We’ve all been there. Feeling like we’re trapped in the same boring routine, job, or relationship and there’s no way out. Ruts are generally accompanied by low energy, bad mood, and a sense of helplessness. Like many who experience this, ruts also involve a good bit of self-loathing, ice cream, and pizza, ergo weight gain that slumps you even deeper into a rut race. Ruts happen to all of us.
Rut, rut, rut, rut rut.. even saying the word might put you there. Why? because it’s negative!
Ruts are mental quicksand. It seems like the harder we try to get out, the more we fall back in. Why? Because remember, it’s all about a marinating stew of self-loathing – How unbecoming.
So, what’s the best way out? Take the “Rut Bull” by the horns! Since ruts are mental and emotional challenges that affect us physically, try slowing down your thought process, shake off the rut dandruff to assess your choices, gradually make a course of action, and recognize when to ask for and accept help. Don’t get lost dwelling on past “should’ve” and “could’ve” moments. You’re not helpless!You have choices- remember that! Once panic and desperateness make a home inside you, you will end up driving yourself further down Rut Road.
Truth is, we may not always like our options, but they do exist! Every day we have the CHOICE to either be our best friend or our worst enemy. More times than not we choose the latter. Know that you can either choose to look in the mirror and say, “it’s been a crappy month, I need to DO SOMETHING GOOD for myself- “I’m going for a walk”! or you can say, “I’m so fat and out of shape I couldn’t even run one mile..I “should’ve” been running daily for the past month”. Catch yourself in these negative self-thoughts, and slow yourself down! Use the moment to re-examine and ask yourself:
- How did I get here?
- What are some realistic options I could do right now to lift me?
- Which of these options is most reasonable and requires the lowest effort to achieve success? What are some small bitesize achievable goals?
Then, take action on the lowest effort option you’ve selected, just to get the rut in you stirred up!
Start small and build on each task, addressing the smaller, lower energy items first. Maybe your first task for getting out of a negative pattern is making a list of past successes and things you enjoy. Not only will it leave you feeling more positive, but it might remind you of what you’re capable of and might make me wonder why you didn’t do more good things for yourself sooner.
Here is a list of a few more positive “to-do’s” to get you out of your rut:
- Choose to be your best friend, not your worst enemy.
- Exercise. Can’t muster up the will to run 5 miles? Start with walking, skipping, jumping rope, couple it with whistling a tune.
- Get social. It’s not that easy if you’re an introvert- I know this- but just going out where there are other people about can help!
- Change your diet. Eat more green, less brown- this will perk you up-try it!
- Change your routine. Get off the indoor treadmill and hit the trails! A Breathtaking change!
- Change your company. Hanging around other people in a rut? Take a break, follow people you admire and want to emulate-they’re not in a rut, they’re motivation!
- Take responsibility. Stop blaming others for your rut, you control you.
Introspection and Meditation.- slow down, take restorative yoga, go for a bike ride, listen to music that slows the brain- be alone and quiet- give yourself that GIFT.
- Know the signs. When you feel it coming, shake it off and react to it- don’t ignore it or let it get too comfortable within yourself otherwise you’ll end up back to square rut one.
Just like when getting out of quicksand, a series of small efforts building upon one another is going to be FAR more successful than taking a big leap off the rut trail. And if you’re getting close to meeting your goal but feel like you can’t quite make it, don’t slip back down the rut hill – ask for help! Find an accountability partner to throw you a hope rope, or someone to lift you up with moral support. Know when to ask for and accept help -we all need it from time to time!
Michelle was born in key west FLA but grew up in Lancaster PA. She is the second oldest of 5 siblings. Michelle went to art school in PA before moving to Baltimore Maryland to finish College. She received a BFA from MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) and later earned her art teaching certification in Disciplined Based Art Education, grades k-12, from Towson University.
After college, Michelle found work in the foodservice industry, everything catering to serving to small bakery deli production and service, taught group fitness for 16 years, art teacher, and worked in corporate America as a sales and marketing professional for over ten years.
Regarding the arts, Michelle worked on set designs for Homicide-Life on the Street, freelance set design, television commercials, and as a faux finisher for a well known local company all while producing, hustling, showing and selling her own diverse art. She also owned and operated Galerie Michelle-a fine art sales and art placement company in Lancaster PA.
Coming from a gene pool of entrepreneurs, sales, health care professionals, and creatives, Michelle has combined the skill sets developed over her life and work experiences to form her own niche business; Type A Home Concierge- A Home Wellness & Lifestyle Management Company, where she has employed up to 13 staff since its inception in 2008.
Michelle is married since 2003. Loves animals, outdoor activities, good food, and wine.