You’re in a rut. It happens to the best of us. I’m sharing a recent experience of feeling stuck in a rut, plus some easy ways to help you get out of a funk.
Back in March, I found myself in a rut. Stuck. In a total funk. I was feeling unproductive, cranky, anxious, tired, overwhelmed and incredibly irritable (ask the Brit — poor guy). My morning yoga and meditation endorphins were not working. It was like my days were constantly the feeling that I had forgotten to cut out a side-tag from a new shirt. You know, the one that irritates the hell out of you, and you’re mad you forgot to cut it, again? Everything was annoying me and I was annoyed that I was feeling this way.
This is not the first rut I’ve had in my life, but it took a very silly tiff with the Brit and him wondering what was up with me to get me out of my head. I took a good look in the mirror and said “Okay, Miss Yasmine. Sort your s*** out.” I am not ashamed to say I took a mental health day and stayed home from work that day.
Cutting the tag out
After much journaling, deeper meditation, pep talks from my Rachel Hollis and Gabrielle Bernstein books, and talking with the Brit, I unpacked what that irritating tag was. It was two-fold: a) my self-care was not great — I was not eating or sleeping well; both because of — what took me a bit longer to sort out and acknowledge — b) I was unhappy with what I was doing for work. The self-care part was easy to fix, but the second part threw me for a big loop. Like, a ’round the world loop.
Once I acknowledged the ‘tag’ and got back into the routine of making my morning smoothie and eating healthy lunches, I was sleeping better. I had more energy, and I was feeling more like Wonder Woman, less like the Hulk. Ramping my basic self-care back up gave me more energy to do all of the below, which helped me balance my mindset and figure out what to do about the second part of my rut.*
*Friday is my last day at a very good job, but one that took me some time to realize and accept was no longer for me. I’m now moving on to a job where I know I will feel more fulfilled and that will allow me more space to pursue some other endeavours that I’ve been itching to get going on.
I am not an expert, but I know how frustrating it is to feel stuck. Acknowledging your funk is important, because otherwise, all the good you do for yourself won’t stick. I speak from personal experience, and I hope that the above and below can help anyone who might be feeling in stuck in a rut.
1. Be present.
If you’re like me, you might get a little deeper up in your head than you’d like to be. Focus. Be at work (even if you don’t like it). Be with your partner. Read a book. Make the choice to be present so you can change your perspective.
2. Step up your exercise.
Endorphins, baby! They are a thing. Think about how you feel after a run, yoga or spin class, nice walk on the beach, or exercise with your partner (ahem). Whatever floats your boat, do more. Personally, I also like to dance it out, à la Grey’s Anatomy.
3. Make a gratitude list.
Practicing daily gratitude with my meditation has gotten me through many a rut. It’s incredibly perspective changing. Because I can almost guarantee that you have many things to be grateful for; at least three, every day.
4. Do more of what makes you happy a.k.a. have fun!
Read more books. Go to yoga. Spend more time with your partner and friends. Go travelling. Eat good food. Listen to a funny podcast. Play with your kids or your dog. All of the above. Whatever is healthy for you and makes you happy.
5. Have a little retail therapy.
If you have a big budget, this might mean going on a full on shopping spree. But I’m talking about a bit more #GetThrifty retail therapy: a scented candle, recommended book, a new outfit that makes you stand a little straighter and feel like Wonder Woman. (P.S. This outfit might already be in your closet!) There is something really empowering about putting on an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks; especially when you are going to work, and even when it’s just for hanging around the house.
6. Try new things.
Sometimes the best way to get out of a funk is to try something new. Make a reservation at a restaurant you haven’t been to, or play tourist in your town. (One of mine and the Brit’s favourite things to do!) Take a pottery class. Buy a piece of clothing that you wouldn’t normally choose, but that makes you feel amazing. (Like a romper — I never thought I’d be down with this, but now I have two because I feel great in them. Linked below!) Or book a really wonderful vacation from your bucket list.
7. Take steps to make a change.
Small or big, these are not actions taken lightly, and not always the easiest of decisions. They also might involve asking for help. In the last six years, my easy decisions have been taking yoga teacher training (2013), paying off my debt (2013), taking a sabbatical (2014), and moving to Victoria (2018). The difficult? Deciding to get a divorce (2015), going to therapy (various), and any job change I’ve ever made in my working life.
8. Remind yourself that you are doing amazing.
The fact that you have recognized being stuck and in a funk is pretty darn brave. It means you are looking at yourself and knowing you want to be better. You’re possibly being harder on yourself than you need to be, but do not let yourself (or anyone make you) feel guilty or bad about how you feel. It happens to all of us and you are going to rock at getting out of your rut.
I also want to say that there is no shame in talking about your rut. None. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in your personal life about how you are feeling, a counsellor or therapist makes for an excellent listener. And is absolutely worth the money. Most companies also offer an EFAP program that offers free initial sessions with a counsellor.
“To change your life, you have to change yourself. To change yourself, you have to change your mindset.” ~ Unknown
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