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Old 07-08-2022, 04:16 PM
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Default Creative life slump

This has been a hard year for me. My job has been kicking my butt. I've worked my tail off, but still got passed over for a promotion, yet ended up with the work. As I get older, on the downslide to 60 now, I feel like I get less respect at work and have to put up with a lot more, especially from younger bosses, who don't seem to value my knowledge or experience.

For a while, I did what I always do, and ate my stress and gained back all the weight I lost and more, which made me feel even worse. But I did my best to push through it and find the good in everyday, be productive and find comfort in my creativity.

Then I got Covid and it kicked me hard when I was already down. I am still having the lingering effects, the cough, exhaustion and pain in my joints, especially my shoulder and have not jumped back like I should. I don't want to do anything but veg. I have watched more tv in the last few months than I have in previous years, but can't seem to get motivated to get up and do something positive.

I am not usually so negative about things, but right now I feel like I am in a big slump and don't know how to pull myself out. I don't think it is depression, I don't feel overwhelmed by life or sad, just kinda fed up with a lot of things and lazy. I feel extremely lazy these days.

Being creative is my happy place. Even as a child, I had to do something creative everyday to be happy, so not doing anything creative is really hard on me. Problem is that I just don't seem to have the umph, the ideas or the drive since Covid.

Have any of you ever experienced anything similar and if so, how did you get past it. I really need some advice on this because I'm tired of feeling tired all the time.
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Old 07-08-2022, 05:28 PM
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I feel you when it comes to younger bosses and feeling overlooked. As for motivation, I can attest it's easier to give advice than take it. One thing that has helped get me moving a little more this month is that one of my coworkers made a FB group for any of her friends and coworkers that were interested called 1 mile a day for 30 days. Our goal is to walk a mile a day (or bike 3) and then post a screen shot of our activity and either of us out walking or of something we saw on our walk each day. I haven't made it every day but I've been a lot more active. Maybe you could coordinate something like that with a group of friends or scrappers? We also discovered Conqueror challenges. It costs a little bit, but you pick a challenge, from 30-2000+ miles and they're all themed - like the Berlin Wall or the Appalachian Trail or the Ring of Kerry - and you log your distance each time you walk or bike or swim and as you progress along the way you get virtual postcards of the sights you're passing along with info on the history of the various stops and once you complete the distance you earn a pretty cool looking medal that goes along with the theme of your challenge. They have a whole FB group too that is designed to help motivate and cheer each other on.
I think sometimes you just have to reach that point that you're so fed up with the status quo that that helps motivate you and maybe that's where you're at now. I've been feeling that way for the beginning of summer and I'm trying now to start changing. I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life and I hate it. It's keeping me from doing things I'd like to do and that makes me mad. Mostly mad at me but I'm trying to give myself some grace and get moving. If you ever want an accountability partner, let me know.
I was also thinking of tracking down some episodes of Extreme Makeover with Chris Powell. I always thought those shows were motivating. Unlike the biggest loser, they spend a year working with their people, teaching them healthy habits and workouts they can do at home for the rest of their lives.
Just my $.02 but I hope you find something to help you out of your slump.
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:23 PM
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Oh gosh Lorie, I'm sorry for all of the things you have going on right now from so many different angles!!

On the Covid front, a dear friend of mine continues to have issues since she had Covid two years ago. She started slipping into a very dark place when she discovered Covid Help Groups on FB. She has discovered that there are 1000's of people going through the exact things as she is. She shared with me recently that being able to share with people who UNDERSTAND exactly what is happening has been a huge positive for her. If you'd like, I can ask her the exact group names and message you with them.

I wish I had an answer on the job front ... are you near retirement age at all? After I was "relieved" of my management duties (aka - they cut my job), I sort of lost all umph to try much ... I took another job, but could not give my all at that point. Knowing that I had retirement to look forward to within 18 months helped me cope.

Please know that I will be whispering prayers for you. Sending you big hugs!!
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Old 07-08-2022, 10:02 PM
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Big hugs Lorie. I don't have any advice - I'm in a bit of a slump of my own with exercise & healthy eating, and just can't find the motivation to get started again. Sending loving thoughts your way.
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Old 07-08-2022, 10:27 PM
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Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for you, but I feel your pain and I'm sending you some hugs. I was diagnosed with a thyroid disease last March, and it's been kicking my butt. I feel tired and irritated all the time, and with the new meds I'm on, I have gained so much weight that 90 % of my clothes don't fit. On top of all that, we have been hit with one thing after another from one of our vehicles needing a new transmission that we can not afford to get fixed, my job cutting my hours( I work in healthcare, which is stressful enough without all the extra covid crap!), and just a bunch of stuff that adds up and it seems never-ending. We have just had a string of bad luck. Our daughter is going to college about 8 hours away, and the driving back and forth for open-house, orientation, and then her upcoming move-in is really putting a strain on us, too, with only one vehicle. And I hate feeling like that because this is such a happy and exciting time for her. I want to cherish these last few weeks she has at home.

