3 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Rut

2. Clear out the clutter.

Posted Aug 12, 2016

Source: racorn/Shutterstock

It’s easy to wake up one day to find yourself in a rut, when your life’s momentum has stalled and you’re not sure what will come next. (That’s what addiction is, in a manner of speaking—a king-sized rut that seems to have no way out.) But no matter how you’ve found yourself at a dead end or on a hamster wheel, there’s no reason to despair. A rut is your chance to go off-road and write the rules for the next big adventure in your life.

Here are three small things you can do to change your life when you think you’re starting to get stuck, either in recovery or simply everyday life.

1. Start with the basics of self-care. 

It may seem simple and obvious, but if you’re thinking through something as big as the next stage in your life, it’s imperative that you make sure your most basic needs are met. You have to take care of yourself. This means making sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy food at appropriate times of day in proper amounts, and surrounding yourself with people who love and support you. Quality food, rest, and social support are some of the most basic and essential building blocks in your life. With these basics in order, you’ll find yourself with the energy needed to think about doing something different.

2. Clear out clutter. 

There are a dozen reasons why we tend to accumulate things over time. While it may be years since you’ve opened a book from your undergraduate years or watched a child play with their once-favorite-but-now-discarded-toy, there’s a good chance that these items are still sticking around your home. If you’ve found yourself in a rut and are looking for a way to shake up your life, going through your things and discarding what is no longer useful or adds joy or value to your life is an excellent place to start. By curating specific items to remain in your home, you are painting a tangible picture through the things you choose to keep and that can guide you to the next fulfilling chapter in your life.

3. Laugh as much as possible.

Happiness does not have to be as complicated as we often make it. When we set big goals for ourselves, we sometimes use these benchmarks as distant indicators of our own satisfaction. But happiness is a feeling that exists in the present. Find time today to laugh at a good joke, enjoy a meal, or share time with a close friend—getting closer to the people and things that bring you the most happiness will guide you toward your most fulfilling path. And it is well-known that laughter gives our overall health a boost.

Finding ourselves in a rut can be an unnerving experience. Remember that it’s healthy to grow and change over time. By paying attention to self-care, clearing the clutter, and pursuing happiness in your present-day life, you can find your groove once again.