We’ve all been there. We feel like we’re in the trenches, just moving along but really, just blah. Days feel like a cycle where you’re not moving forward, just moving to the next day.
You’re officially in a rut.
I was recently there, and I’ve been candidly having a rough few months since my dad passed away, and everything has just felt ‘eh’ in my life. Not terrible just feeling like I’m moving day to day.
Even with my job, I love what I do. I really love it but I was in a serious rut. While being the business owner might sound like it has its perks, and I certainly love it and get to create my own schedule, I’m also the one who has to handle the bills and invoices, and HR and telling clients no or taking responsibility for the good and bad.
Long story short, I was asked a few weeks ago to speak to a group of high school students part of a local Chamber leadership program where they create a service, product or business and then pitch it Shark Tank-style to investors in a few months. I was tasked with talking about my background along with PR, marketing, social media, blogging, all that good stuff. Long story short — and you probably know this if you heard my absurdly peppy rant on snapchat (I’m at alyson.seligman) — I had the most unexpectedly amazing time. I walked away invigorated.
So how can you get yourself out of a professional or personal rut?
STOP & THINK. Before you can do anything, take stock in your life, where you are, where you’re heading and where you want to be. I did this recently and it was infinitely valuable (assuming you’re 100 percent honest with yourself). You can’t expect change from doing the same thing over and over, and you can’t expect mega change or inspiration without taking a moment to set goals and imagine where you want to be. Where do you want to be in a year? In five years?
Get out of your comfort zone and make an effort to go to at least one new event, workshop or session about whatever you’re passionate about. One dynamic event can change the way you’re thinking. Push yourself even if you’re having a really draining day. This could be for your professional path or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of being an artist (or bad-ass rapper!)… the best part is that you’ll connect with others with the same passions, which is always invigorating.
Get outside. Assuming it’s not 10 degrees where you are, take a step outside, put your phone down, breathe, and simply try to keep stress and your brain at bay for a few minutes. Look up and around, and soak in your surroundings. It’s immensely helpful to get outside even for a few minutes.
Take time for you. Splurge on a few magazines — whether it’s Redbook or Fast Company — take a pilates class, get a massage, go for a walk, or a girls’ night, whatever is done selfishly for you. Even a 30 minute break is critical to recharge your mind and body.
Give yourself a break. Promise that everyone’s lives are not as perfect as they pretend they are on Facebook. Give yourself freedom to know that you don’t have to have all your stuff together, that we are all working on our lives one day at a time. I have days when my kids are screaming, my house is a disaster, laundry is everywhere, something goes wrong at work, and I want to hide under my covers. Other days, I have it all together and can conquer the world. #balance.
Getting out of a rut and getting inspired may happen like a light bulb going off, and it might happen over time. Either way, recognizing that you can bring more joy to your life is the first step to finding a happier self.