5 Ways To Break Out Of Your Rut
First and foremost let me start by saying I am not a psychologist, (although I have a slight obsession of reading on the subject lol) so these are things that I can say are only my opinion and are actions that have worked for me personally. As someone who works from home and is relatively new to their surrounding environment, I spend a large amount of time by myself. I’ve always been fortunate in attracting people into my life socially. But I made a vow when moving across the country that I would be very selective in what relationships I form and invest in.
Recently, I felt as though the domino effect gave me some punch combos to the mouth. A common trip to my Doctors office revealed a temporary health problem I had been having, a large business opportunity I had been pursuing very quietly slipped through my hands, a girl I had invested some time as well as genuine interest in left me hanging, I had unexpected misfortune take a swing at me financially, and I received news that two people in my family were having health problems. I will admit at first I was let down and sluggish. But Being an optimist and someone who has a hard time sitting still. I put together an action plan on paper and followed it for about two months straight. Here is my plan broken down into steps and some details as to how it helped me!
1.) Go on a Decluttering and Fixing Frenzy!
You would be very surprised how much your psychological mindset is effected by the state of your most personal surroundings. Stacks of papers that haven’t been filed, clothes skewed about, books that have found a way off the shelves, or anything else is a mental distraction that can cause disruption in your thinking patterns. Oh and how about that lightbulb that’s been flickering out on your lamp? Not to mention that ceiling fan that creaks when you kick it on high speed. Tackling these things immediately and decluttering your space will give you a sense of accomplishment! It will bring clearer thoughts in your down time and it will give you momentum moving forward in other activities!
2.) Shake Up Your Routine
Waking up at the same time each day, running or driving the same route, and seeing the same faces at the gym? These are signs it’s time for a shake up. Shock and unfamiliarity can be a good thing for your body as it won’t feel like “running through the motions.” Go to sleep an hour earlier and choose to wake up earlier, Take the long way home instead of the short way, invite a new workout partner, run down a different linear trail. Just do something out of YOUR ordinary. Some of my most grateful thoughts have always come to me when doing this. I believe it has to do with reminding yourself that you’re free and not a robot on a timer!!
3.) Read and Listen To More Books!
It’s no secret that readers are leaders and that reading is a hobby amongst many creative minds. If you’re having negative thoughts about something, this can be the quickest way to escape those thoughts. Sharpen up in your field or specialty, become more in-tune with your spiritual self, or take the time to inform yourself on the things that seem to always grab your attention! This has been crucial for me. Each time I read I’m just looking for one or two thing I can apply to my life for improvement. I truly believe that books contain the golden nuggets of life we’re being distracted from by notifications on our phones. Don’t forget that audiobooks can easily substitute for music in your car or at the gym if not having time is your excuse!
4.) Just Breathe and Be In The Moment
Remember that favorite grade school teacher? “When you’re upset just take deep breaths and count to 10.” Maybe I heard this more because I was a trouble-maker in my younger years ;) Please do me a favor and try this exercise! Turn your phone notifications off and your timer to 15–20 minutes. Take yourself away to a quiet place with as little noise as possible. Sit in a relaxed and alert position with your eyes half open. Breathe deep in through the nostrils and exhale out the mouth longly until there is no more, then repeat. Focus only on your breathing rhythm, if your focus wanders just pull it back gently. If you cannot turn your thoughts off. Think about the things in life you’re most grateful for and couldn’t live without that you have.
5.) Ask yourself Uplifting and Meaningful Questions
If your mind is running in circles about something, distracting it is not always the best medicine. You need to get to the root by asking better questions and determining better answers for yourself. I would suggest pulling out a piece of paper and writing it out. Here are some questions I feel are good examples. What things do I have in my life right now that make me happy? Who do I have in my life right now that I know would listen to me? Is this something that has happened to just me or to someone who I see as a role model as well? What are things in this circumstance that are out of my control? What are things within this circumstance that I can control? Five years from now, will this even matter? What can I start doing to change this that I haven’t tried already?
The most important thing to remember is that emotions are just like clouds, they come and go. In life you are either on your way into a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm. Always remember that regardless of the weather you’re experiencing. Your mind, heart, and effort can carry you through if you choose to avoid being stagnant and make strong choices.