5 Strategies to Pull Yourself Out of A Rut
I WAS IN A SERIOUS RUT TODAY.
Honestly, I have kind of been on and off this whole month. I would experience motivational highs, but the lows were a bit lower than normal. I haven't been down, sad or depressed at all - my mental health has been pretty consistently positive, but I've just been less motivated and more moody lately. And honestly, sometimes, i get more annoyed when I don't know what's wrong. this frustration just sinks me deeper into a rut.
HAVE YOU EVER FELT THIS WAY?
Today's rut was on another level though. i fell asleep on the couch last night watching a documentary. I woke up around 7AM, then went back to sleep on and off for hours. i woke up around 10, and I binge watched the new episodes of my favorite show (Being Mary Jane). around noon, i made a protein shake, but kept finding myself back on my couch, not able to get ready and leave the house like i had planned. I promised myself last week that today I would start my strict routine of getting back in the gym and putting in serious work hours towards all of the goals I've set for myself this month.
I just couldn't do it today.
i started to feel guilty, hopeless and even more frustrated that i was letting my day waste away. I finally got myself out of the rut around 5 PM. thankfully, i made the most out of the rest of my day, and more importantly, i felt 100% better by the end of it. I want to share with you the 5 steps i took today (and any day when i'm in a rut), but before i share them, i want to highlight one point:
in order for any of these strategies to work, you must WANT to pull yourself out of a rut.
sometimes, we are secretly sabotaging our own success, because deep down inside, we want to wallow in our own self-pity or negativity. trust me, i've been there. but i can honestly say, with all the ups and downs that i've dealt with emotionally, i am always able to pull myself out of any rut now because i decide i want out. these strategies come after that decision:
1- TAKE A SHOWER
i'm so serious. i don't care if you already took a shower, this shower isn't so much about hygiene as it is about attitude. when i take one of these "mental health" showers, I am literally focusing on cleansing myself from whatever negative energies, stressors, or anxiety that i may be feeling. i put some soothing music on, i light a candle, and i take my sweet time. i cry if i need to, i reflect on what may or may not be bothering me, i focus on loving and taking care of myself. regardless what i end up doing after my shower, i always feel better after taking one of these nice, long showers. something about these showers make me feel so loved and pampered. sometimes, i even spend a lot of time in my robe afterwards, while i'm still figuring out what i want to do. this form of self-care forces me to get up and make an effort at feeling better, regardless where it goes from there. I did this today, and it helped me get out of the house. but even if i ended up right back on my couch (which is still okay), i shifted my energy in a more positive, productive way.
2- TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
so much of the pressure we often feel comes from ourselves. even when we sit and think about the other people who are counting on us to do whatever, that pressure is still coming from us. we are choosing to perceive our obligations the way that we are. we are choosing to hold ourselves to a certain standard. trust me boo, i get it. i am extremely ambitious. i hold myself to exceedingly high standards. but if i can apply such pressure to myself, shouldn't that mean i can also relieve myself of that same stress? definitely, but it is obviously so much easier said than done. today, i had to intentionally focus on taking the pressure off of myself. that doesn't mean that i lower my standards or ditch a destination i had my heart set on. it just means that i re-route. i am going to still get there, but today just might not happen the way I had originally planned. and that's okay. we have tomorrow. you need to take the pressure off. what is the worst that will happen if today doesn't go as planned? as anal as many of us ambitious types are, the reality is that our "worst case" scenario really isn't the end of the world. exhale. it'll all work itself out. chances are, it will probably work out better if you're not so anxious and uptight about it too.
3- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO HAVE A DAY
this builds off of #2 directly. i'm not telling you to take a day off life every time the going gets tough or your mood isn't right. sometimes, you need to weather the storm. this is how you build character. this is how you earn it. this is how you determine what accomplishments are worth having. all i'm saying is to give yourself permission. tell yourself: "my love, if you really need today, take today. if you really can't do it today, don't do it. you have my permission." give yourself this permission, but you must be honest with yourself. only you really know whether you "need" the day; only you can determine if you "can't" do it. if you lie to yourself, you will feel guilty, and guilt is one of the emotions that perpetuates this rut that you're in. don't lie. today, I gave myself permission and i was very honest with myself. as soon as I did that, the pressure was off, and i learned that i can, indeed, do it. only after giving myself permission did I realize that i didn't need to take the day off. every once in a while, just give yourself permission, let your day happen on your own terms.
4- LISTEN TO UPBEAT MUSIC
this is actually psychologically proven to be a good strategy to improve your mood. dancing makes it even better. right now, I am on my couch, with Musiq Soulchild blasting in the background. I am typing away and rocking to the beat of their song "Love." this is the mood I want to be in, so this is the kind of music I have on. When i finally pulled myself off the couch today and got ready, i hopped in the car and played some of my favorite music (my favorite song is currently "Freaky Friday" because I have no choice but to dance). there have been times when i was crying and i still put on some cardi b and forced myself to sing/rap along and dance even through the tears. i probably looked ridiculous but that made it even funnier. i always feel better when i do this, even if it's just because i'm laughing at myself. anyway, figure out what your songs are, and force yourself to dance to them whenever you're feeling down, i guarantee your mood will start to shift. feel free to slide in my DMS for some song recommendations.
5- LEAVE THE HOUSE
if you are actually willing to leave the house during a rut, chances are that is exactly what you needed. if you shower and get ready and still feel like you can't leave, then maybe that is a sign you are in serious need of #3: a day off. some of us are really hard on ourselves when, really, we just really need a day off. today wasn't one of those days for me though. I showered, took the pressure off, gave myself permission to take the day off, and still found myself leaving the house. it didn't happen easily (it wouldn't be a rut if it did!), but as soon as I put clothes on, i knew that leaving the house would change my mood. i didn't hang out with anyone, i didn't really do anything very eventful at all actually. i went to balence juice bar at brome modern eatery (shameless pluG: use coupon code "roadtorima" for 10% OFF THEIR AWESOME JUICES ), ENJOYED A GREEN JUICE, AND CAME BACK HOME. I DON'T CARE IF YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE TO DRIVE AROUND IN YOUR CAR (TO SOME UPBEAT MUSIC) JUST TO COME STRAIGHT BACK HOME. THE POINT IS, YOU WILL MOST LIKELY COME BACK A BRAND NEW PERSON IN A BRAND NEW MOOD.
nobody is immune to falling into a rut. we all experience it pretty often. we probably have one of these days at least once a month, for no identifiable reason. it is just a part of life. energies will always shift. i know mine do quite frequently. i don't get upset with myself or blame myself for having one of these days, but i do take ownership of my reaction. it is never your fault, but it is your responsibility. take care of yourself. pay attention to your mood. if you're in a rut, decide that you want out, and follow these steps. create steps of your own. come up with an exit strategy, and share it with me - i would love to hear it.
WHEN YOU COMMIT TO FEELING BETTER, YOU COMMIT TO BEING A MASTER OF YOUR EMOTIONS. THAT, MY LOVES, IS AN EXTREMELY POWERFUL THING TO BE.
AND REGARDLESS WHAT BECOMES OF YOUR DAY, APPLAUD YOURSELF FOR BEING TOUGHER THAN YOUR TOUGH TIMES.