How To Get Out Of A Rut ｜What To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck In Life
At some point in life, all of us will experience that sensation of being stuck in a rut. It’s something that creeps up on you slowly. There’s a gentle fade that occurs, as the things that are a part of your everyday life slowly start to feel less exciting.
It begins as restlessness. Then aimlessness arrives. And then you start to think… “if I just do this, then I’ll feel better”. Except, you do “that” thing, and still feel the exact same way.
And so, the cycle continues. That’s when you know it’s time to get out of your rut. It’s time to find the mystical thing you’ve been searching for. Here’s how to get out of a rut.
What to do when you’re feeling stuck in life
Getting yourself out of a rut isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of gentle questioning, reflecting and self-connection to get yourself unstuck. But it’s always worth the effort.
Start by asking yourself questions like:
- Is it a specific area of my life where I’m feeling stuck?
- What will make me feel happy?
- When do I feel my happiest?
- When do I feel most restricted?
- What do I want more of in my life?
- What do I want less of in my life?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine where you’re experiencing your “rut” so that you can focus your efforts on that particular area of your life. You’ll be able to do a reset on your priorities in work, life and/or your relationships. And possibly reassess your goals along the way.
How to get out of a rut
A rut is typically a sign that you need to experience something new. Either, you’ve been doing the same thing for so long that it doesn’t interest you anymore. Or, you’re doing something that never interested you in the first place. So it feels a bit like Groundhog Day.
Instead, you need to find something that stretches you. It could be intellectual, physical, or even something more creative.
How to get out of a rut at work
When you’re feeling restless at work, you’ve likely fallen into a rut in your career. But don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to get yourself moving again. Even if you’re feeling a bit frozen right now.
I’d recommend starting with small incremental changes, and then working your way up from there. That way you can see if these simple switches help, before making any bigger career moves.
Focus on your professional development
First? Look at your professional development. Are you learning new skills or levelling up your abilities at work? If not, now’s the time to start progressing.
Speak to your HR about your training allowance, or take control of your professional development yourself. Look at any gaps in your skillset and ask yourself how you can fill those holes.
Ask for new (or different) responsibilities at work
After you’ve levelled up your professional development, look at new responsibilities you can take on in your current role.
This is a great test before you get ready for a promotion. Your company benefits, as they start to see what you’re truly capable of. And your career benefits, as you move out of your rut and onto more exciting projects.
Put yourself forward for a promotion or a new role
Once you’ve taken on new responsibilities, you’re ready to look at a promotion or a new role.
Now that you’ve proven yourself, you’re ready to take the next step! Or, if you found that taking on new responsibilities didn’t get you out of your rut, it might be time to look at a new profession altogether. That’s when it can be helpful to talk to a business coach about how to pivot your career midway through.
What if there was a way for decision-making to be easy?
It all starts by finding alignment with your goals
How to get out of a rut in life
If you’re feeling stuck in your personal life, there are a plethora of ways to get yourself out of that rut. The key is to think about how you can push yourself simply by permitting yourself to follow your curiosity. See what interests you, be brave and give it a go!
Challenge yourself to take up new hobbies
Have you always wanted to try pottery? Are you wishing you could speak a second (or a third) language? Have you dreamt of entering a sports competition?
Take a look at the list of hobbies or activities you always told yourself that you’d do “one day”. And make that day, today.
Don’t worry about finding your perfect fit right away. The idea here is that you simply try something new and shake up the everyday routine you’ve fallen into. Experiment with a few different hobbies and see which one appeals to you the most. You might just surprise yourself!
Travel somewhere new, either at home or abroad
Travel has been slightly tricky over the past few years, but it is set to get easier. Which is good news if you’re feeling stuck right now!
Travelling somewhere new can offer you a totally different perspective, without having to drastically change your life. You might find that you return home feeling extra grateful for the life you currently have. Or, you may come back with a few fresh ideas that you want to bring into your every day.
And remember, you don’t have to leave the country to experience a new perspective. Your travel could be as simple as a day trip to a place you’ve never visited before.
Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people
If travel doesn’t appeal to you, or isn’t a possibility right now, meeting new people is the next best thing. Ideally, these people should have a different background or different life experiences from your own.
Perhaps you’ll meet them at a book club, a community group or an exercise class (that’s where I met some new friends!). Maybe you simply say hello to someone whilst waiting in line for your coffee. Or you could look for hobbies that have a social aspect too.
Ask them questions. Get curious about their lives and how they choose to live. And take that new perspective into your own, in whatever way feels right for you.
How to get out of a rut in a relationship
Feeling stuck in your relationship? It’s an issue that’s more common than you may think. After the initial spark begins to fade, you might find yourself experiencing the couple’s version of Groundhog Day.
But what most people don’t realise is that relationships require work. Just like you’re constantly developing your career, you need to constantly develop your relationship too.
Start an open conversation
The best place to start is by communicating with your partner. Share how you’re feeling and ask them if they’re feeling the same way. You’re likely both experiencing the same thing but you just haven’t had the confidence to talk about it yet.
Try new experiences together
The easiest way to get out of a rut in your relationship is to shake up your routine. This could mean planning surprise date nights for each other, or taking up a new hobby that you can enjoy as a couple.
When you experience something new together, you’re getting out of your comfort zone as a duo. And that shared experience can bring you closer together, as you work as a team and deepen your connection once again.
Try new experiences apart
You can also try out new experiences apart. It might sound counterintuitive but spending time following your interests outside of your relationship can reduce your dependence on one another. At the same time, you’re able to report back and relive your experiences when you’re together again!
So go and try out one of those hobbies. And then tell your partner exactly how it went.
When you don’t know where to begin, try this
Reset your priorities. And find out what you’re truly passionate about.