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Being stuck in a “rut” is definitely not one of life’s best experiences. We can end up feeling a range of emotions such as helplessness, lack of self confidence, laziness, etc. Even at your lowest of low, the glimmer of hope still exists to turn things around and get going again. Never forget that 😉 Here are some methods to help you bounce back out of that dreaded “rut”:
Break the pattern of your routine
Routines have their purpose. Many people like them, as they give us some comfort and security. However, sometimes it gets too comfortable and thus lead to a lack of action. Which is what the rut is all about. So one thing you can do is to disrupt your routine. Do things in a different manner than you are accustomed to. Do something “out of the box”. Different is refreshing, and you need something fresh to boost you out of that rut. It can be something really simple such as merely getting up on the other side of your bed or moving your desk or furniture around, but anything that demonstrates that “this is a new & different situation”, and any new situation creates an opportunity. Use this new opportunity to break free from that rut.
Bargain with yourself
Give yourself a little for giving a little of yourself. We all like rewards, no matter how small they are. Use that to your advantage as a bargaining leverage to get you moving. Tell yourself simply: “if I do X, I get Y”. Sometimes just knowing that whatever it is that we are doing leads to something else, is enough motivation to push us through. Give yourself rewards that you will enjoy and that you know will be enticing enough to pull you out of such a rut. Oh, and stick to your word and NO cheating 😉
Get yourself moving!
Many times, when we are in a rut mentally, it is directly due to our physical wellbeing. Being mentally fresh and on point is related to how our body is. So take a walk, go for a bike ride, go for a swim, or just go to the gym. You’ll instantly feel better physically which will translate mentally. Sometimes we just need to get all that negative energy out of our system to gain a clearer head, which is ideal to bounce back. Any type of physical activity can help us achieve just that.
Clean up your environment
I’ve been in many ruts. In most cases, my home and workstation were a mess. I’ve never been in a rut where everything was sparkling clean! We are a product of our environment to a certain degree, so another method to get yourself out of a rut is to clean up. Something as simple as making your bed, folding your clothes, classifying all those papers lying on your desk, and the likes. Clean surroundings lead to a clean mind. Once your mind is free of all that clutter, you are best positioned to move ahead.
Get rid of a bad habit
Show me someone in a rut and I will show you a bad habit. Whether it is drinking, smoking, drugs, sleeping late, eating unhealthy, but there is a bad habit somewhere. The thing is, this bad habit thrives when you are in a rut and wants your rut to continue on so it can keep on thriving. Kick that bad habit to the curb and you will free yourself from that stronghold and thus be able to reclaim control over your life and start moving forward again.
Create an accountability party
Voice your concern to someone you trust and create a platform where you have someone to answer to. Someone that follows your progress and that you cannot disappoint. This is one of the main reasons why life coaching is so helpful. When we know that we do not live in a vacuum and that someone else out there is expecting something out of us, it is usually enough motivation to push us to finally take action. If you do this step, make that person you do it with in charge of that reward system we talked about earlier. It will be even more powerful this way.
Freshen up your appearance
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror while you are in that rut. What do you see? Do you see a vibrant looking individual that is standing up straight with confidence, with nice clothes and great hair? Or do you see none of the above? Looking good makes us feel good. Use that to your advantage and make an effort to look your best. Then, take a look in the mirror again. I guarantee you that your frame of mind will be totally different now and that you will feel much more confidence in yourself and this will give you the proper strength to pull out of your rut and move ahead.
Use meditation to clear your mind
When in a rut, we become lazy and let everything, including ourselves go. Then, we look at the mountain we have to climb to get back on track and we get totally overwhelmed. So we decide that staying put is easier and more comfortable. What you need to do in such a case is to get over the stress of climbing that mountain. Take the time to relax, take deep breathes and clear your mind. Meditation helps you feel more at ease and more relaxed. It also clears up the clouds that are shrouding your mind so that you can see more clearly that the mountain isn’t as impressive as you thought it was. Once you have overcome that anxiety and stress, you are ready for the final step.
Start small, but just start!
Any action is action nonetheless. Get the ball rolling, even if you take baby steps, as long as you are moving ahead, you are going in the right direction. A rut makes us stand still. It’s a lack of movement. Just keep moving, even in small occurrences, and you will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel. Ever step mentioned above is all about taking some form of action. Because that is how you overcome this. Make sure you are always doing something, and eventually you will be back on the path that you need to be on to get to where you need to go 😉
This article was featured in The Seventh Edition of the Carnival of Improving Life