How do you know when you’re in a rut? You’ll feel despondent and listless, without the motivation to make plans or the energy to pursue them. You’ll feel like climbing out of bed every morning is a chore, and climbing back in every night is the best part of your monotonous, uninteresting day.
But remember, monotony requires your participation. If you want to get out of a rut, you’ll have to make significant changes in how you live your life. It’ll take hard work and dedication, drawing on your willpower and determination, but you can do it. To move forward, upward and onward, consider starting with the five steps below.
1. Set an Ambitious Goal
It’s common to fall into a rut when you’ve gotten too comfortable with your situation. It might manifest as a boring relationship or an easy job with no upward mobility, but either way, you’ll grow complacent when your day-to-day life is no longer exciting. It leads to overwhelming ennui.
To break free from this stasis, try moving far in the opposite direction. Set an ambitious goal, something that’s outside your comfort zone, something to challenge you. Whether it’s a personal or professional project, aim high and work hard at achieving what you’ve planned for yourself.
2. Organize Your Space
At home or in the office, a cluttered space reflects a cluttered mind. When all of your belongings are disorganized, stacked in piles and littered across your floor, it’s easy to leave things as they are and let the mess build. It’ll only contribute to your mental block, however, and you’ll continue to struggle.
You can’t let your bad habits jeopardize you. To move past an unproductive period in your life, try organizing your space. Start with your bedroom, clear the sink of any dishes, dust your furniture, beat out the rug, make sure your desk is tidy — anything to give you a clean slate moving forward.
3. Get Enough Fresh Air
As you lose confidence in yourself and your abilities, it’s easy to isolate. You might hide away in your room and lock the door, staying inside instead of socializing with your friends and family. This behavior is the opposite of what you should do, and it has an adverse effect on your mental and physical health.
To begin feeling like yourself again, try going outside more often. Breathe in the fresh air, and you’ll notice the positive effect it has on your mood and cognition. It’s not something people often consider, but their brain survives on oxygen, and the quality of that oxygen influences their mental acuity.
4. Start an Exercise Routine
In keeping with the previous step, you should consider starting an exercise routine. A sedentary lifestyle leads to debilitating illnesses later in life, and you can’t afford to fall into the habit of spending your days on the couch or in a chair. While it could prove difficult, you should muster your enthusiasm.
To hold yourself to your decision, purchase a gym membership and ask a friend to tag along. You’ll find that having another person to exercise with keeps you on a steady schedule. You’re less likely to skip a session if you know someone’s waiting for you, and it’s a great way to get back on track.
5. Maintain a Positive Mindset
Perspective and perception are very similar. People with a positive outlook on life tend to see the positive side of things, while people with a negative outlook on life are their own worst enemies. They choose to believe the world is gloomy and unfair, so that’s what they selectively notice.
If you feel like the world is gloomy and unfair, you should try adopting a positive mindset. This step is more of an abstract one, but you can approach it in a palpable way. Write a list of all the opportunities you’ve enjoyed in your life and all the people you’re grateful for, and you might begin to think differently.
Tomorrow Is a New Day
If you want to know how to get out of a rut, try an exercise routine, organize your space or step outside to breathe fresh air. As long as you try, you’re making progress.
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