Happy New Year, welcome 2021! Now that the tumultuous year of 2020 is behind us, the New Year brings hope and the enlightenment that comes from a fresh start. There may be unresolved issues from 2020 that carry over to the beginning of the new year, but keeping positive and giving yourself the time to pave and plan a path for a better year is what’s most important. Read on and follow the steps to Get Out of a Rut.
The pandemic and political turmoil (all over the world) haven’t been kind to us mentally, physically, and financially. But if you’re like me, I’ve had enough of it, enough of the rut – feeling all kinds of emotions from sadness, boredom, depression, confusion, and stress.
So, now what? I thought to myself, “How do I get out of this rut? How long will I continue to feel this roller coaster of emotions? What’s next for me? What should I do?” As I sat on the couch, staring out at the window, I realized I needed to do something. But then I don’t have the energy or motivation to do anything. I know this can’t continue, something needs to change, for my physical and mental well being.
If you’ve felt any of the emotions I’ve mentioned above, know that you are not alone. I wrote this post to share with you what I did, and to promise myself to continue doing, to get out of a rut. The most important step is starting something. It may be a slow process but don’t put too much pressure on yourself and end up giving up so early. You got this! Just take it easy, be kind to yourself, pace yourself, and be grateful and thank yourself for at least taking the step to getting started and wanting to make a change. That’s it! Even if your first step is just acknowledging that you’re willing to take the first step, then be happy with that decision, you can end it with that, regroup and carry on when you’re ready again.
These are some of the steps to get you back on track and help you get out of a rut. The steps that I share with you here are the steps I’ve taken for myself to help me get out of that unhappy mindset. I realize that some of these steps may already be something you do now, so you can skip those parts and go to the next. But, if you were like me, you need to start somewhere, so start at the beginning.
Here we go, let’s get it started!
Reward yourself with some self-care time. If you have a job, take that vacation day or days, and give yourself a moment to reset without the stress or pressure that comes from a hectic workload. If you can’t take time off work or have a busy family schedule, reward yourself with at least an hour or 2 of your own personal time. Away from all the noise and demands.
If you have kids, ask your partner, a friend, or a family member to help you watch them for an hour or two so you can reset. By the way, the answer is no! No, it’s not selfish to give yourself a break from your very busy parental schedule. This is actually very healthy for you. You are allowing yourself to take a deep breath, regroup, destress so that you can continue to go about your day and not feel like you’re on the verge of breaking down and possibly lashing out. Does that sound familiar to you? It is healthier for you to take a moment to regroup so you can feel at peace, having better judgment, and more prepared to continue with the next task. Your partner and/or kids will be more appreciative of your undivided attention now that you’ve de-stressed.
Time is so precious, and if you don’t use it wisely it will run away from you. Slow it down, reward yourself and take a break, take it all in and breathe all the stress out. You’ll feel more recharged and grateful for all that you have and for the people you have.
STRETCH IT OUT
Ooh, those aches and pains! For most of 2020 and probably until now, you’ve been busy sitting on the couch doing nothing but eat and binge watch on tv with little to no exercise, or movement (unless it’s going to the fridge and back), your body has been feeling more tense and sore. Mentally your mind feels glum and clouded, shoulders, neck, and back are tight potentially giving you headaches. This pain now causes a lack of sleep because you’re tossing and turning trying to find the right position to ease the pain.
Whether you’re seated or standing up, give your body a good stretch. Extend your arms, legs, and back, and twist left and right then circle up and down. Feel that stretch! Think of a newborn baby when it wakes up from a good nap and stretches in such a satisfying way. Yes, go ahead and do that! Oh yeah, that feels good, doesn’t it!
Here are some great videos I found on YouTube that you can do. This is a very important step to take. It’s a simple step but oh so important. Take the time to stretch it out, even if it’s for a few minutes or if you want to do a longer version then go ahead and do it. Do whatever your body wants you to do. If you have more aches and pains and have the time to do so, then complete a longer session.
Before you begin the next steps, let me start by saying that it’s ok if you feel like giving up because you feel unmotivated or don’t have the energy. I applaud you for starting, and each step is a reward for yourself. So if you need to pause, for now, that’s totally ok. When you’re ready, start over, or just continue where you left off. Be kind to yourself, you’re doing your best!
