How to Get Your Groove Back

Business Woman Thinking

"Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down when we could use that same energy - if not less of it - doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do." Terry McMillan

In the popular book by Terry McMillan, "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," the main character has a hard time staying in the moment and her mind is always racing to the things she needs to do, should be doing, or wants to be doing. She laments she is "tired of running, tired of jumping." One description of the movie summarizes both the main plot and describes "groove" in this way:

Stella takes "personal inventory of her life to try to find a balance between her desire for love and companionship, and the responsibilities of mother and corporate executive." Venise Wagner, San Francisco Examiner

Losing your "groove" generally refers to losing your focus, drive, passion, or ability to get the things done that give you pleasure or a sense of meaningful purpose in life. Examples include:

  • You are still interested in your partner, but life's distractions keep you from making time for them;
  • You still enjoy hobbies but push them aside for other things;
  • Your focus or "edge" seems to have softened and you pursue things that bring you pleasure less passionately.

In short, getting your groove back means putting the pleasure back into a duty-driven life. Some might say getting your groove back is just a more poetic way of referring to "‚Äčwork-life balance."

How to Determine If You Are Depressed, or If You've Just Lost Your Groove

One key difference between simply losing your groove and suffering from depression is the degree of your symptoms. If your symptoms keep you from doing the things you want to in life or have caused you to lose desire, or the ability to experience pleasure or joy, you may be suffering from depression. For example, if you are unable to get out of bed in the morning because you are so tired or overwhelmed by life, it could be a sign of depression.

Feeling like you are not getting all out of life that you want can be a depressing thought; you may be frustrated that there are not enough hours in the day, or you feel bound to duty and obligations first, but it does not necessarily mean you are suffering from depression.

If you simply have lost focus, or your life is so cluttered with daily grind items that you cannot seem to get a grip on things, you may just need a new plan for organization, a better support system, or even a life coach. Although a life out of control can be a sign of depression, it can also be a sign your life is just chaotic and disorganized.

Depression often feels overwhelming and is associated with "I can't..." and can lead to intense negative emotions and feelings of guilt or of being powerless. Depression may be triggered by outside events (such as change or loss), an illness, or even hormone imbalances, but it is the forces inside your heart and mind that prevent you from doing or enjoying things in life.

Losing your groove is more along the lines of wanting to get something done, but lacking the motivation, time, or focus. The distractions, forces and pressures of life are the major culprits for not putting your needs first -- you have not necessarily lost your desire to do certain things, you just feel compelled do other things instead.