7 Ways to Bust Out of a Rut

Updated on October 25, 2018
Alyssa Nichol profile image

Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.

Once in a while, we all find ourselves feeling a little stagnant. Maybe a project you've been working on just isn't turning out the way you planned. Life might have gotten so busy that your entire routine is out of whack. Maybe you've found yourself at a crossroad and you just don't know which way to turn.

Life is a series of ups and downs. Moments like this come along for everyone. If you've found yourself in a rut or a bit of a funk, the following seven tips can help you get past this hurdle and back to your old self in no time!

1. Go to Bed Early

When you aren't getting enough sleep, everything else in your life gets thrown out of whack. You might be more irritable than usual. Maybe you are having trouble focusing or suffer from a lack of ambition. You might find that you have little to no desire to get anything done or feel like you're trudging through the day. More concerning is how your lack of sleep can eventually have a negative impact on your health.

Caffeine can only do so much. If you have found yourself in a funk that you just can't seem to get out of, try going to bed earlier. Logging more hours of sleep can make a huge difference in how you feel during the day. Start small. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Once you get that down, try 30 minutes earlier. Work your way up to an hour or more, whatever your body needs. Take note of how you feel when you get more sleep in and find a routine that works for you and your lifestyle.

Life gets busy. Sometimes you aren't going to be able to get to bed on time, but be conscious about respecting the amount of sleep you get the majority of the time.

2. Evaluate Your Health

When your health is suffering, everything else in your life starts to suffer. If you've been in a funk lately, maybe it's because you aren't feeling well, physically or mentally. If you're suffering from a physical injury and your daily routine has been thrown off course, this could be the culprit. Maybe you are coming down with a cold, or maybe it's something more serious. Perhaps you need to slow down and rest, or maybe it's time to make an appointment with your doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can start feeling better.

Go for a walk outside.
Go for a walk outside.

3. Move Your Body

If you've been skipping your workout, this could be the culprit. Make a commitment to yourself and start today. Get up and move. It doesn't matter what you do, just get the blood circulating. Go for a walk around the block and get some fresh air. Do a little yoga or stretching. Just 10 to 15 minutes is all you have to do. Once you start moving, you might find your body is craving more. Give in and do something else for 10 to 15 minutes. You will be amazed at how something so simple can make a big difference in your mood and how your body feels.

4. Take Back Your Morning

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Are you checking your phone, seeing what's going on in the social media realm? Are you instantly opening up your email to respond to messages? Resist the temptation to check your phone first thing. Are you waiting until the last-minute to get out of bed, hitting the snooze button a few times too many? Are you rushing around to get ready and get out the door?

Take back your morning. Challenge yourself to get up earlier to make time for yourself and your goals. Start by getting up 15 minutes before your normal time. Commit to this for a week. Take that extra time to savor your coffee, do a little stretching, or journal. Getting up before the rest of the world is awake to focus on doing something you want to do sets you up for success the rest of the day. Once 15 minutes becomes easier, try getting up 30 minutes earlier. Plan to work on a project you've been wanting to do, but never have the time. Alternatively, you can use this time to get your workout in. Moving your body first thing in the morning helps you wake up and leaves you feeling energized. Plus, if you get your workout in first thing, then it's done and you don't have to worry about it the rest of the day.

The point of getting up early is to help you make the time to focus on your specific goals. Making yourself a priority can help pull you out of your funk and get you fired up again.

Amy Landino: 5 AM Wake Up Routine Ideas

5. Make a Plan or Create a To-Do List

Take a half-hour to sit with yourself. Accept how you're feeling and then take responsibility for moving forward. Think about what you want to accomplish. Get organized and create a to-do list to get errands and tasks completed. Then think about your life, career, fitness routine, etc. Where do you feel stuck and how can you make some changes to fix it? Brainstorm solutions and actionable steps you can take to make it a reality.

6. Unplug

Get off social media and away from the internet. We all need a break from being constantly connected. If you're feeling stagnant, the last thing you want to do is scroll through your feed, comparing your life to everyone else's highlight reel. Turn off your phone. Go outside or spend some time doing a hobby. Maybe catch up with a friend or go on a date with your spouse. Find something fun to do with the kids. Make memories just for you, ones that the internet will never know about.

7. Gratitude

The true test of gratitude is finding things to be grateful for when life isn't going your way. Look around you and find three things to be grateful for right now. Anything. It could be a hot cup of coffee or tea, the sunshine streaming in the window or the rain nourishing the plants outside. Do this activity every morning and be amazed at how your life changes. Focus on finding the upside in every negative situation. It might not be obvious, but there is opportunity in every difficulty. Working on your mindset and changing how you view the world will make the biggest impact on your life.

Practice gratitude each morning.
Practice gratitude each morning.

© 2018 Alyssa


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    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago from Ohio

      That is very sweet of you. Yes, that does sound fun! Washington is still on our list and we are hoping to take a vacation out of state sometime in the near future. The west coast is calling our name. :) If we make it out there, we will take you up on your offer. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are a person I would like to know. How about you and your family move to Olympia so we can go have coffee together? Or you can visit us on the farm? Sounds fun, right? :)


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