Being stuck in a rut is a terrible place to be. Mostly, there is a feeling of just “meh,” but feelings of depression, fear and anxiety can also run rife… and seemingly without an end. Sometimes, we don’t know how to get out of this unhealthy place and without the proper guidance, can even be stuck there for years. The longer we linger in the rut, the more difficult it is to escape it. Learning the following techniques can help us notice the rut sooner and get us out as quickly as possible.
Am I in a rut?
Well, are you? How can we tell? Feeling like the days are monotonous and there is no more excitement for anything is a sure sign. Feeling depressed at just the thought of getting up for work, or doing some other mundane daily activities is another. Going through a bad patch now and then is normal, but letting a negative experience take over our lives and not being able to let it go is not. It is unhealthy and will hold us back.
Change the routine
That famous saying that “a change is as good as a holiday” well it couldn’t be truer in this situation. Changing up the daily routine can dramatically change the mindset and make things more interesting again. Try doing a workout before work, or try different restaurants during lunch breaks. A different route home or even a new genre of music. These small changes can have a big impact on that rut.
Find some passion
It might feel like the flames of life have been thoroughly extinguished, but the embers are always there, just waiting to be reignited. Finding our passion again is a surefire way to pull us out of the rut. Art, music, good food, and romance are all powerful tools that feed the soul and can make us feel alive. Take a step and go out dancing, or treat your significant other to something special. The list is endless for passionate experiences. Starting a long term project that you are passionate about could start a roaring fire within you.
Step out of the comfort zone
Some of you are reading this and thinking, “I can’t do those things.” If that’s you, the rut has got you good and proper. The comfort zone is the rut’s enabler. Comfort zones can be great, we feel secure in them, but not all are healthy and they can be very difficult, and even painful to step away from. It could be the job we’re in, or the daily routine after work, or even a relationship. Realizing the comfort zone is step one. Making a conscious decision for change is step two. Step three of actually making the change is a difficult one, but not impossible.
Learn to set goals
Having something to aim for and strive towards will always motivate us to get up and keep going. Set some new and interesting goals and celebrate when they are reached. Whether it’s losing a few pounds or saving up for a dream vacation, starting a business or taking early retirement, the goal is personal and therefore comes along with passion and determination to reach it.
The rut doesn’t have to be a place of despair, there is always a way out for those who want it.