Stuck in a rut

Stuck in a Rut? Change Course!

posted in: Mindfulness | 3

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut? I certainly have and I think we all have at one point or another in our lives. We end up doing the same old, tired routines because, well, it’s easier. But what if you were to shake things up a little? Take a moment to question your routines, to become curious and you might find yourself on an entirely new path, free of ruts, with new excitement around every curve.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but being stuck can lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction with your life. You may not even notice it’s happening, those ruts just sort of sneak up on you. And by the time you do notice them, they’re pretty deep and persistent and hard to get out of. One of the things I love about meditation it that it lets you be the observer to your inner world, and you notice these things early.

Let’s say, however, you have yet to start a meditation practice. Take a moment right now to check in with yourself. Do you feel unmotivated? Unfulfilled? Is each day the same as the one before? If you answer yes, sounds like you’re in a rut, and it’s important to do something about it as soon as you notice, because over time they can lead to depression.

Once you notice those feelings of being stuck, it’s time to get unstuck. Here are some ideas to consider:

As I’ve written here before (And Mindful Travel, Too), travel broadens your mind and opens you up to new possibilities. Travel doesn’t have to be to some far off, exotic locale. Try a day trip to a nearby town that you’ve never visited. Be sure to talk to the local and immerse yourself in the culture, weather that means visiting museums, eating at an out-of-the-way restaurant or taking a hike to a natural landmark.

Explore your own town
We often go to the same businesses, eat at the same café, and visit the same outdoor space in our own town. Shake it up! Discover a new favorite boutique or restaurant, see the town as a visitor does. A great source for ideas is your local visitors bureau.

Rearrange the furniture
Just last week (The View From My Window), I shared about my new view from my desk, courtesy of some simple furniture rearrangement. My whole perspective shifted. Just that simple shift, changed the way I do things, even just the way I walk through the office door.

Get rid of the negative
Surround yourself with those that support you, accept the path you’ve chosen and don’t unfairly criticize your journey.

Change your routine
Sometimes, routine is what gets you stuck in the first place. We’re bored with the same old, same old and we’re running on auto-pilot. Try something new – a new workout routine, a new route to your job, a new genre of books, a new television show, a new food and so on.

Be spontaneous
Decide to say yes for a month. Let go of the planning and experience the wonder of the present moment. If you have some fear around the unknown, that’s okay, do it in spite of your fear. Think how proud you’ll be as you expand your comfort zone.

The first step in getting out of the rut is recognizing it. When you find yourself stuck, seek a different route. A new path can be challenging, but oh, the view.

3 Responses

  1. bonny Carreker

    Thanks for this wonderful reflection. Sorry, I don’t always read. Your comments are so true. I must start say ing “yes”, be more spontaneous. My friends tell me all the time. I had to Laugh at this comment.
    Today, I’ll approach my Life different. Gotta go—have new places to discover!

  2. Bonny Carreker

    Thanks for the wonderful reflection today. I received e-mails from Mindful Cafe, unfortunately, I don’t always open. But today I did. Great suggestions on how to get out of a rut. I really liked: Say yes for a Month. I ‘m not a “Spur of the Moment kind of person”. My friends always say, just say yes, but I always have an excuse.
    . I had to Smile when I read that suggestion.
    Appreciate the steps to get out of a rut. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *