How to Get Out of a Rut

Have you ever felt as if you’re just going through the motions, or stuck on a hamster wheel, constantly spinning and never getting anywhere? Chances are you’re stuck in a rut, and this can be caused or exacerbated by many different factors like depression, boredom, fatigue or even as a result of burnout. You may start to feel as if each and every day is the same, or that your life and connection to the things you enjoy doing begins to feel a little distant and blurry around the edges. You may notice that you have a lack of motivation or that certain things no longer bring you the sense of joy and happiness they once did. Your relationships may even start to suffer as your frustrations build up. Being stuck in a rut, both mentally and emotionally can be exhausting and uncomfortable, especially if you don’t have a toolkit full of tried and trusted methods to pull yourself out. 


Your first step is to acknowledge where you are and accept it. Sometimes we can do much more harm than good when we try to resist, ignore and battle on through. It’s easy to say “I’m just tired” or “I’ve had a busy week”, but by this point, it’s likely that you’ve been tired for a long time, and you’ve had busy week after busy week, after busy week. These things all add up, and before you realise what’s happened, you’ll find yourself stuck with no easy way out. By giving yourself time to reflect on where you are at the present moment, and perhaps even how you got here and accept it without judgement, or beating yourself up for letting things slip, you’ll be in a much better position to take those initial steps towards getting unstuck.


It may be tempting to completely overhaul your routines and try lots of new things all at once, and this can work for some people. But for the majority of us, flipping everything upside down is likely to leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Doing something new is a great way to help you get out of a rut, but you should try to focus your efforts on the thing that got you feeling stuck in the first place. It might be that you’re bored of your routine, or it could be that you’re no longer happy with your job. Now, some of these things will be easier to rectify than others, but a good starting point would be to ask yourself “what could I do to make things better today?”, and focus on making that small change. Take each day at a time, asking yourself the same question every time you feel those familiar feelings creeping in. 


Don’t forget to be kind to yourself during this process, getting out of a rut is a great time to practise some self-care, especially if you have been feeling burnt out. And sometimes, these feelings of frustration and boredom can be a sign that your body and mind just want to slow down and take a break. But the opposite can also be true! In these cases, sometimes the best thing to do is invite a bit of spontaneity into your life. Say yes to that invite, book a last minute weekend getaway, explore somewhere you’ve never been, sign up for a new class, or even go out and buy yourself some flowers, or something nice.


The good news is that being stuck in a rut doesn’t last forever, but some of us do tend to experience this more than others and may need some additional help in getting unstuck. If this is you, and you’ve been feeling stuck and unable to move forwards, you may benefit from speaking to a professional. As a mindset coach, I help lots of people like you identify how and why they keep falling into the same patterns and work with them to shift their perspective. Working together, we will define clear and meaningful goals, and develop a growth mindset that drives you, and keeps you motivated to achieve them. Are you ready to get started?

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