lumps happen to the best of us. The sophomore slump, the post-grad slump, the “I’m in my twenties and still don’t know how to properly do laundry” slump (not speaking from experience with that one). Like most things in life, we all handle slumps differently. Some of us jump into action, creating game plans and escape routes. Others sink into the couch and binge watch Sex and the City while simultaneously taking a “What Type of Bread Are You?” Buzzfeed quiz (again, not familiar with this approach). Maybe you cope with a slump by reading articles on how to cope with slumps.
Regardless of how you deal with the down-in-the-dumps moments, I think we could all benefit from recognizing what stimulates and motivates us to be our best selves. This is where the stars come in. Astrology can help us to understand why we react to different situations — slumps included — based on our unique personality traits. Here’s a guide to why each sign can find themselves slumping and what they need to do to break out of it.
The front of every line, the captain of every team, you know what it means to lead, and you do it well. You’re at your best when you’re calling the shots and rallying the troops. But even the best trailblazers get into funks (think Oprah on an introverted day). Yours come with lack of action. When you’re not taking charge, you feel off. Plain and simple.
When trying to de-slump (go with it), Aries should remember what they do best: doing. Fire signs are the doers of the zodiac and Aries’ leads the pack. Take action in some way or another when you’re feeling down—start something new, maybe a workout class or a project at home, or help someone else generate new ideas. Aries’ are self-starters and full of enthusiasm, so put that spark of energy to good use. Before you know it, you’ll be leading others out of their slumps too.
Taurus, you’re the best friend anyone could ask for. You’re loyal. You fight for those you love. You give great gifts. You appreciate art and beauty (what else would you expect from a sign ruled by Venus?). But you’re also stubborn (like reeeeally stubborn). Your “I’m not budging” attitude can often leave you stuck in a rut. You value security more than any other sign and can mistake rigid grooves for comfort. But there are some ruts that even your favorite scented candle or fuzzy blanket can’t bring you out of.
Because you crave stability and security, Taurus, the irony is, that’s exactly what you need to get unstuck. Start by exchanging one unhealthy habit for a new, healthier one —one you can depend on and come to trust. Maybe it’s a once-a-week workout or cooking regimen, or a new no-electronics-before-bed rule. Try to make it a regular focus. You’ll see your mood start to shift as you settle into a new ritual.
Okay, Gemini, let’s talk. And talk. And talk some more. A communicator at heart, you love to connect. You need to be intellectually stimulated in order to operate at full speed. When you’re engaged mentally, you’re a force to be reckoned with. Geminis lose steam when exercising curiosity isn’t an option. If you’re not meeting new people and learning new things, you may feel as though you’re not living up to your full potential.
There’s one clear cure for your mind-slump, Gemini. Go out of your way to connect with people. Share ideas and thoughts. Keep up with current events. Engage in healthy debates. Use the power of your brain to bring you out of your funk. You’ll be inspired by the endlessly fascinating minds of those around you and, before you know it, you’ll feel like your old, chatterbox self again.
Slumps can be hard for your sensitive heart, Cancer. Often, they happen when your feelings are hurt or not recognized by those you love. You’re so compassionate and caring towards the people around you that it’s easy for others to forget that you have needs too. Like a crab in its shell, you love to wallow, so when this happens, you lean towards hiding under your covers rather than taking action.
Cancers’ power lies in their sensitivity, so when the going gets tough, try to get in touch with your emotional self. Writing in a journal or talking it out with a loved one might do the trick. Cancers are the caretakers of the zodiac, so another way to get out of your funk might be to help others. Spend some time with a friend who’s also having a tough time. Volunteer in your community. Helping others get out of their slumps might just help you find a way out of yours.
Lights up, Leo. You’re center stage, as always. Magnetic, fabulous and unbelievably charming, there’s nothing you love more than the spotlight. But even the most captivating lions can lose their roars (kind of like Simba before he became king of Pride Rock). This might happen when you’re not receiving enough praise or attention from those around you. You live for positive reinforcement and if you don’t get it, you may start to feel out of whack.
It’s important for you, Leo, to remember to give yourself the attention you seek from others. When you find yourself down in the dumps, treat yourself to a personal day. Go to a movie, get that new haircut you’re excited about (not bangs though, avoid spontaneous bangs), even throw yourself a dinner party with your loved ones (remember, the only thing bigger than your ego is your heart). Indulge and remind yourself what you already know—you’re the fiercest of them all and there’s only one way out of a slump: through.
Virgo, you might just hate slumps most of all. The sign of practicality and precision, you thrive under pressure. A tough deadline? No problem. Re-organizing your closet? Child’s play. You’ve got it all under control. You’re not used to feeling out of it though, so when you do, it really throws you off your game. Think LeBron James at the free-throw line with shaky hands. Your slump may hit when your life feels particularly chaotic, causing you a lot of anxiety. Chaos is a natural part of life though, so it’s important that you learn to roll with the punches.
When you do fall into the inevitable rut, there’s one thing that might make you feel better. Seeking out some semblance control. Make a to-do list and check each item off, one by one. Spend 15 minutes a day decluttering your space. Make a list of your goals and the ways you can accomplish them. Simply reclaiming your agency in the path to change should help you get your groove back in no time, and you better believe it will be the most well-organized groove around.
