It’s just natural that as you go through life and you may feel rather meh or feel that everything doesn’t makes sense from time to time. We all get into ruts now and then as our daily to-dos start feeling monotonous and we live more like we’re on autopilot than truly being in the moment.
Since there’s usually no way to avoid feeling a little stuck, it’s important to recognize when you do experience a case of the blahs and start taking steps to pull yourself through these periods. Here are five signs that you’re in the middle of a rut and some key ways to get yourself back on a happier, more productive path.
If suddenly you start feeling antsy in your beloved yoga class, can’t bring yourself to write in your trusty journal or don’t feel like running your standard three miles after work, chances are that your hobbies have transformed into rather dull endeavors. The best thing to do? Switch things up: Visit a different yoga studio or try a new kind of class, like Pilates. Read a book instead of forcing yourself to put pen to paper when you’re not into it. Consider switching from running to cycling or take your dog for a walk instead of pounding the proverbial pavement at your typical pace. Giving yourself a break, even from something you usually love, will help stop a rut.
2. You’re More Anti-Social Than Usual
Unless you’re an extroverted night owl, chances are you don’t want to hit the town every single evening with your pals. But when you find yourself turning down coffee dates with your best friends, you know something’s up. There may be some unresolved tension or issues between you and a friend. If so, have the candid conversation you know needs to happen sooner rather than later. Or, you may feel burnt out after all the recent holiday parties and just need to chill. Most likely, so do the other members of your crew. Keep connected by texting and checking in over the phone until you feel ready to be social again. Forcing yourself to go out while in a rut may have the opposite effect.
3. You Have an Uncharacteristically Negative Outlook
Getting into a rut happens to the best of us. There may be a situation in your life that’s less than ideal right now, whether it’s a romantic relationship that’s not working out as expected or a tense family situation that’s taking up your brain space. To get your positive vibes back, consider seeing a therapist, even just temporarily, or call a psychic, so you can get to the bottom of what’s eating you up inside.
Unless you’ve landed your dream job—and even then—you probably don’t wake up every morning super stoked to head to the office. It’s called work for a reason. But feeling a sense of doom every Sunday night before you start your week indicates that you may be feeling more than just unenthusiastic about your job. Pinpoint what it is that makes you apprehensive about your situation—your boss, a coworker, your job function, your clients, or something else—and think about whether whatever it is can be solved. If not, it may be time to brush off that resume and look for a new gig.
5. You Feel Bored More Often
A general sense of boredom is a clear sign that you’re in a rut. If you feel tired more often or uninterested in what’s going on around you, it’s time to make a change. Take that dance class you’ve been putting off. Write that novel. Go on that around-the-world trip. Do something daring and exciting to discover how fun and exciting your life can really be.