We’ve all been there…
Those days when you just can’t seem to pull yourself out of bed. When even making your morning coffee is hard to do. When everything on your to-do list seems like a monumental task.
It’s called a rut. And as soon as you find yourself in one, it’s important to start digging yourself out.
We’ve all had bad days before. Those are just a part of life. But when an ongoing “rut” starts, it tends to elongate. Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months. Pretty soon, whenever you look in the mirror, you don’t like what you see.
If you’ve found yourself in a “rut” as of late, here’s a quick plan to get yourself out.
Step #1 – Evaluate your relationships.
Take a look at the key relationships in your life — those related to family, love, friendship, and work. What’s good, and what’s bad?
When stress and depression hit, it’s often the case that our relationships aren’t going well. We’re either not getting what we need or resentment or fights have started to brew.
Love relationships are a common issue as dating and marriage are constant gardens that must be tended. So, how’s your love relationship going? Do you still do small, nice things for him? Maybe it’s time to bring back his favorite meal for dinner or giving him a back rub while you watch a movie.
Is it he who’s the problem? Are you drifting apart? Could your bedroom affairs be at the heart of it? Sometimes, a few new lingerie sets are all you need to fix the situation. Facing it head-on with a deep talk is never a bad idea either.
If the issue is a friendship, what’s at the core of the problem? Was it a fight or something the other person said off-handedly? Sometimes, a good talk over tea or coffee is what’s needed. Other times, after a decent amount of evaluation, you might decide that a friend you once treasured has become toxic, and you need to gracefully allow them to step out of your life.
Whatever the case may be, spend some time reflecting on your relationships, and make the necessary changes to rectify any that are causing you harm.
Step #2 – Take a look at your physical health.
Now, it’s time to look inward. How’s your health?
Are you at a healthy weight? Do you have any ongoing issues that you know you need to see a doctor about but you just haven’t made an appointment yet? When is the last time you saw your general practitioner, dentist, and doctor for regular visits?
Do you get outdoors every day for some fresh air? Do you take vitamins and eat a healthy, balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats?
All of these issues should be addressed in turn. You only get one body, and it’s up to you to take care of it!
Step #3 – Think about how you feel about your work.
Many of us get a lot of our self-worth from our work. In some ways, getting too much of your confidence and self-worth from work can be toxic. Your job is not you, after all.
On the other hand, if you can find a job or career that gives you pleasure and a quality sense of accomplishment, this can be a great boon to your existence.
So, how do you feel when you think about your job? Of course, any red flags would be feelings of great agitation and stress as soon as your workplace or employer enters your mind.
If you feel that you like your job “pretty well,” ask yourself if it’s really challenging you. Is there any room for upward mobility? Are you making as much as you want? Do you feel that what you do is fulfilling for you and helpful to the world?
If you think you may have somehow turned into someone who hates their job, it’s time to start thinking about a change. Getting out of bed every day to spend half your waking hours in a place you detest is no way to spend a life. You have options.
Step #4 – Make a three-part plan.
Okay, you’ve taken a look at three common problem areas of life. These three areas tend to cause the most distress for people, which can lead to feelings of ongoing anxiety and depression — commonly known as a “rut.”
Now, it’s time to make a plan.
Hopefully, you’ve come up with some solutions to any ongoing issues. Perhaps it’s time to sit down with your spouse and have a discussion about your sex life. It could be time to start a new exercise routine or diet. Or, maybe you need to start looking for a new job.
Whatever you’ve decided, make a list of three actionable things you can start doing today to move your life in a better direction. Don’t let a rut keep you from enjoying life. And remember: Even small changes can create big results.