with slumps as do naps if gettable & childhood food favs:)

  21. Thanks for this. I am in a huge slump today… so I needed to read this! Anne of Green Gables always makes me smile, I might just pick up my tatty old copy and spend the afternoon in Avonlea 🙂

  22. Nice smells always make me feel happy – the power of perfume works for me!

  23. Thank you so much for this Pip, it was what I needed today. Hope your slumpiness clears soon xx

  24. Grrat post Pip – the word slumpy has described me to a tea at the moment, not due to sickness but pregnancy, toddlerhood and not sleeping well. Great tip about smiling mind app – I’ve been trying to learn mindfulness so went and got it!

  25. This is a great post. This was totally me at the end of last week, had an infection, mind was all afuzz, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything. Slumped on sofa the broken footstool annoyed me one time too many (aged Ikea one the top kept falling off of) so I finally did something about it – got out the old wardrobe door and bun feet I’d been saving for this project, the saw, tore up the old footstool for the padding, and out of what could have been rubbish I created a new bit of furniture. This cheered me up so much I even ventured to a fabric warehouse I’d heard about for the upholstery, which of course cheered me up even more – a whole converted mill stuffed to the gills with beautiful fabric! I may have done no work that day, but I am proud of my footstool every time I use it. A slump day averted, with precisely your tactic #19, so I can guarantee it works! 🙂

  26. Thank you Pip it’s as if that post was meant for me today because I’m in a terrible deep slump and don’t know how to get out.

    1. Aw, hugs to you, Loretta. Be kind to yourself. It’ll pass. Xx

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