Do you ever feel sort of stuck? Day after day, week after week, nothing really changes. It’s not that anything is particularly wrong. You aren’t thinking of leaving your spouse and moving to a Caribbean island. Life just feels a little too much the same. I think a lot of people have experienced this during the pandemic. So how do you get out of a rut? I’ve got a few ideas to share.
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In a Rut?
David and I have been watching an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show each night after we get in bed. The other night we watched one I don’t recall ever seeing before. Mary gets a letter from Phyllis who has moved away and she realizes she doesn’t have anything new in her life. She’s in a rut. She ends up moving to a new apartment as a way of shaking things up.
It got me thinking and I realized I’ve been experiencing a bit of the same feeling. The past year+ has been *different*, to say the least. In some ways it was a needed break from our normally busy lives but enough is enough, right? It’s time to blow away the cobwebs and get out of a rut.
10 Ways to Get Out of a Rut
1. Take a different route
Do you take the exact same route every day to work, taking kids to school or when you run errands? Why not try a different route? Even if it takes you a few minutes longer, the change of scenery will do you good.
2. Change your hairstyle or color
I’m not advocating cutting your own bangs on a whim (yes, I’ve done that twice during the pandemic). Now that salons are open in most places it might be time for a fresh cut and color. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing tomorrow. After 17+ months of coloring my own hair and one less-than-even trim by my husband, I am beyond ready for a professional cut and color.
3. Redecorate a room or rearrange the furniture
When I was a kid I used to rearrange my bedroom furniture several times a year. I loved having a fresh look every few months. Take a look around your house. Can you move a few pieces of furniture for a new look? Or what about decorative items, wall decor, throw pillows, etc.? Pick a room and move things around a bit. I love those shows where a designer redecorates a room using things the family already has. It doesn’t have to cost anything at all.
4. Take up a new hobby
Many people have discovered or rediscovered hobbies during the pandemic. My husband hadn’t built models in decades but with little else to do, he has found this to be a good way to spend free time. Is there a hobby you’ve thought would be fun or interesting? Give it a try!
5. Experiment with a new exercise routine
I’ve heard there are people who genuinely enjoy exercise. If you’re one of them, allow me to say that I envy and admire you. But if, like me, you naturally gravitate to more sedentary activities such as reading, finding an exercise routine you enjoy or at least don’t hate can be an excellent way to get the ol’ blood pumping. I’d like to learn tai chi, for instance. These days it’s easy to find a YouTube video to help you learn any type of exercise you can imagine.
6. Make a new friend
Maybe you need some new people in your life. Here are some ways to do that:
7. Rediscover a favorite activity or interest from your past
I loved to color as a kid and I’m delighted that adult coloring books are now available. Think back to things you enjoyed as a kid. Is there a way to bring that into your life now?
8. Set a goal
Perhaps you need something to work toward. Do you want to write a book? Learn to bake sourdough bread? Declutter your entire house? Start a blog? Choose something you feel passionate about and begin working on it.
9. Do something daring or impulsive
I’m not recommending that you take up skydiving or lion taming. And I’m not advocating anything illegal. Just something outside and beyond your comfort zone.
10. Change up your morning routine
Our life consists of a series of days so if you are feeling stuck or in a rut, take a look at your daily routines. Start with your morning routine. It might be time for a revamp. If you feel as though your mornings aren’t setting you up for the sort of days you desire, I highly recommend Crystal Paine’s course:
In addition to one or more of the ideas above I also recommend that you take some time to journal about this. Explore your thoughts on paper. Here is a fabulous list of questions to get you started:
Note: Keep in mind that there is a difference between feeling stuck and depression. If you suspect you are depressed I encourage you to seek professional help. The ideas above are not a substitute for medical care.
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