DANCE IT OUT / EXERCISE
Woohoo, are you ready? Are you feeling energized and ready to get moving? My tip is to start slow. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, take it easy, start with videos that are 10-30 minutes max. I don’t want you to give up too early. The important thing is that you’re getting your body moving, breaking a sweat, and you WILL feel so good after. That little burst of energy will give you that sense of feeling that you’re ready to tackle the next thing. You may not go on to start a new project or start reorganizing your entire house, but it’s the thought and feeling that you could do it, is enough. That boost of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, is what we’re aiming for.
Whatever workout style is your preference, the most important thing is you do something that won’t bore you and that you’re actually having fun. Keep it short in the beginning, and listen to your body. Eventually, the 10-minute exercise, in the beginning, will turn into a 60-minute workout. Don’t overdo it, I’m not asking you to start with an extensive HIIT workout, just get your body moving even if it’s just 10 minutes long. When I first started working out again, after 6 months or so of not working out, I actually ended up doing 4-5 videos of short workouts. I got a really good sweat out of it and I felt so good. I started with very short, but very fun dance workouts, and after that, I just had to have more. I was having so much fun I just wanted to keep moving. The reward after accomplishing this simple task will make you feel better.
Over time, with continuous practice, you’ll start getting into the habit of consistent exercise. Boost your happy endorphins and get your body moving and sweating. Healthier mentally and physically begins now, go check out my favorite dance workouts: Trendmebeauty’s Favorite Workouts Playlist. If you’re not a ‘dance’ workout type of person, give it a chance, do it at home (alone) if you’re too shy. You will enjoy these workouts, it won’t even feel like you’re exercising.
FEEL GOOD VIBES / MEDITATE
Now we’re ready to start the next task. Your mental well being is extremely important. Block out all the noise and begin by listening to positive energy-boosting music. Mental clarity will allow you to shift your mind and focus on your next task.
Soothing music playing in the background will help you focus on the task at hand. Whether you’re reading, working on a project, or just simply need soothing music to relax or doze off, meditation music or feel-good music will help significantly. Here are some I’ve compiled and will continue to add to, go check it out: Trendmebeauty’s Meditation Favorites Playlist
We are what we think and what we think we become. Practicing gratitude will allow us to be more aware and conscious of our thoughts. By speaking and acting from a place of love and positivity you can watch your life change. Repeat affirmations out loud, every morning for 21 days in a row, to create a habit.
You can create a gratitude jar (like a piggy bank of gratitude notes) or a journal to write your thoughts daily. Write a word or a paragraph for what you are grateful for that day. If you can’t think of anything significant or just having one of those days, simply look at your surrounding, maybe you’re grateful for your couch so you can relax, or the fact that the sun is shining. There are so many things to be grateful for. Remember to stay positive so it helps with self-image and self-confidence.
VISION BOARD/GOAL PLANNING
January is the best time to create a plan for your goals for the upcoming year. Grab a blank notebook and write down your goals. My favorite is a vision board. Grab a foam board or cardboard, some magazines for photos, and create your vision board. Keep this up on your bedroom or office wall so it’s in line of sight and can refer to. Think financial, career, home, and family/relationship plans. The idea is to look at the future and write down what you ‘will’ accomplish as if you already have it. This is when you can practice the Law of Attraction, manifesting what you want. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve”
START A PROJECT
Starting a project or continuing a project is an important step toward getting out of a rut. This keeps you busy and gets your mind away from negative thoughts. Whether you’re purging your closets and storage room, starting a new side hustle, sorting through photo books, or whatever else you’ve been wanting to work on, then there’s no better time than now. This project might actually align with your vision board and so starting the process is an important step to go.
Getting out of a rut might seem far out of reach when you’re stuck on the couch and feel like you don’t have the energy or direction.
But, by following the steps above you can get yourself out of it.
It’s human nature to lose track and get back in a rut and that’s ok. It happens.
Take it one step at a time and make sure to do the daily tasks to get you motivated and energized.
Wishing you all the best and good luck!