How To Get Out Of A Rut In 3 Steps
Around December 26-28th some version of the following tweet starts popping up on our timelines;
"Them awkward days between Christmas and New Year when you don't know what day it is, or what you're doing with your life".
and honestly #Relatable. Although I didn't tweet it, it's referenced in my last two articles.
There's a name for it in all different languages. Apparently in English it's referred to as "Crimbo Limbo", and to sum it up; no one knows how to act. Personally, this funk often lasts longer than a week, turning into a full blown rut.
It is 4am (jet lag) on Wednesday January 8th, 2020 and I'm currently still in that period, but somehow I don't feel as bad this year. So in my slightly-still-in-Crimbo-Limbo-full-on-jet-lagged-foggy-state I want to share what has helped me to feel less discombobulated, and more recharged and hopeful for the new year.
What is a rut?
It's defined as, 'a fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life, usually dull or unpromising'. Basically, it’s the feeling of being “stuck”.
You may find yourself in one if you;
-Aren’t sure what day it is (every day feels the same).
-Feel unmotivated and unfulfilled.
-Want change but are scared to take the risk.
*note: some of these signs may be something more serious (such as persistent depressive disorder (PDD) and depression) if they are long lasting. If you have any concern please talk to your doctor. To be clear, this article is not for these serious conditions as I am not a professional.
Step 1- Recognize Why You're In A Rut
Is it your job, your relationship(s), family situation, financial situation, etc? Once you understand the cause of your unhappiness you can begin to make some changes. I know mine stems from missing my family in Canada, feeling unsure about my job (and in-turn financial stability since I'm self-employed), and feeling exhausted. This root cause can stem into many things later so it's important to identify and work on it, no matter how big or small it may seem.
Step 2- Practice Self Love
Make sure you're taking care of yourself. If you don't feel good you won't have the desire or energy to do anything. Are you feeding your body with the good nutrition it needs? Are you exercising? Getting adequate sleep? Seeing or talking to people you love? Doing things you love? If one of these things are off for me I don't feel my best.
I spent my Crimbo Limbo week in Canada visiting friends and family. It's so important to feel love and supported because having solid relationships translates to everything in your life. When I feel lonely or lost, a quick visit with a friend or Skype call with a family member can put me back on track instantly.
I also had some cozy days in (baths, good food, Netflix, and reading) and wrote a whole article on it. Sometimes you do need a good break.
Go to the gym/exercise. I feel better, have more energy, can focus better, and combat my jet lag. Plus, I get really good ideas while I'm doing something mundane like running or having a shower after.
Try a new recipe/ find some new recipes to add to your weekly meal planning. Slow down the process of eating; go to the farmer's market to get some high quality ingredients, cook a nice meal, chew slowly, and appreciate the flavours of what you created and how it makes your body feel.
Kondofy your life. Only keep items and people who bring you joy. Do a big clean up (house, food, toxic people) and create more space in your life for your true well-being.
Talk to a therapist. I'm yet to do this but it's one of my goals this year. Talking things out with someone professional will help you to understand yourself more and give you the tools you need to get through anything you're struggling with.
Step 3- Get Motivated
Watch inspiring content. This comes to me through my Instagram search page, people I follow, deep-diving into random videos on Youtube, books, magazines, and discovering new websites. Sometimes someone else's spark can help to ignite your flame.
Try new things. Whether it's talking to someone new or trying something new, you will be sure to gain knowledge, discover new passions, get out of your comfort zone, and be lead down paths you never knew existed.
Get outside. Walking around, seeing nature, and having human interaction helps to change your atmosphere and therefore change your mental state. Personally, this works even better if it's a new place. Spending an hour or a day somewhere different, even if it's just down the road, makes a big difference.
Planning really helps me to move forward. Get out your planner, set goals, think of ideas, and get yourself on the path to getting things done. Having things to look forward to, whether it's meeting a friend for coffee or starting a new project that you always wanted to do, will make you feel more hopeful and excited about life.
Stop waiting. The time will never be just right. You may not feel your best or may not be in the best situation, but those imperfect steps towards your goals beat no steps at all. While you're at it, reward yourself for those imperfect steps too. Even just putting a big check mark on a small task feels amazing.
The power is in you to change your circumstances, but you need to put in the effort. Taking care of yourself, working on your mind, and taking small steps will put you in a better place.
I hope you have an incredible year ahead.
If you have any more tips/advice I'd really appreciate it if you shared them in the comments!