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Hands up if you just want to hibernate right now?

If you’re feeling flat, unmotivated, tired, not eating well, you are absolutely not alone. The Hot Mess Helpline has been filling up with messages from women who are just not feeling like themselves right now. As the Easter holidays vanish into the distance, the days get shorter and darker, and our weekends fill up with sport and chores, it’s no wonder that we’re all feeling a bit blergh. When we get busy, we stop practising self-care, we stop being present in our lives, and if we’re not careful, we can progress into burnout. 

And the worst part about falling into a slump? You don’t even feel motivated to try and get out of it. You just… can’t be bothered. And that’s why it can be really hard to come back from. 

The good news is, we’re in this together, and you can pull yourself out of it. One little step at a time.

Recognising how you’re feeling.

Before you can start working on getting out of your slump, you need to address why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. It’s really common for these flat feelings to start if you’re experiencing stress, grief, issues at work, relationship struggles, dissatisfaction with your current lifestyle, or just feeling like you can’t catch a break when life throws you curve ball after curve ball. But honestly, for me, when I hit burnout or get into a slump, it’s not because I’m doing too much. It’s usually because I’m doing too little of what lights me up. I stop connecting with others, or giving myself time to do the things that really fill my cup and make me feel rejuvenated. When I have those pockets of time to actually do what lights me up, I truly believe that I’m less likely to hit burnout.   

Don’t beat yourself up.

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Don’t beat yourself up. S*** happens. So stop making yourself feel bad for a temporary glitch. You don’t have to be always striving or progressing. You are allowed to let yourself pause and stay stagnate for a minute, or for a season. Let’s get our hibernation mode on whenever we need it.


This can be a setback, or it can be a comeback. You get to choose.


Reframe the message.

In any situation, we can decide what we make of it. We can choose how we view things and how we frame it in your minds. So this setback can be a setback, or it can be a comeback. You get to choose. When you’re ready to start reframing and make a game plan, I’m in this with you. Let’s get started with our plan.

Step 1: Bringing you back to life… a little bit at a time.

I want you to start by choosing three micro-habits (and I do not want these to be big habits, you do not need to be adding extra things to your overflowing plate). Choose three small habits that are things that are going to bring you back to life, and that are actually achievable and I want you to do them. 

When you have no capacity, start really small. Don’t aim to get to the gym at 5am. You don’t have capacity for that. Look at the things that make you feel good, or help you switch off. Take your brain on a little holiday. It could be going for a walk, reading your sexy fiction books, having your coffee outside in the sunshine, eating a healthy snack, going to the park with the kids, putting your phone away, playing your favourite song (not the kids music!)…  it could be anything that brings you a little happiness. 

I don’t care how busy you are, these things could literally take two minutes, I just want you to do them, and we’re going to build it up from there.

Step 2: Re-structure your Routine

For me, as soon as I stop planning my days I start feeling like everything needs to be done right now. If you’re not really critical of everything that’s on your schedule, you’ll be trying to do everything at once. Let’s face it: multi-tasking is not possible. It’s setting yourself up for failure, AND you’ll be missing out on the satisfaction, and that little hit of endorphins that comes from actually ticking off a completed task. 

Sit yourself down, grab your favourite notebook and write out the routine that you’re living right now. Be really honest. If you’re staying up until 2am scrolling on Tiktok, I want you to write that down. Then, I want you to highlight in one colour the negative things that are happening that are contributing to your slump. I’m looking at you, 2am Tiktok and energy drinks for breakfast.   

And then I want you to highlight anything on your schedule that is good, productive or making you happy. And I bet you that right now, your schedule is going to be absolutely filled with the negative highlighter. 

When you’ve really ripped your routine apart, I want you to then prioritise your three new micro-habits that are getting you out of the slump and getting you into a routine. And, if you can, I want you to start reducing those negative habits that you’ve highlighted from your current routine. Only then you can start planning in some physical activity that’s going to boost your  mood. Because honestly, when we move our bodies, we feel better. It’s as simple as that. 

Step 3: One bite at a time.

Have you heard that joke, how do you eat an elephant? Well, it’s one bite at a time of course.

Now that we’ve looked at why we’re in a slump and we’ve prioritised those little habits that are going to start lifting us out, I want you to start looking at the bigger tasks that are going on in your life. Take your to-do list, and think about how you can break them down into smaller tasks to make them less overwhelming. I know personally I’m really bad at prioritising. If you’re writing down big tasks, it’s too much to manage. I need you to start getting really specific. Instead of writing ‘clean the house’, I want you to start writing ‘put the dishes away’. Be specific, and be really realistic with yourself. I don’t want you putting any more than three decent size tasks on there in a day.  

Let It Out

Finally, I want you to seek support. I know this can be hard and confronting. Us women can be so good at masking our feelings and pretending we’re ok, when really we’re at home crying behind closed doors. How long have you been carrying your burdens? That’s a lot of weight for one person to carry. You need to start opening up to people. Only then can they pick up what you need help with and just be there as a support. You are NOT a burden. I promise you, your loved ones want to know how you’re feeling, and once you open up, you’ll feel so much lighter. You do not have to feel alone.

And please, if you feel like you are really struggling with your mental health, please go and seek help. Talk to your GP, ask for a mental health plan, talk to a counsellor or a psychologist, and get the help you need. It can change your life.

Put yourself on the list, today.

Like so many of us, if you’re struggling not feeling like yourself,  it’s time for you to wake up and start putting yourself at the top of your to-do list. Start focusing on the things that light you up, that recharge your batteries. Once you do, I promise you that you will be able to show up as a better Mum, a better friend, a better partner, or a better worker. 

We’re going to do this, together. 

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Hear more: Listen to the Stephing Up podcast episode. Getting Out of a Slump on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

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