How to Ditch the Rut
Do you ever get caught in a slump, where you don’t feel particularly inspired by anything, colours seem dull, there’s an amount of apathy going on? Living in general just feels like hard work, even doing things you enjoy is hard. Doing things you know are good for you is just. hard. work.
To quote my absolute favourite, Chelsea Jade as she leaps up amongst a gang of wacky wailers in between four silos, “I’m so much more than this.”
If that’s an accurate description of how you feel, there’s one thing that I want you to know:
You are so 👏🏼much 👏🏼more 👏🏼than 👏🏼that.
You are more than your productivity.
You are more than the time you wake up in the morning.
You are more than how busy you are.
You are more than how you feel.
You are so much more than this.
And now that we’ve established it’s okay to feel uninspired and low in energy, and that it’s not going to be forever – we can work towards living, rather than existing, and we’ll start small.
What I have coined ‘Snowball Theory’ basically says, when you do one thing, you’re more likely to feel inclined to another thing – You just gotta get the (snow)ball rolling. There’s just two simple steps, but first a couple of examples of how it works – you may have even experienced that before.
For example, going out for a 5km run. Ugh, what a daunting thought. But when my only job is to put my running costume on, easy. My only job after that is to pick one of my favourite songs to listen to, easy. My only job after that is to walk outside, easy. My only job after that is to walk to the lamp post and if I feel like running, I can run for as long as I like, and I can walk if I feel like walking. Before you know if, you’ve hit the pavement. You’ve got your heart beating, a sweat dripping and the endorphins pumping. After that you’re going to feel more inclined to eat food that’s nourishing, drink more water, you’ll probably sleep better that night too. When you get going, things just get easier. But start with baby steps.
Another example, is if your room is a tip, and you just can’t be bothered dealing with it. Your only job is to make your bed. Then, your only job is put everything on the floor, on top of your bed. your only job after that is to fold the clothes on your bed and put them away. Wash those filthy dishes that have been sitting in your room since last Wednesday. And when you’ve gotten that far, you’ll probably have the urge to give your room a good sweep or vacuum for good measure. Check you out! Your room is looking immaculate.
So, with all that in mind:
How to ditch the rut
Sit with the fact that you have power over how you feel.
Sometimes it feels like you don’t get to choose how you feel. You do get to choose how you act. And the way you act can lead to positive, warm, uplifting feelings, or it can lead to sad, lame, swampy, festering, anxious feelings. Be present in how you feel and remember that you have the power to make a conscious decision to choose action that yields feeling good. No feeling lasts forever.
Do the action, the feeling will follow.
Pick one very simple task you absolutely must do once a day for seven days in a row.
Suggestions include making your bed, having a shower, giving someone a hug, reading one page of your book, going for a walk around the block, taking ten deep breaths when you wake up - before you get out of bed, finding one thing to be grateful for, eating an avocado, giving your mum a high five, drinking a glass of water – up to you!
The beautiful thing about step one, is that it’s completely scalable to where you’re currently at. If you’re spending all day in bed, then your one thing might be having a shower, and putting clean clothes on. But if you’re waking up, doing the 9 - 5 and all that jazz, but you’re feeling like you’re on autopilot, and just uninspired, your one thing might be writing for fifteen minutes, or making a hugely nourishing dinner, doing a workout, or drawing for fifteen minutes.
Police that one very simple task for the next seven days.
If that one thing is all you do for the next seven days, then hooray! That’s great! Chances are you’ll find that doing that one thing will make it easier to do the next.
Start now, start small, celebrate success. You’re worth it, and you’ve got this.