How To Get Out Of A Rut

I feel like we have all been in a rut at some point in the last few months: for me, I’ve been in 2-3. Some people are quite happy paddling in their rutty water: not for me. I know a few like me who are in need of doing things all the time because otherwise, adversely, doing nothing brings us down.

NOTE: this is not an encouragement of working yourself in the ground – this is a no no. Having time for yourself is so important and needs to become a more normalised lifestyle than not.

Anyway, apart from my idealised lifestyle routine –  a rut is basically a dull time of your life. The final straw of boredom where even thinking about doing things makes you (somehow) more bored and agitated.

In a sense, not having a rut means having a focus. Having a focus means living with purpose. Whether you’re a nihilist, optimistic nihilist, spiritual, religious or anything in between: creating a lifestyle is important.

But there are small to large scale activities that you can partake in to encourage yourself to get out of this rut.

Smaller Scale:

  • Go outside
    • See some friends/family (safely)
    • Go for a walk/jog/walk
    • Sit in your garden
    • Garden/landscape

All of these things will release dopamine, vitamin d and fresh air. It is so important to try and spend a bit of everyday outside and getting some fresh air. Even if you don’t meet up with someone: people watching is one hell of a fun passer of time.

       What I have heard the other day at a local park:

       Dad to a 5-year-old: ‘if you need to stop walking at any point, let me know, I’ll carry you for a bit’

A mother about 5 minutes later to her four-year-old, in a very strong Nottingham accent: ‘I ain’t pickin’ you up you big boy, I stink as it is – don’t be silly’

  • Listen
    • To music
    • To a podcast
    • To yourself

Having anxiety SUCKS, feeling lonely SUCKS, but being able to listen to sounds can make the world feel a little less daunting. Plus, you find music which is always a good ice breaker. Talking to yourself – may be the first sign of madness but is actually a really good way of rationalising the irrational thoughts that you may be having. It definitely helps me: but I know I’m lowkey a little crazy.

  • Shower
    • First thing
    • Right now
    • Whenever

Showering, bathing, and washing your hands has been proven to release tension, anger and guilt: all emotions linked with boredom. Put some tunes on, or your favourite tv programme and relax for 30-40 minutes. This will help you change your mindset.

Larger Scale

  • Journal
    • Images
    • Scales
    • Mind dumps
    • Diary entries

Whatever formatting you would like, it is YOUR journal. Sometimes it is best just to reflect and explore how you’re feeling: this can help work out what you ACTUALLY want to do, thus helping you out of a rut. It’s about expression – so be as creative as you like!! It will also help you source out unhealthy habits, characteristics and knowledge that you may want to work on thus giving you a focus for the next day.

  • Write down goals
    • Tomorrow
    • This month
    • This term
    • This year
    • Next 5 years

Most people don’t know where they’re going in life, they may have a rough plan, but they’re leaving the circumstance of life to take them down a path that they may not actually want to live. I don’t actually believe that you can plan every year of your life: despite this, I do place many jokes about what I want to get up to/be. Some people are really good at ‘going with the flow’, letting life lead them: but sometimes, this ‘flow’ can also be the source of unhappiness. Sometimes the best thing to do is work out where you see yourself – this doesn’t just have to be a job but could be the other 5 W’s – who do you want around you? What experiences do you want to have? I’m sure from simple questions like this, it will invoke more questions.

  • Exercise
    • Walk/job/run
    • Stretch
    • Exercise routine
    • HIIT
    • Weightlift
    • Cardio

Whatever form of exercise you want to do, it is a great way of boosting your serotonin and allowing yourself to just move around is a great way of getting rid of that ‘grotty’ feeling that comes from a rut. Exercise builds momentum, so the more input the more output: sometimes it can be its own challenge that allows a focus.

NOTE: It’s not a necessity to work out everyday or make yourself uncomfortable. As long as your leading a healthy and happy life: fuck everyone else 😉

Now, these are all just suggestions. Perhaps the worst thing you can do is ignore what you are feeling and invalidate it. If you are suffering, that’s okay and it IS difficult to find easy way outs. Calling your friends and family is also a really nice way of letting people in and validating how you are feeling. I’ll be honest, reading more of these articles probably isn’t going to help – so take one of these ideas and do it. Let go of all that shittiness and move your body 😊

Published by lizziemurrayxo

I am a BA linguistics undergraduate at Newcastle University. I am a tutor and absolutely love talking. Education is power

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