The feeling of being in the same spot for long, when going through the motions almost becomes the norm and you carry on for prolonged periods without any spurts of excitement, whether by chance or design. When you wear hopelessness so comfortably and battle to see any ray of hope. When you deliberately choose pessimism over positivity. You feel stuck, bored and restless. When you are on the verge of mental and emotional stagnation. Your mind almost gets to the point of seeing the bad in almost everything, to the extent that even when a random but awesome moment occurs, you choose not to enjoy the experience but rather, feel just a tinge of excitement. When all these happen, you start to feel a certain way, and in my world, that way is called feeling stuck in a rut. It’s an unpleasant feeling and it can happen to the best of us.
The worst thing about being stuck in a rut is that, if allowed, it can invade every area of your life especially if those feelings are nurtured and tended to continuously. You can be so sucked into such a way of thinking that even on a hot summer day, all you see are dark clouds, literally. My personal interpretation of feeling stuck in a rut is that it is a ‘Trapped in a Hole thinking’ and it is unpleasant. Different things lead us to this point of being stuck and I believe that if we got ourselves there, we are well equipped to get ourselves out of it.
Getting out of a rut means you are gaining new perspectives because it’s all about how you feel, the way you think of, and interpret your circumstances. It is when you know that you need a paradigm shift because the old way of thinking no longer serves you. When you are tired of being confined to a single pattern of thinking, of having a one-sided outlook. It means you’ve decided to stop feeling sorry for yourself, to stop thinking that God or life has singled you out for mediocrity. When you’ve decided that you will get the best out of life no matter how grim the situation looks. There will always be a measure of routine in everyday life which is necessary for stability and there is nothing wrong with this. But when you live for extended periods, without no variety, verve or ‘va va voom’, then life tends to become dull and boring, and that’s when you are skirting on the borders of the rut. It can happen to anyone regardless of the gender, parental or marital status, income level, profession or faith etc.
I’ve been stuck in a rut a few times in my grown life and while these were uncomfortable experiences, they served as an incentive for growth. Those moments gave me the chance to re-invent myself, close old doors and open new ones. To be re-energised and unveil a better, more evolved and mature me. They were opportunities for self-discovery. Because I was used to comfort in certain areas of my life, I could easily identify my strengths and weaknesses in my restless state of anticipation for something more. Accidentally, those phases also helped me identify what piques my interests and what turns me off. Because I am growing, evolving and discovering new things about myself constantly, those moments of hopelessness helped me create a vision of what I wanted the next phase of my life to be like, and because I envisioned what I wanted my life to look like in a short-medium-long term, currently, my efforts are being directed at making those visions a reality.
Simple things such as deciding to do something new for yourself, anything .e.g. deciding to eat healthier can open you up to new spaces, new mindsets, new connections or new activities. Rekindling your love for your job or deciding to get a new one, making efforts to improve yourself, reassessing why you are doing some of the things you are doing, starting a new hobby, changing your crowd or adopting new, healthy behaviours are some of the practical ways of getting yourself out.
Taking a walk around your neighbourhood .i.e. deciding to be a tourist in your neighbourhood can offer you a different perspective on your environment. Taking a different route to work, listening to a new radio station, listening to a different genre of music, parking elsewhere than your usual spot at work, tweaking your daily routine, engaging in small talk with a colleague etc. can all give you a new take on life, exposing you to various perspectives. We take these minor but tangible activities for granted. These activities affirm the saying- ‘Variety is the spice of life’.
This is not to say that you should aim for an almost constant state of excitement, where you are excited every day of your life either because you have deliberately sought out exciting activities to engage in, or because of your attempts at being a ‘positive’ individual on the days you feel down. Life gets banal sometimes, where we ‘go through the motions’ with nothing out of place. And because you are not happy in a certain period does not mean you are sad. You are simply going through the routine, doing what is required a day at a time. Life is always shifting, but making a regular commitment to do something sporadic every now and then truly helps spice things up. Making that regular commitment to check in with yourself when routine is taking its toll on you will go a long way in curbing that feeling of being stuck in a rut.
Have you been in a rut before, what good things did you experience from the experience?
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Till we chat again, keep moving and shining, share this blog with your awesome tribe and take care of yourself XOXOXO
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