It is really easy to go down a spiral, fall off track and step right back from working on yourself, on your goals and doing what is going to help you function at your best. Sometimes I actually recommend people do take a break from personal growth. Just like anything, if you push yourself too hard for too long, even in the name of improving yourself, you can hit burnout. I have definitely taken breaks before, really stepped back from anything self-improvement. When I have thought, I just want to be, I do not want to keep improving myself, I’m tired of personal growth right now. It is totally normal. It can be a bit of a reset for you.
I have also taken a break and stayed on that break for a solid three months or so and not been able to get myself back into the swing of things. There are 6 steps to the stages of change model and one of them is relapse. Relapse is a completely normal part of any form of habit building. It is easy for people to relapse and go down a spiral of beating themselves up and throwing around a lot of self-judgement. Just a reminder, trying to guilt or shame yourself into self-improvement is never a healthy combination.
We can go in cycles, like seasons, just like nature goes in its 4 seasons of the weather. Sometimes, you can hit your winter season and you need to rest and restore. When you feel like you have fallen off track and you are stuck there and cannot get yourself back up and moving. Remind yourself that if your body and mind are calling for a break and you are too tired to start pushing yourself again, you are probably in some kind of burnout, or winter phase and it is okay to take a break. When you factor in that taking something like 3 months off in comparison to building healthy habits that are going to last over a lifetime, a few months is quick miniscule in the big picture of things.
I can almost guarantee, if you were loving life when you were on top of your habits, if you know what it feels like to be taking good care of yourself and you find yourself missing that feeling when you are on your break, you will find yourself back in that good space again. You will get to a point where you get sick of yourself, you get sick of feeling lethargic and unmotivated and you will build yourself back up again. As always, you can start really slowly. You will find if you had strong enough ingrained habits, when you work yourself back into your healthy routine, those habits will kick back in again because the neural pathways are already wired. You just need to rewire them in again as your go-to habit.
If you are finding yourself stuck in your funk and unable to get out. Maybe you have hit your enough is enough moment, maybe you are sick of feeling the way you are. Yet, you have tried everything you did in the past to start yourself back up again, but you keep falling down. If you continue to lose motivation and fall back in a slump. It might be time to reach out for outside help. Perhaps you have some limiting beliefs to work through, perhaps you need a bit of a pick me up with your mental health. Whatever it might be, if you cannot find yourself mustering up enough motivation to feel and act the way you want to with your health and wellness, reach out for some help. A coach, a mental health professional. Someone who is going to help you dig a little deeper into what is holding you back and keeping you stuck right now.
What is one thing you can do this week to get yourself out of your relapse phase of change?