“When we are stuck in a rut we are being invited to grow and expand.”
― Dana Arcuri
Sometimes being in your own way sucks. It sucks because you can’t see the other side of anything, especially the bright side of things. You absolutely cannot make any real progress, and you can’t seem to find your way out of that seemingly endless rut. I know; I’ve been there before. The good news is just because you’re visiting doesn’t mean you have to live there. Here are eight things you can do to get out of a rut today.
Before you can get out of a rut, first you have to recognize that you’re in one. Next, ask yourself, “how did I get here?” Then, ask “how long have I been there?”
Those two questions are very important because they will help you reflect on the past few weeks or months to see what led up to the rut or funk that you’ve been in. Reflecting on what happened could also help you to understand how it affected you emotionally, and how not to repeat going back into the funk or rut any time soon. Consider this:
- Was it something someone said or did?
- Was it your high expectations that ended in disappointment?
- Was it your negative thoughts or shortcomings about yourself?
- Did something stressful or overwhelming at work throw you off balance?
- Or, did you get overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities in general?
It’s okay if you can’t pinpoint exactly what it was because the other key thing is to determine how you’re going to find a way out of your rut for good.
Here are eight things you can do to get out of a rut today.
1). Do something new that makes you uncomfortable.
Do something that makes you uncomfortable breaks the cycle of familiarity, comfort, and normalcy you’re currently used to, mixes your current routine up a bit and provides the mental stimulation you’ve been missing, as well as adds a little excitement.
Take a new exercise, dance, sewing, or photography class to spark your creativity and tap into talents you didn’t know you had. Don’t put any limits on yourself.
2). Watch an old movie that’s been remade.
For example, if you like the new Blob, then watch the original one. If you like the new King Kong, then watch the original one. If you like the new Nutty Professor, then watch the very first one. If you like the new Titanic, watch the original one in black and white. It’s amazing! No spoiler alert here. Watching old movies is a great way to relax, renew your creativity, and release all anxieties and judgments you have about yourself.
3). Do some volunteer work.
Is there a charity you’ve always wanted to volunteer with but never had the time? Why not email or call them to find out about their volunteer criteria? Volunteering is a great way to give back and to increase your self-esteem, which will ultimately help you get out of your rut.
4). Spend time reading a new book.
Either download or buy a new book and immediately dive into reading it. Reading a new book can help you to escape your reality for a while, which can help you return with a fresh perspective and a new attitude. It can also help you to see how other people, even if they are fictional, solve their problems.
5). Call an old friend or relative you’ve lost contact with.
Spending quality time catching up and reminiscing with someone you have an unbreakable bond with is sometimes the gentle kick in the butt we need, especially when they ask, “what have you been up to?”
Just hearing a familiar voice can be soothing and therapeutic in itself. Enjoy the conversation and make plans to call again or visit soon to pick up right where you left off!
6). Do a social media fast.
What is a social media fast? A social media fast is when you make a conscious decision to forgo being on any form of social media for a certain time. I’ve heard of fasts lasting one day, three days, one week, and one month or longer. The purpose of staying off social media is to enjoy living in the present moment without taking in any negativity, making unnecessary comparisons, or seeing any unrealistic fairy tale lives.
When I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, start making unhealthy comparisons, or like I’m going into a funk, I immediately do a social media fast. I’ve done several, and it gives me the extra time I need to be still, rest, live, think, and take care of me.
7). Take a different route to or from work.
We are creatures of habit and we can easily get into a rut. Taking a different way to or from work is a great way to enjoy a change of stimulating scenery. If you regularly go to the gym, try taking a different route there if you don’t want to risk being late for work.
Seeing different people doing new, ordinary, and sometimes exciting things may provide the mental stimulation and beautiful imagery you need to reemerge from your little hole.
8). Read your old greeting cards from family members and friends.
Taking a few minutes to remember how those closest to you really feel about you is refreshing; it can make you emotional, and can even rejuvenate you if you feel like you’ve been sucked into a boring routine or a depressive rut. Find a few happy greeting cards to read. Savor every kind word expressed about you, and allow those powerful words to really move you and change your mindset.
Also, consider reading 3 Boss Things to Do When You’re Not Feeling It for more motivation. It has three great tips and reader comments to inspire you and make things happen at your own pace.
Although it’s easy to eventually fall into a rut, it’s even harder to get out. The good thing is that there’s hope. The great thing is you can choose not to stay in that dark hole and decide to reemerge stronger and more determined than ever to win. Have you ever been stuck in a rut before? How did you climb out?