10 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck in a Rut

10 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck in a Rut

I’m having a bad week. Not that anything bad has happened, per se, but I’m just not feeling up to my normal routine. I’m not sleeping well, I don’t feel like sitting down and writing, and I certainly don’t feel like putting forth the energy to go to yoga classes. Not sure if it’s post-vacation blues, my standard run-of-the-mill depression, or sheer laziness, but I’m just not into it. Any of it.

But, obviously life goes on. Bills need to be paid and Vela needs to be fed, so work needs to get done. The question is, HOW? How do you break out of your funk? Different things work for different people, and here are 10 things that work for me. They may not work right away, or even the next day, or even the next week, but you have to try (no matter what Yoda says).

10 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck in a Rut

1. Acknowledge that you are, in fact, in a funk. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone loses their mojo once in a while! Ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t exist will do you no favors, so admit you are in a rut and remind yourself it’s temporary and you’ll be back to your normal self in no time.

2. Go for a walk. Or do yoga or go running or lift weights, whatever gets your blood pumping. Going out for a walk is the simplest way to get some energy flowing through your body, and also expose you to a new environment and scenery for a while. Going for a quick walk is also a great opportunity to collect your thoughts without the distraction of home or work.

3. Listen to your favorite album, but on shuffle. I have a few albums I’ve listened to so much, I could recite the entire thing in my sleep! Listening to an album on shuffle will give your brain a bit of a jolt! It’s a small exercise in breaking away from routine and things that are predictable, which is something I struggle with.

4. Visit a museum. Any kind of museum! Looking at art or memorabilia can spark something creative inside you, even if it’s not instantaneous.

5. Journal. Perhaps the easiest tip of all. I strongly recommend everyone keep a daily journal. Even if you think you have nothing to write about each day, you can write about that! Writing helps get the peskiest of thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper, making it tangible and real. I especially recommend writing in your journal just before bed. It will help clear your mind for a better night’s sleep and help you feel more refreshed in the morning, as if someone pressed the “reset” button!

6. Watch your favorite movie or TV shows. Sometimes when I’m feeling mopey, nothing will fix it but a “Sex and the City” binge watch. It’s just how it is. Sometimes you need to put on your pajamas and grab a snack and watch something comforting and familiar.

7. Cook a new recipe. Force yourself to get a little creative in the kitchen! It doesn’t have to be complicated; I always check the ingredients list of a new recipe and if it’s more than six ingredients, I’M OUT. But trying a new recipe will not only get your brain and body working, but maybe you’ll stumble upon that new dish that will make you famous at potlucks.

8. Do a bit of shopping. Retail therapy is a thing. It really is. Don’t spend a ton, but go out and buy yourself a new dress or pair or shoes that make you look and FEEL good.

9. Take a day off from the Internet. No seriously, stop laughing. This one is super tough for me but sometimes you need to hide the laptop and phone in the closet and go off the grid for a day. Make plans with your favorite movie (see Tip #6), a couple books, that stack of old magazines you’ve been meaning to thumb through, the junk drawer you’ve been meaning to organize … you know, all those things on your to-do list that you never get to because, Facebook.

10. When all else fails, pull out a map of Disneyland and start planning your next trip. Nothing motivates me more than thinking about the next time I can go to Disneyland.

What do you do when you find yourself stuck in a rut?