Sometimes, it doesn't seem like we are ever going to get ahead. We had a good amount of savings, but with covid, my husband lost his job and that is now mostly gone. He has found another job, but he took a pay cut, and the benefits, even though it's a BIG company, really aren't that great. So, I am right there with you. I get it. I hate feeling negative all the time, too. There for a while, I was going on walks while listening to a random playlist of favorite songs, but the heat lately has kicked my butt and I just haven't had the motivation for that. I try to enjoy the little things, like taking pictures of my kids at their ball games, gardening a little bit, scrapping, or reading, but I just don't feel like ME! My housework has also suffered because I just don't have the energy. It's just sooo hard some days. I'm sure so many people have suffered either physically, emotionally, or financially from covid, but that doesn't really make it FEEL any easier. Some days, I tell myself, "this too, shall pass," but other days, I just want to scream or cry or both.

Maybe, just talking (or typing ) about how you feel or even writing it down in a journal may help. And knowing you are not alone. You aren't the only one who feels the way you do. As women, we always take on so much, and support from other women is always helpful. I know that not everyone understands our scrapping obsession or how we have 'friends' online who we have never met, but who we follow along with their lives online. So even though I don't have much advice, I'm here to listen & support you.
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Old 07-08-2022, 10:37 PM
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Lorie, that is depression. It doesn't have to feel sad or overwhelmed, but what you described is exactly depression. I would find a counselor and talk to your doctor if I was you.
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Old 07-08-2022, 11:01 PM
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Lorie, I am so sorry you are going through this. I have no advice as I am bad at solutions. I just kind of wait it out and will make a goal of doing one thing a day to pull myself away from the tv.
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Old 07-09-2022, 09:55 AM
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About the Covid, have you seen a doctor and related that you have had these lingering effects?

My neighbor ended up with long Covid from her bout of it in Nov 2020. It has only been in the last 6 to 8 months that she has been feeling better. Before Covid, she was a runner (3 to 5 miles every day), very active and healthy. She wasn't overweight either. But it kicked her so much she ended up in a program at Cleveland Clinic that was studying the long Covid. They have found there are so many different lingering effects.

I also agree with the fact that it may be depression. Depression comes in many different forms. Mine was actually diagnosed as a "chemical imbalance" in the brain and medication helped tremendously. That was 25 years ago. I was also in a very stressful job at the time then went to another job that had its times of stress. I was able to go off the medication about 15 years ago and have now found that using an essential oil blend helps to keep me in check. Retirement helped a lot as well! There are still times when all I want to do is veg out on the couch so I do.

Most of all you need to take care of yourself. Whether it is seeing a doctor and/or therapist, do it for you.
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Old 07-09-2022, 12:31 PM
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Art Journal. One does not have to start with an idea per se, just feelings. Let colors and ephemera (or elements) speak to you. Let your intuition guide you.

You can art journal digitally. Or organically. It is liberating and freeing. The end result does not matter. It is the journey - the act of creating - that matters.

The past three years kicked me in the @ss too. I was also overlooked for promotion which started a downward spiral of retiring about 3 - 4 years earlier than I planned. Which also meant moving and buying in the WORST housing market ever. Way over paid for a house that still needs $50K in work done. Art journaling helped me through all this stress. Sometimes I needed to go dark (express how angry, frustrated, and how useless I felt). Sometimes I needed to pick myself up and focus on good things (one of the reasons I take so many nature and flower photos - thats my happy spot).

Art journaling is not about a "style," although there is an art journal style. Art journaling is about creating from the heart, from intuition, in any style.
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Old 07-10-2022, 01:40 AM
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Thanks for the replies ladies. I always find hearing from other people so helpful. You've all given me a lot to think about, especially about the depression. It is rampant in our family, but I've always leaned more towards anxiety.

My mom suffered from depression for years, and Lord help me, I do not want to end up like she did. Of course, she was not willing to get help for it, but I am, because I do not believe in suffering in any way. Life is too short.

I woke up this morning and just made myself do stuff; housework, etc. Then I gave myself a time limit to watch TV and afterward, I did some designing. It's been the best day I have had in a while. All in all, it was the first day in a while that I have felt productive. I'm gonna call it a win.
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Old 07-10-2022, 01:24 PM
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Lorie, I can relate to everything you and the other ladies have written here. It's been a really tough year for me and I'm making some big changes in my life. I've come to the realization that my job (911 fire dispatch) is seriously harming my mental health and it's affected every aspect of my life. So now it's about fixing that and getting myself feeling like me again.

I agree that what you described sounds like depression, so I hope you'll take the steps necessary to deal with that. It sounds like you're moving in the right direction already... sometimes just making the decision to do something, and then doing it, is the hardest part of the battle.

Anyway, all of that is just to say that you're not alone. Go ahead and vent when you need to. This is a safe place and we all love you. Hugs.
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Old 07-10-2022, 03:38 PM
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Do you subscribe to audio books? I subscribe to Scribd and I get out of some of my slumps by listening to Julia Cameron. She has a series on "The Artist's Way". I just love her and her voice is so soothing. She has a lot of suggestions on how to accept wherever we are in our lives. I also do a lot of Art Journaling to get my feelings out. You could also start a written journal. Hope some of these suggestions help. I've certainly been there. Sending hugs to you. (I JUST started listening to "The Sound of Creativity".
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