Libra, you’re a sight to see. Ruled by Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, you have an undeniable elegance and charm. You’re diplomatic and kind, making those around you feel seen. You see both sides of every situation and gracefully maintain balance in a world full of so much opposition. Not to mention that just about everyone on the planet is a little bit in love with you. But with your unique ability to sift through situations comes the burden of indecision, which can be overwhelming.
Your slump might appear when you start to feel off balance. Maybe you have a big decision to make and your pro/con list remains a tangle of endless outcomes and possibilities. Or maybe too many people are depending on you to keep the peace. Turn your skills inward and really examine all sides of your funk. Be your own mediator. Counsel yourself like you would the friend who is going through a breakup or the coworker struggling with a project. And ultimately, be brave enough to make a decision, even before you’re 100% certain. Simply making space for movement will help you find your inner balance again.
Strong, smoldering Scorpio, you so often get a bad rap. A mysterious and passionate water sign, your rich inner life can intimidate people. But it’s also where you get your power. You feel things deeply and intensely, only letting those you trust into your private life. We all know how complicated you are, but how many layers will you allow the world to see? Because of your dark nature, it can be particularly tough to pick yourself up from a hard day.
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, the planet of transformation and reinvention. This means you naturally possess the tools to pull yourself out of a rut. Your tendency is to get caught up in the negative, so it’s important to remember to harness that power in a positive way. Instead of getting bogged down by the deep, dark secrets of the world, apply your strength and wisdom to find a silver lining or pocket of joy that others might miss.
Remember the song “Young, Wild and Free”? Snoop Dogg was talking about you, Sag. Lover of adventure and constant motion, nobody can fence you in. You bounce from one place to the next with endless energy. But your penchant for wanderlust can’t always be satisfied, and when you feel tied down or restricted, you get frustrated.
Understand that your affinity towards the unknown is what makes you special. You’re on a long, winding journey and we’re all just trying to keep up. Lean in to this side of yourself instead of trying to conform to the normalcy of those around you. Travel. Explore. Try new foods. Meet new people. Stretch and push yourself further than you thought possible. If you lean into the unknown, you won’t feel down for long. You’ll be soaring through the world, forging a path for the rest of us. Don’t forget to send us a postcard while you’re out there.
You know that kid who always preferred to hang out with the grown-ups rather than the other children at birthday parties? I’m willing to bet most of them were Capricorns. Wise beyond your years, you’re stable and determined, slowly inching your way to the top with a steady resolve that can’t be beat. But, as with any upward climb, there are bound to be some rocky points, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t always have it together. You can get down when you reach an impasse and when your progress halts.
Get out of your slump by reminding yourself of the finish line. What are you working towards? How can you achieve it? Give yourself smaller deadlines along the way and always keep visualizing that light at the end of the tunnel. You’re more than capable of climbing your way out of your slump, no matter how long it takes. You just need to remember what you’re striving to achieve. Put yourself to work and you’ll get excited to start grinding. Say goodbye to the rainy days and hello to the sun, Capricorn.
Aquarius, you’re truly a breath of fresh air. The last of the air signs, you’re a great thinker and a free spirit. You don’t like adhering to the norm; instead, you’re the one dancing in the corner of the party to a song nobody else can hear. Or watching a movie nobody else has ever seen. Or at the front line of every rally, picketing for a cause you believe in. You know who you are and you’ll fight till the end for what you believe in, regardless of what everyone else is doing.
Your down days come when you feel yourself following the crowd and behaving like everyone else for the sake of conformity. That’s just not your style. Get your drive back by doing something different. Make the decision others wouldn’t. Go thrifting at a vintage shop for the unique styles only you can put together. Aquarius’ also love taking a stand for the greater good, so when you’re feeling off, you might get involved with a cause that speaks to you. Organize a protest or set up a donation fund. No matter what you do or how you do it, it will have your signature stamp on it. And that’s just the way you like it.
Not only do Pisces’ have their own slumps to worry about, but they also have to deal with everyone else’s. You’re the last sign of the zodiac, which means you’ve soaked up the lessons from the past eleven signs and carry them with you as you drift through the world. Maybe that’s why you’re so often referred to as a sponge. You take in the experiences of others and feel them as deeply as you would your own. This shows in your profound compassion and empathy toward others.
All of that empathy can often leave your head spinning. You might find yourself struggling to stay afloat in all that feeling (Justin Bieber crying in multiple public places this fall is a good example). Pisces’ are very creative and intuitive, so when you feel yourself drowning, try to unplug and listen to music. Write a short story. Paint. Get back in touch with your rich imagination and lost in your dreams. Be selfish for a while and you’ll find yourself again. You might even discover something new in all that emotion and creativity. Oh, and don’t forget to let yourself get a good cry in too. Fish belong in water, after all.
Esmé Stern is a freelance writer currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Keep up with her on Instagram to see a few too many pictures of her childhood dog.
Illustrations by Allison Filice.