Hoping for the best is good. Praying things change is also good. But nothing beats action in terms of getting yourself, or an entire country, out of slump. Set your goal. Envision a realistic date you can aim for. And the next part is simultaneously the hardest and easist: Begin moving forward. You may ask the reasonable question: "How?"
For starters, part of your initial assessment should include coming up with at least 2 or 3 possible solutions you can work toward. Hey, just because you're in a slump, doesn't mean your brain is on siesta, right??? I like having a Plan A, B, C, D, and E--but figuring out five potential solutions CAN be daunting. And if you become overwhelmed by what you have to do next, you may just get discouraged, and choose to do nothing at all. As my father-in-law might say, "That dog don't hunt...."
SO, you put on your Amazonian breastplate, polish up your sword, tie on your gladiator sandals, and move toward those solutions! If you're one of the 500,000 people right now without a job, post your resume on job websites, begin looking outside of your area, call in any favors you may have out there, reconnect with contacts, and put your "feelers" out, WAY out. If your resume hasn't caught attention in a while, go to a resume doctor. Revamp your cover letter. Check out your local career center and take a seminar on interview-skills. And then I'm going to recommend something that may seem unorthodox but it's TOTALLY necessary--take at least one day a week and do ABSOLUTELY nothing. If you want to go for a long, leisurely walk--go for it! If you want to just sit in a chair in our new-found sunshine--do it! Don't think about jobs, resumes, cover letters, or contacts for a whole 24-hours. It's harder than you might think, but you need to give yourself a break once a week--everyone does. Beating yourself up about your slump only hurts you, and we're looking to move you closer to success--avoid or rebound from that feeling of utter failure. That feeling can keep you from moving forward. Did you know that losing your job is one of the top three stressors to human beings? Did you know that if you've been unemployed for a year or longer, your stress levels increase, and so do any stress-symptoms you may have developed, like depression, high blood pressure, etc.? So keep plugging away and you'll find yourself in a much better position.
Maybe you're in a personal slump. Maybe it's a love-relationship, friendship, or some other familial issue. This is also in the top three stressors in a person's life. Depending on the issue, you will want to use communication as one of your first moves toward a solution. Maybe that's with a therapist. Maybe it will be in a support group. Or maybe you'll talk to a close friend. In our hyper-real world, you might even find a medium like a discussion board, chatroom, Facebook, or Twitter useful. I'm a fan of finding professional literature on the subject as well to see what the "objective" perspectives may be on whatever you're facing.
Broken Heart Syndrome is very real. It isn't just for the elderly who lose a life partner after 50 years--anyone with a heightened, sustained stress level can suffer from cardiac health issues. If you find that communicating isn't as effective as you'd like, try talking directly to the individual or individuals involved. I know, I know...this isn't always the most satisfying of solutions but it will at least notify the person or persons of how you feel and what your expectations are. The next step would be to remove yourself from any toxic situation if the toxicity continues. And by toxic I mean the kind of stress that stays with you every moment of every day, even while you sleep. Tim Fields, a British researcher, wrote about how such difficulty can even cause "psychiatric injury." In other words, if you're in any kind of relationship, love, friendship, familial, or professional--where the dynamic has become intensely stressful so that you're daily behaviors are affected, it's toxic to you and you need to remove yourself as soon as humanly possible. Fields discusses how it can take years to heal that kind of "psychiatric injury"--so the sooner you're away from the toxicity, the more quickly you'll find your way out of the slump. Of course, you could be the reason for the personal slump; if you are, you know why and you know how to "fix" it better than anything I might say here....
None of these slumps are easy to deal with--not at all. It may take lots of baby steps before you inch your way toward any of the solutions you developed at the intial assessment stage. But the important thing isn't getting there quickly, it's about getting there. Period.
Forgive yourself. Make connections with others. Communicate. And you will find that no matter how deep or long your slump may be, there is a way out. And you make it yourself. So the next slump you face (sorry...but it's part of being human), you will be able to proudly say, "I found my way out of the last one--I can do it again!"
I'm tired of being my own hero sometimes. With multiple cancers, severe disability, and a number of other acquired health concerns, I've lived through more "slumps" than your typical 80-year old and I'm not even half way there yet. My 92-year old grandmother (who I miss everyday) used to say that she didn't know how I did it everyday--how I woke up, got out of bed, dragged myself to the shower, and put on a smile. The truth is, I don't. Can't. Not everyday. But most days, I can. Most days, because I've lived every word I've written here today, even with colossal odds stacked against me over and over again, I do KNOW that even when I don't feel like being my own hero, I can and will beat whatever slump I'm in. So can you. I'm no different than any other human on the planet. It takes courage to face your slump and pull yourself out. Courage is the act of meeting your challenge despite your fears. You have that courage. I know you do. Even if I don't know you. I know it because if you're reading this, you have a human heart, and that heart is so great, that even when completely shattered, it still beats.
Oh dear, I'm getting faklempt...talk amongst yourselves--here's a topic: Why vampires and superheroes are like butta.... ;)
Until next time, dear readers....