Different outfit, same day, every day.
Commute to work, perform your job, come home, kiss the kids, errands, bills, chores. Set your alarm, go to sleep, wake up, do it all over again.
And again, and again, and the more you feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over again the more you feel like your days are all blending into blah.
The point is: You’re in a rut.
And? You want out of it, which is good because the feeling of being in a rut will keep you from growing and evolving as the vibrant human being that you absolutely are.
The good news here, though, is that there are definite ways to get yourself out of a rut and to ensure, moving forward, that you stay mindful of your routine and how you’re showing up in your life to help thwart future and possibly deeper ruts.
Before we discuss actions that you can take to get out of a rut, let’s first consider what you can learn from feeling like you’re in a rut in the first place. While we all experience highs and lows in life, and it’s human nature to find yourself in a rut at one time or another, keep in mind that you won’t get out of a rut by denying its existence.
Ask yourself the following questions and see if you can dive deeper into what your rut is telling your highest self:
- Have you been kind to yourself and congratulated yourself for your honest and brave acknowledgement that you’re experiencing a rut?
- Are you feeling bored? Under-stimulated? Depressed? Morally conflicted? Disconnected? This is an important question to try and answer as precisely as you can. If your rut is telling you that you’re under-stimulated in your entry-level position, for example, you may be desiring more challenge and it would thereby be important to act on that.
- How’s your social connection? Deprivation of social connection and mood-boosting activities are common culprits of ruts.
- When is the last time you can remember having fun and truly enjoying yourself?
- What’s your physical activity level like? Are you making time to get your endorphins pumping daily, weekly?
- Do you feel a sense of purpose in your day-to-day life?
Your honest answers to these questions will help gain clarity about why you’re feeling like you’re in a rut. Again, you won’t get out of a rut by denying its existence. The more you listen to what your rut is showing and telling you (about what you need more or less of), the quicker and more powerfully you can get out of the rut and begin feeling positive and engaged within your life.
Here are some actions you can take to toward ensuring your day-to-day and future routine isn’t boring or leading you back toward a rut.
Tuning into mindfulness, or practicing being present with what’s here and now only, helps harness the mind. Intentionally adding mindful practices into your routine will help you to feel more connected and clear overall. It may also help you to avoid future ruts as you’ll begin to identify more clearly with how you’re feeling in the moment and learn to touch base with yourself deeply, noting when you may be lacking centeredness or heading toward a rut.
Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as:
- Focusing on your breath for a short while, noticing your inhales and exhales but nothing else
- Using of guided imagery, choosing to focus on a calming photo or work of art with the intention of being mindful about the few moments you’ve chosen to do so
- Performing mundane tasks such as washing the dishes or folding laundry can be the perfect vehicles for practicing mindfulness. Try focusing on the moment right in front of you, whatever it may be, without letting your mind wander to the past or future.
All people generally feel happier if they have a sense of purpose, a reason or multiple reasons for being. If you’re lacking or feeling disconnected from having purpose in your life, consider the following:
- Volunteer. From organizing a clothing or food drive with a local non-profit to simply asking a friend how she’s doing, joining in with another person or mission can help strengthen your sense of purpose.
- Create. Gain meaning and tap into your inner purpose through art, writing, playing music.
- Focus. Whether through journaling or simply setting aside time each day to think, make conscious effort to take a step back from your day-to-day requirements to look at the bigger picture and ensure the activities you’re spending your time on are in alignment with the kind of person you want to be and the life you actually want to live.
Get Outside Perspective
Sometimes, just talking through your problems with a close friend is enough to help you see things more clearly and find your way out of a rut. Other times, however, you can’t see a clear path out … and you may even believe that there is no way out. Please hold closely that there is a way forward and no matter what you’re facing, you don’t have to deal with it alone. We’re here at BMC to help, and you can schedule a 1:1 session anytime.
Suggested Reading: “Permission Not to Be Perfect: Letting Go of Guilt” & “Can an Endocrinologist Help You?”