Some days we’re ready to take on the world with our super hero capes flying behind us, as we swiftly move through different tasks of the day, all with a smile on our face and energy that could make even caffeine jealous, while other days we just want to cuddle with a blanket on the sofa amidst cookie crumbles, and go on about our days like we were put here on earth just to follow instructions half-heartedly. It’s OK to be on both sides of the spectrum, because just like life, we too cannot be perfect all the time. However, there are times when such days seem to last longer than we’d want, affecting our bodies, minds and lives in general. It happens to all of us. Going through life, most times doing the same thing over and over again, we all tend to fall into a rut every now and then.
I found myself in a rut for quite a few days recently, lacking energy and enthusiasm to do things. My regular work commitments aside, I was hardly doing anything that nourished my mind, body, and soul. I had a million ideas in my head, yet hardly any in action. I didn’t feel like the best version of myself, and despite how beautiful it was, life seemed to be an endless run in the hamster wheel. Thankfully, I buckled up and made efforts to get out of it, and here’s how you can do it too.
1. Understand that it is not permanent
When feeling down and demotivated, remind yourself that this phase is not going to last forever, even if the voice in your head says it will. Getting into a rut is quite common, and all of us go through it every now and then. That’s just how life works. Everyone has their down phases, even the best in the world do! You can’t always be the best version of yourself, but you sure can take a break and get back to being the best, or an even more amazing version of yourself again.
2. Give yourself a deadline
The problem with being in a rut, is that you may end up getting comfortable in it. No matter how good or bad a situation is, if you hold on to it for too long, you’ll end up making it your comfort zone, which may be difficult to get out of. So, when you find yourself in a rut, accept it, embrace it, but remind yourself that you will need to get out of it. What I realized, is that having a deadline helps. When you mentally mark a date from when you decide you will stop taking things for granted, you’ll find yourself with the motivation to begin making a change.
3. Scribble it down
Putting down your thoughts and emotions on paper is highly therapeutic. When you find yourself in a rut, jot down your thoughts and feelings on a paper. You probably won’t be motivated enough to journal everyday which would make things better sooner, so dump all those thoughts on a paper every now and then, and you’ll see that your mind feels much lighter with more space to think about what to do next, rather than sulking about what is.When you let your thoughts flow on paper, you won’t just gain some clarity on your thoughts, you’ll also be able to dig into your subconscious, and eventually come up with ways to make yourself feel better.
4. Start your mornings with gratitude
Listing down at least three things you’re grateful for as soon as you begin the day, will give your day a positive spin, and make you feel less miserable. It will also give you a direction to start with, making you feel less like you’re just drifting through your days. A number as small as three, will ensure that you don’t get lazy and stick through the practice.
5. Watch what you’re eating
What we eat, has a direct impact on how we feel. Make conscious decisions to eat well. Hogging junk because your mind seems to be filled with junk too, will only push you further down the ladder. Get rid of junk at home (No! Not by eating it), uninstall food order apps, and take help from the ones you stay with, asking them to help you eat healthier. You could probably pay them a fine every time you eat unhealthy. Get innovative with your controlling strategy. Eating well will have a huge impact on your body and mind, and you’ll find yourself bidding good bye to the rut sooner than you’d think.
Expecting someone to move while in a rut may seem contradictory, but a little exercise can go a long way in helping you regain your control over your mind and emotions. You don’t have to go to the gym if you don’t feel like it, but at least fit in a few minutes of walking, or an activity you’d enjoy. You’ll have to make conscious decisions to get out of a rut, and deciding to move is one among then. Just like with food, take help from family of friends, to encourage you to get moving, and push you out the door.
7. Keep your phone away
Being hooked to the phone, scrolling endlessly through social media, and letting time pass by, as you exercise your thumb on the screen, isn’t just dangerously addictive, it also makes your rut worse. So keep your phone at a distance, put it on silent whenever you can, switch off the WiFi every now and then, or better still, turn it off for a while in the day. And whatever you do, don’t begin your day with scrolling through social media. Get a hold over your day, before your phone gets a hold of you.
8. Do something new
We often fall in a rut, because we get bored with routine. Find something new that you can take up. If you feel too lazy to do so, find at least one little thing that you can change in your current scenario, and you’ll eventually push yourself to do something new too. Take up a new hobby, rearrange your furniture, or meet up a friend and go visit a new place. Our physical surroundings and actions have more impact on our minds than we care to think. Shake things up! You’ll be glad you did.
9. Make a Plan
Being in a rut makes you feel aimless, and without a plan to get out of it, you’ll end up drifting for a long time. List down the things you’re supposed to do, but aren’t doing. Write down a plan, starting with smaller schedules that will be easy to stick to. When you stick to the smaller to-do’s (such as making sure you do one productive thing after work at a certain time, or eat a healthy meal at least once a day), you’ll train your mind to get back to the bigger ones soon. Make little changes that won’t feel like tasks.
10. Dress Up
Dressing up well, will make you feel more alive and confident. Putting in effort to look put together, will signal your brain to do the same. All the compliments coming your way, will cheer you up and bring you out of the slumps. Just like you fake it till you make it, dress well and look super charged for the day, even if you don’t feel like it, because eventually you will.
The worst part of being in a rut, is regretting the things you don’t do anymore, or the motivation you lack. Cut yourself some slack. Show some love to yourself. indulge in some self care that will help you relax and wind down. To begin again, you’ll need to start with a fresh perspective. Give yourself that love and time. It’s OK to be in a rut. You will get out of it, and bounce back much stronger!