How to Feel Better About Life When You’re Stuck in a Rut

How to Feel Better About Life When You’re Stuck in a Rut

Everyone feels “stuck in a rut” from time to time. It’s part of the emotional journey that all humans share. Eventually, we shake ourselves off, pick ourselves up by our bootstraps — no matter how cliche that sounds — and begin to move forward. 

Some ruts can feel a lot deeper than others, though. If you feel like you’ve gotten trapped in a particularly paralyzing situation with no end in sight, here are a few suggestions to help kickstart that momentum and start feeling alive and invested in your life again.

Tips to Feel Better About Life

The foundation of a life well lived often lies in that basic, initial struggle over appreciating and enjoying life itself. The problem is, life can often be very unobliging. Difficult, sad, and even downright bad things happen to people every day. Instead of letting yourself be beaten down, though, you can choose to fight back. Here are some tips and suggestions that are aimed primarily at initiating that process. Once you do that, you’ll likely find that the momentum will start to build all on its own.

Get Up and Move

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Exercise is good for depression. Even if you’re not completely down in the dumps, if you’re struggling to motivate, there’s nothing quite like a long run or a challenging trip to the gym to make you feel like you can do this thing we all call life. 

Just remember, while those feel-good endorphins should kick in from day one, you may have to push through a few sessions before you truly begin to feel a shift mentally. As your body adjusts and you slowly get into shape, you’ll start to feel the added benefit of the growing confidence that comes from dominating those workouts.

Get Some Rest

Again, an obvious one, and yet how many of us truly take this advice seriously? Sleep is a critical part of life, and depriving yourself of some good, quality rest each night is only going to push you deeper into that rut. If you find that you’re trying to get more sleep, but you just can’t get your mind to settle down — or, even worse, the stress of less sleep is keeping you up at night! — consider these tricks that can set you up for a great night’s sleep:

  • Get up and exercise in order to tire your body out (see the previous point on the list for more on that one).
  • Cut down on your caffeine intake, especially later in the day.
  • Turn off your phone and other devices a while before heading bed in order to slow your mind down and avoid that blue light.
  • Get plenty of sunlight during the day, especially as you wake up in the morning.
  • Finally, give yourself a good stretch before you go to bed.

Hit the Open Road

If you’re feeling stuck, don’t let your mindset stop you from physically moving … right out of town. Buy a plane ticket to visit a sunny new place like the Philippines or Hawaii, board a bus to visit a friend, or hop in your car and just start driving. 

The simple act of traveling can do wonders for one’s perspective on life. It exposes you to different cultures (even within your own nation) and can help provide a sense of appreciation and freedom that can help to get your life back on track.

Change Your Job

It’s easy to say and much harder to do, but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes you just need to change your job. Remember, there’s more to your professional career than a good paycheck. Sure, a healthy influx of cash on a regular basis is great, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. You want to make sure that your working conditions aren’t toxic, and if they are, seek out somewhere better where you can thrive. Are you able to maintain a healthy work-life balance? Do you have healthy relationships with your coworkers and bosses?

If you decide that a shift into a new job is in order, make sure you do everything you can in order to help you stand out (in a good way) when you start your next position, including:

  • Dressing appropriately for the new job.
  • Willingly networking, even if you’re uncomfortable.
  • Arriving on time. It’s good for business. It’s as simple as that.

Go Minimalist

Minimalism is all the rage these days, and with good reason. It’s easy to look at the concept from afar and conclude that it simply consists of getting rid of most of your stuff, but it’s actually a much deeper issue than that.

Minimalism is a lifestyle that runs on the motto “less is more.” In other words, it consists of genuinely analyzing your attitude towards possessions and material wealth. Instead of hoarding, minimalists consider what they need instead of what they want, focusing instead on experiences and living in the here and now. Embracing a minimalist mindset can bring an extra level of clarity, health, and positivity that can be the perfect remedy for reigniting your passion for life once again.

Picking Yourself Up

At the end of the day, whether you’re heading to the gym, switching vocations, going minimalist, or buying a plane ticket to Maui, there are plenty of ways to proactively get yourself out of a rut. The important thing is that you actually take the time to do something in the first place. Take a look around and size up your budget and abilities. Then pick something on the list, go out, and do it. Don’t let depression, anxiety, or any other emotions stop you from striving for a better life here and now. Pick yourself up, look for the opportunities that surround you, and then start fighting for your future.

Photo from Pexels

Frankie Wallace
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