This is myself thinking out loud here, especially since I've been stimulated after reading other people's experiences with "slumps".
My teacher said at the end of class on Wednesday that we can treat our mats as a refuge. I thought that was an effective way to remember what my practice represents to me. It usually cultivates a feeling of contentment from within. So, why did I deny myself refuge for an entire month, finding solace instead by escaping via TV, sleeping in, forum browsing, and online shopping? Those were external factors that help distract, but what was I trying to avoid thinking about?
I didn't truly acknowledge this until now, after reflecting on a conversation with my sister earlier this week. I have some issues going on that I didn't want to acknowledge as big deals. I reaffirmed my decision not to visit my parents over the holidays so I won't have to explain why I don't want to see or ever talk to a certain family member again. I speculated with my husband about changing to a different job role so I don't have spurts of high stress and deadlines that require me to work on holidays and weekends.
I don't have the solutions to these issues, but now I'm ready to keep them in the back of my mind instead of escaping like before. That's not the same as being ready to face them (hence, I'm not actively seeking advice), but, I won't run away anymore. I shared details to avoid minimizing or exaggerating. Now I can sit with the truth and breathe through it, just like how I get reminded to breathe during my twisted lunges.