How to Get Started When Stuck feels Permanent

We’ve all been there, maybe more than we’d like to admit.

I know I’ve been there many times. And each time the feeling of “stuck” returns, it’s like I’ve forgotten that I’ve been there before. Maybe that sounds familiar. Frantic with how to escape, I go in circles to come up with some miraculous plan to help me break free when really, this isn’t much different than the many times before. I’m really not that unique from the other 7.5 billion humans on this earth.

How can you set yourself free when stuck won’t go away?

  1. Accept where you are
    Okay, I feel stuck, here’s what I tell myself. Dear Sweet One, I hear you and feel you that today feels kind of hard and you’d rather stay in bed. That you’d rather not get dressed. I hear you that things feel like a lot and you don’t know where to start. You can be here in this space for a little bit and then, let’s do the next thing to take care of us. It’s okay that you feel this way, it will pass. It always does, right?
  2. Ground yourself by connecting with your senses
    For me, it’s making a cup of hot tea, or maybe burning some shit. My go to these days has been palo santo. It reminds me of being outside and it brings some calmness to my body as I breathe in the smell that’s been associated with cacao ceremonies, sweats and other meaningful ritual. I really like to utilize taste and smell since I find them the most grounding. For you it might be moisturizing your body, watching your dog play fetch, taking a shower, lighting a candle, listening to a certain song. There are many ways to ground yourself. Explore different practices and find what works for you.
  3. Breathe
    Focus on breathing all the way into your belly and feel your chest get full. Fully inhale goodness, life and refreshing thoughts. Fully exhale any thoughts or feelings that are no longer serving you. I like to use Insight Timer’s guided meditations when I feel stuck. I recommend loving-kindness meditations as a reminder to be gentle with myself.
  4. Write a gratitude list
    Think about all the people, places, things in your life to be grateful for. Now write a list of 30 things you are grateful for. If you’re having trouble coming up with things to be grateful for then think about your health, your bed, your toothbrush. You get my point, look around and give thanks to the small things that help make life possible.
  5. Get out of yourself and share love
    Tell someone you love them. Do service work. Call a friend or family member and ask them how they’re doing. Do something that’s outside of yourself physically, and you will be bound to get out of yourself mentally.
Look down at your feet and know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be

Hopefully this brings you some movement and the rest of the day falls into place. The flow that can be created from these five steps can launch you into creating a to-do list and real productivity. And also, we all have days that we just need to be gentle with ourselves. If you’re having one of those days, give yourself permission to be there. Be gentle and be kind with yourself.