It’s very easy to get in a rut. You know how it works. Something starts fresh, it becomes routine and then absolutely boring. Sometimes getting in a rut can even lead to mental health issues. We can have ruts in anything really: work, play, friends, even thinking patterns. And, the deeper and more established the rut, the harder it is to get out of it. Fortunately, we have four tips to break out of a rut.
Re-assess Your Priorities
Many of our ruts and routines (especially the unhelpful ones) are years old. For example, maybe we’ve had the same job for twenty years. And, now we hate it. In many cases helpful things have become ruts for one simple reason: our goals and needs have changed, but our patterns haven’t.
Take some time to figure out your priorities. What do you value in life? Be honest with yourself. Then, find a way to align your routines and patterns with you’re actual present needs.
Maybe that high paying job that you work sixty hours a week is killing you because money isn’t your priority anymore. Maybe your new goal is time with your children. In that case, it could be time to get out of the job rut and find a new lower paying but more flexible position.
Be More Spontaneous
Remember when you were young how you’d just do stuff on a whim because it made you feel good? Almost every adult in a rut can identify with that statement. Well, just because you’re not a teenager doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous. A rut, by definition, is doing the same things over and over again. Breaking out means doing something different.
So, be more spontaneous. And, don’t cop out and schedule your spontaneity. That’s not real. A few times a week, break your schedule. If your book says “grocery shopping” or you normally do it at a certain time, call up a friend and have coffee instead. If you normally read before bed, look at the stars instead. Try something new and try it often. And, do what makes you feel good.
Part of being in a rut means being bland and boring. No one likes those people! Those people don’t even like being those people (which may be why you are reading this article). So, my advice is to AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Yep, I just did that. Does it bother you? It may. But, I’ll bet it makes the article a little more memorable and interesting. If anything, it broke up your normal routine of reading internet advice blogs.
The same is true of your life. Break it up by being a little unconventional. Don’t do anything stupid or illegal, but stop conforming so much. Wear an outrageous outfit, say something a little controversial. Do an activity you normally wouldn’t do. Quit being in a rut!
Let Go Mentally
Most people in a rut are ultimately afraid of breaking out. They fear that leaving it will result in something bad.
“I can’t quit my job; I’ve always worked there.”
“If I don’t cook him dinner every night, what will he eat?”
If you’re in a rut, you have to let go mentally first. We find great comfort in routines. But, that means breaking out of them becomes difficult, even if we know we have to. So, be prepared to feel a little scared at first when leaving a rut. But, if that rut is unhealthy, it’s more than worth it.
So, if you’re in a rut, it’s time to break out. Best of luck in creating new, life affirming routines.