Resources for emerging from a slump

In today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, I give you 10 actions to help get you out of a slump. One might work on its own, but you might need multiple actions to dig yourself out of a deep slump or burnout.

Here are some additional resources for you.

The Universe wants to help
Subscribe to TUT’s Notes from the Universe. The daily email messages will lift you up.

Acupuncture might work
I have never before been clinically diagnosed with depression, so I don’t know what that’s like. But I did spend two weeks in what felt like a deep depression after my cat of 19+ years died. All I did was weep for those two weeks. Not being a fan of pills, I went straight to the needles. Two acupuncture treatments later, I was whole again. (The first treatment lasted a whole week. The second treatment sealed the deal.) I found this article about acupuncture and depression for you.

Radio for the soul
Check out Hay House Radio and all of the self-growth gurus featured there.

Form an artist salon
Visit and use the free tools there to put together a group of artists to support each other in your marketing. The support of like-minded artists will be a boon to your confidence.

–> Read the 10 ideas I have for getting out of a slump and then tell us: how do you emerge from a slump?

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12 comments to Resources for emerging from a slump

  • Herb Morreale

    One thing that works for people is to do something helpful for someone. Call it a Random Act of Kindness, or charity, or whatever. I write a blog called Domino Theory ( I get to see first hand how one small action leads to another and how it helps people feel they can do powerful stuff, thus lifting them out of a slup.

  • Alyson, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my oldest boy cat the beginning of March, he was almost 15. A big cyber hug to you. I am glad you were able to do some acupuncture and get your emotions balanced. I also a massage therapist (although its taken a backseat to artwork now) I do Chinese Medical Massage called Tui Na, its the massage branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (the other 2 being herbs and needles). Acupuncture does wonders for lots of ailments.Sometimes you only need one or 2 treatments, other times months worth-but it does work. One way I get out of a slump is to remind myself it is a slump and only temporary. I remind myself all things to be grateful for, or things that make me happy so that I am no longer focusing on the bleh feelings but happy feelings or some feeling that is better than bleh, and just go from there. This technique is called “reaching for a better feeling thought” so that you are constantly moving up the scale. This is from the “Ask & It is Given book by Abraham/Esther & Jerry Hicks. (which I HIGHLY recommend!) They list 22 emotional set points from bottom level of fear/grief/depressionpowerlessness to top being Joy/Freedom/Love. You can’t go from feeling fear to freedom in one step, because thats not realistic. However you can go from feeling grief to being angry, then go from being angry to feeling disappoinment etc… Also doing something really physical like heavy cleaning or going on a long/hard ride on my exercycle helps. Cheers, Barbe

  • Alyson, I can personally vouch for the great help of a like minded Salon. We have a wonderful group still actively going after taking one of your classes over a year ago. It’s a very diverse group as far as mediums go, but the help and support are fantastic. And, I love “Tut!” Warmly, Jean

  • as someone barely beginning to emerge from a year or so long slump….your words of wisdom are great…and people should not feel bad if none of those panceas work right away. i’m not sure my slump is unslumped yet. it has been very valuable to me in many, many ways and it’s not like my work came to a standstill, it’s just not been very satisfying. we slump for different reasons, not all of them small or minor or without justification. just saying….

  • I was just reminding someone earlier, that sometimes a slump, or plateau, is just the calm before the creative storm…the rest before the next big step. It’s hard to remember at the time though, so it’s great to have a group of supporters to remind you. I’ve been reading your newsletters and blog for a few months now, and I can’t tell how helpful and inspiring they are. Thanks. Oh yeah, and TUT? Absolutely wonderful stuff!!! Everyone should have a daily dose! Keep up the great work!

  • I love TUT! absolutely wonderful daily lift 🙂 I also recommend for the cathartic release of sharing other people’s problems and secrets, it’s frequently inspiring and uplifting. (and sometimes good for starting cleansing tears!) When I am in a slump (which is often) I like to do something silly and random. completely pointless, it might be a simple as kicking fall leaves or swinging on a swingset at the local park, drawing cartoons or having some friends around for silly movies and popcorn. it doesn’t have to cost money, all it has to do is make me laugh and feel like a kid for a little while and forget about everything else!

