Have you ever felt like you’re in a rut? Like you’re just feeling off for no specific reason? My guess is of course you have, because you’re a human being.
Recently I had to come to terms with the fact that I was in a rut for much longer than I realized. If I’m being completely honest (I am), I’d say I’m on the back end of what was a good solid rut of about 3 months.
I used to try to avoid using the term “rut” because I thought it was a copout, but there’s really no other way to describe it. Everything in my life is fine – great, actually. I was just in a weird pattern of…dullness. Of just not feeling like myself.
So…what’s the deal? RUT THE HECK does one do to get out of this sort of thing?
I’m still working on practicing what I’m about to preach. But, I’ve gone through ruts in the past and came out a better person on the other end. Here’s what has helped me then, and has been helping me now.
1. go easy on yourself – it’s okay to be in a rut sometimes.
I don’t know about you, but I’m usually in a rut for months at a time before actually admitting that I am. I’m Miss Self Sufficient, so I always think I can fix everything on my own. I mean, it’s MY life, shouldn’t I be able to? But for me, ruts aren’t always circumstantial. In fact, like I said – I’m actually in one of the best places I’ve been in my life right now (with work, friends, etc.) yet I’ve still found myself feeling OFF and not myself. But you know what? Even if I don’t have a specific reason why, it’s okay. Ruts happen, and it isn’t going to last forever.
2. examine what in your life may be causing it.
Even though it’s okay to be in a rut, it’s not okay to let yourself get caught up in it for longer than it should be. Like I said, a lot of times ruts aren’t based on a specific circumstance. But, a lot of times they can be. Really look closely at all of the areas in your life, and try to see if there’s anything that even subconciously might be throwing you off. It could even be something that “should” be a good thing in your life. Recognizing and being aware of these things might not end your rut instantly, but it will at least help you head in that direction.
Some of the main circumstances that I’ve found can play a role in a rut:
change of seasons
3. open up to close friends/family.
This goes hand-in-hand with #1, but sometimes it can be even more difficult. I have enough trouble admitting to myself that I’m in a rut, but it’s even tougher admitting it to other people when my life looks like it’s going great on the outside. I never want to seem ungrateful or negative because…well, who wants to be around Debbie Downer? But I’ve learned firsthand that if you open up to some of your loved ones (or your entire blog audience, ahem), they’ll give you a lot of the support and encouragement you need. Everyone can relate to being in ruts here and there, so they could have great advice for you to start getting out of it.
4. focus on taking care of yourself – not on getting out of the rut.
The thing about ruts is that you can’t force yourself out of them. It has to be something that ends gradually and naturally, and the best way to do that is to really pay attention to taking care of yourself – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Right now, I’ve been trying to do that by simplifying my life more. As someone who is self-employed, I’m constantly taking on more things than I can actually handle, and taking care of myself becomes a last priority. It may feel a bit selfish (it does to me), but if you really want to get out of the rut, I think it’s a crucial step.
For me, some of those things are:
prayer and meditation time
unplugging from technology
eating well & exercising
pampering myself with a mani/pedi
spending time with loved ones
Please note that I’m *not* an expert in the area of mental health, this is just my personal advice. So if you feel like you’re dealing with depression in any way, please see a medical professional.
What do you do to get out of a rut? Which of these do you agree/disagree with the most?