Are you stuck in a rut?
In 2019, research revealed that a staggering 61% of people in London felt like they were “stuck in a rut”. The pandemic exacerbated this issue, and we are now living through what has been called “The Great Resignation”, with countless people feeling the need to just do something different and find more meaning in their lives. So, what can you do if you are feeling stifled, bored, frustrated, under-appreciated, and generally just stuck in a rut?
The first thing you need to do is acknowledge your feelings. The easy option is to keep going on each day and to keep doing the same things and allowing yourself, perhaps a 2 minute daydream of what life could be like if you dared to change things up a bit. Acknowledge how you are feeling and then really hone in on the reasons why you think you might be feeling this way.
Be honest with yourself. Analyse every aspect of your life and write down what you love about each area and what could do with improvement. Flush out the reasons behind your discontent. Sometimes, this self-reflection can be painful, because you might be admitting to feelings that you really would rather leave brushed under the carpet. But we get one shot at this life. It is not a practice run. Self-development and understanding your needs are important tools to help you lead a fulfilling life.
As the famous saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Don’t expect that now you have worked out what your issues may be, you’re going to wake up the next morning and implement a whole new fabulous lifestyle. It’s time for some goal-setting and to get some plans in place.
Here are a few ideas:
Do you need a change of scenery?
Could a house move be on the cards? This one definitely won’t be achieved overnight, and it can be a tricky one to implement depending on jobs, family and finances. But it’s never impossible. It might take months; it might take years. However, if you know in your heart that your current location isn’t “right” for you, it’s time to start the search. Even just making the plans and solidifying the idea in your mind will give you a new lease of life. You’ll feel proactive and energised. Sometimes, even heading away from your home location on a day trip to visit new places is a great way to help with the change of scenery option. You might end up finding that just getting out and about more is exactly what you needed and that you don’t need to move house after all!
How about trying something completely new?
We’re probably all guilty of doing the same thing over and over. For example, going to the same fitness class, the same pub, the same clothes shops. Our old, trusty favourites. And it’s great that we have these. They make us feel secure. We know what we’re getting, and we like it. But they don’t keep the excitement alive. They don’t keep us on our toes or test our boundaries. Find a new hobby to try, meet new people. Go to a different restaurant and try a dish you would never usually choose. Buy an item of clothing that makes your heart beat faster. If you don’t like any of these attempts in the end, that’s okay, because the experience itself will still be worth it.
What about a career change?
Changing career can be terrifying, but it can also be exhilarating. You are never too old to learn something new and to try something different. Work is such an important factor in our lives. It takes up a huge proportion of our time. We really should enjoy it and get satisfaction from it. If you’re not sure where on earth to start with what you really might want to do, think about what you’re naturally good at and start researching where those skills could take you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. As with a house move, a job move can take time. So be patient, and don’t give up on your dreams.
When you’re stuck in a rut, our mental health can deteriorate. This can lead to a downward spiral which we just can’t see a way out of. It’s important to seek help if this is where you’re at. Speak with your GP, and try to see a counsellor or therapist.
Written by Becky Barrett