  • First off, I’m so sorry to hear about your cat – we had to lay our 16 year old diabetic cat to rest last year and I cried for weeks too. I can now look back fondly before he got so sick and still think about him. Secondly, I just subscribed to TUT – never heard of it before – thank you. In regards to slumps – I’m coming out of a deep one that took place over the winter. There’s nothing like deadlines to push myself to just start working again. Once I started working, things took off from there and now I have lots of ideas I want to explore. The other thing that always works for me is to be with other creative people. This is something I don’t get to do very often as I work in my own little vacuum. I just ran into a friend up in Evergreen yesterday and it was so refreshing to talk with her.

  • Fabulous article. Slumps are tough, but the information you have provided are surely a great help. I am enlightened by Notes of the Universe and have signed up for my daily dose. Thanks for your wonderful blog. Marcia

  • Patricia Bucko

    Dear Alyson, My deepest sympathies and condolences! On New Years Day, 2008, I had to say “fare well” to my beloved feline companion, Monsieur Henri. He was a gorgeous “tuxedo” cat and Henri’s p-u-r-r-sonality was as beautiful as his classic black & white markings. What began as simple surgery for a spinal tumor turned into a five day nightmare of medical hell and ended with Henri suffering from congestive heart failure. I consider myself to be a tough old bird and no stranger to loss, but separating from my best friend (and favorite cat “model”) certainly threw me in the swamp of despair. Yes, I wept – night and day – for about two weeks. Tears and grief are necessary; part of the healing process. I’d find myself sobbing in the middle of the grocery store because a song on the PA system reminded me of Henri! Here’s what helped get me out of the slump (not necessarily in any particular order): 1) Talk with other pet owners who have been through this experience recently. Be honest and open! Everyone feels guilt pangs…”what if…we should have…etc” 2) Read inspirational literature; the Bible, the Talmud, poetry, classics and contemporary fiction, biographies dealing with loss and remember “weeping may endure for a night…but joy comes in the morning” 3) Personal book recommendation: ANGEL WHISKERS ~ Reflections on Loving and Losing a Feline Companion ~ edited by Laurel E Hunt, published 2001 by Hyperion, New York. I was blessed to find this wonderful resource on eBay but probably available on Amazon and other book sellers. 4) Walk in a quiet garden, listening to the sounds of nature all around, while meditating (or praying, if you will) This activity was especially helpful around sunset! It soothed my soul and eased me through the night. 5) Write a letter to your cat. Pour out your heart and all those GOOD memories! Put the letter in a desk drawer for three – six months. A journal would be equally effective. 6) If you find you can’t focus or concentrate on your regular work (or artwork) make a strong cup of tea, listen to some uplifting music and just doodle with a Sharpie. Try drawing with your eyes closed or sketching a subject you’ve never attempted before. 7) Volunteer to do something for an animal shelter or other charity. Donate your pet’s leftover food and other items that could be “recycled” 8) I found that offering my artistic services to others who have recently lost a pet (for example, painting little watercolor cat portraits for them) to be good therapy. 9) If you have the space, design & plant a little “memorial flower park” in your yard, to honor the memory of your cat. Use outdoor “Patio Paint” for decorative renderings on stones, rock and concrete. If no yard is availble, make a photo collage or scrapbook dedicated to your pet. 10) Know that there are millions of wonderful, needy cats …all waiting in shelters for loving homes like yours. When and if the time comes and you’re ready to think about another kitty…please adopt from a local shelter! PS #1: God has a marvelous sense of humor. About two days after Henri departed for Rainbow Bridge, a huge feral “tuxedo” cat with similar markings began showing up at dinner time at the backdoor! I was so startled, it seemed like I was seeing “a ghost” at first! Well, for lack of a better name, I’m calling him “Tux” and he has continued to visit here for vitals since January. As the weather gets nicer, I hope to spend more time getting Tux to trust me as I ply him with food! PS #2: If you Google “Rainbow Bridge” you’ll find loads of place when you can see that famous poem

  • Seems like every time I finish work on a theme or an exhibit, I fall into a slump. They seem to be getting a little longer and harder to kick, too. (Was told once it’sd not a slump, that I’m just taking a runningleap to my next big thing.) For an individual day, I’ve found that exertion/exercise/movement helps get the juices (creative and other) flowing.

  • Hi Alyson, funny, I came here for the art advice but connected over the cat. My cat Wendell, One of the cats who presently owns me is a once in a lifetime cat (my hubby’s too)and is featured in my email address and often on my blogs. I can totally see weeping (different from crying) for a fortnight without relief. It’s worth it to love him so much. Hope there are many more (Lucky)cats in your life. MSW