Ah, the ol’ 5PM Slump.
Ok, so I totally made this phrase up. But I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You come home after a long workday feeling burned out and just plain spent. It’s around 5 (or whenever you’re done with your daily tasks) and it hits you… you are so tired, you can’t even fathom moving your body another inch. You collapse in front of the screen, and wistfully lose yourself in a Netflix binge Youtube rabbithole, until hours later you look up and it’s dark outside. You feel a pang. Damn, how did the day go by so quickly?!
Or worse, you don’t feel anything, because you’ve just gotten so used to this old routine. You go to bed later than you mean to, and then you wake up tired to go to work and do it all over again. It’s the wicked cycle that we’ve all fallen into before.
Well, my friend, to that old way of life I say EFF THAT! I know you don’t enjoy when your days start blending into each other and disappearing before your eyes like pages flying off a cartoon calendar, right? I sure don’t.
Here are 5 steps to shaking up your evenings and getting out of that rut for good. They’ll give you the boost of energy you need when the 5pm slump hits, and inspire you to fill everyday with something fun and worthwhile!
Are you ready to get out of this rut and have some fun?
1. Take Action
What’s the antidote to living the same day over and over again? Actually DOING things, rather than just thinking about them. It’s physically moving around, getting out of your head and getting into your body. It’s interacting with the world around you, rather than the simulated world of TV and internet.
But it seems impossible some days to even move a finger after 5PM, let alone to get off the couch and go out and DO something, doesn’t it?
Sometimes it just takes baby steps to begin waking your body back up… literally. Force yourself to take a 5 or 10 or 15 minute walk, whatever you feel like will just push your limits a little. Breathe deeply while you’re walking. See if you don’t have a bit more energy at the end, and then it’s time to take the next step to shake this day up!
Time to get moving, babe!
2. Plan Ahead… But Not Too Much
Sunday is such a nice day for resetting. When I remember to actually clean up around my house a little, do some laundry that’s been piled up all week, and sit down to plan my week ahead, it affects my mood the whole week.
Really, all it takes is half an hour to sit down, right out the days of the week on your computer or in a journal, and fill in a little idea you have for an interesting couple of hours after work.
Now, whatever you choose doesn’t have to be a grandiose adventure at all… maybe you write next to Tuesday: cook that insane dish at my favorite Indian restaurant to the best of my abilities.
Then maybe you put a few enhancements on this mini-adventure: a. invite someone over to be your taste tester with you b. Put some of your pillows on the floor to eat on and some Christmas lights around the living room, because… ambience? Why not?!
Or, you might just plan something where you’re not sure where you’ll end up. (Plans that aren’t fully planned yet make for some of the funnest, most memorable adventures). Maybe you write next to Thursday: Photo Scavenger Hunt - drive/bike/walk around town and find + take photos of 5 star-shaped things. Just the sense of wondering around with a purpose, no matter how silly, will reignite your adventurous spirit!
Make your own running list of these ideas that you for sure want to do at some point. Then every week you’ll have a bunch of options to choose from that really excite you.
Don’t forget to check the weather and schedule ideas according to what would shake things up. (Maybe plan to make a crazy art project at home on the day it’s snowing. But at the same time, maybe it would be FUN to go out to the ice cream parlor in 35 degree weather!)