Feeling like you’re in a rut is the worst, isn’t it? I can remember certain times in my life where I felt like things would never change. Of course I was wrong, but that didn’t make how I felt any less horrible!
How do you handle things when you feel like you can’t seem to get out of a rut? Feeling like you’re unable to move forward can be paralyzing. Whether it’s creatively, personally or professionally, ruts can grab hold and squash your mojo really easily. *Ugh* The good news is, there are ways to get out of it and they’re pretty simple.
Here are few things that you can do next time you’re having that stuck in a rut feeling:
- Identify the source of feeling stuck. Is it a crappy job? Or a relationship that isn’t working anymore? Being honest with yourself about why you feel stuck in a rut will at least make it clear what you need to do to improve the situation or move on. Don’t get me wrong–owning up to what isn’t working isn’t easy, but at least you’ll be more clear about why you’re feeling this way + that will make room for change when you’re ready.
- Make a list of options. Do a brain dump and get down on paper all of the ways you can get out of the rut. Don’t think too hard when you’re doing this, just let your mind wander + write down everything that comes up, no matter how far fetched it may seem. Sometimes you need to start with big thoughts to get down to the actionable pieces. When I do this, I’m always amazed what my subconscious comes up with.
- Go back to the basics. Think about a time in your life when you felt absolutely fantastic. What were you doing? What was different? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel–when you’re feeling stuck, it’s always good to go back to things that have worked for you in the past and build from there.
- Check in with yourself + make sure you are practicing self care: eat right, move your body, connect with others + do something that brings you joy. These practices have a cumulative effect so even if you don’t feel like it, get your body moving in the right direction and your brain will catch up with you later.
- Give yourself a time limit. Being in a rut can quickly transition to feeling depressed. By giving yourself a time limit to wallow in your stuck-ness, you are more likely to get out of it sooner. Set a time limit that you need to take action by in order to avoid sliding backwards–even if that means faking it a little to get you moving.
- Ask for help. Tell your close friends + family how you’re feeling. Ask them for support and perhaps even for some help to get moving forward. They love you and want to help, so let them! This trick alone has saved me countless times when I was stuck.
- Allow room for adjustments. Bouncing back after being down can sometimes feel like you’re taking two steps forward, one step back. Be gentle with yourself during this time as you make changes, it may not go as smoothly as you want but any progress is good. Transitions take time + patience, so celebrate the small victories along the way!
Try to remember–feeling stuck can be a gift, too. I’ve had times of total frustration in my life when I wasn’t where I wanted to be and I felt totally lost. Recognizing this + using some of these tools to get out of that rut brought me to a whole new phase of my life. Looking back, I realize those difficult times helped me transition + grow. I hope these tricks help you, too.