I hear it from moms all the time:
You’re feeling “blah.”
You’re mentally drained.
You’ve lost your spark.
And life keeps going, and you keep dragging, making the walls close in on you even more and that rut becomes the grand canyon.
Here’s What’s Making it Worse
So what do you usually do? Get on Facebook and vent, of course. While it’s wonderful to have support from other women who understand where you’re at, venting on social media isn’t always constructive and can often drive you deeper into your rut.
Facebook often makes everyone else look like they live the life of Mary Poppins. And when your sink is full of dishes, your couch cushions are stuffed with cracker crumbs and there is a trail of tiny clothing and socks covering the floor, seeing someone else’s productivity can be less than inspiring. When people aren’t faking perfection on Facebook, they’re often doing the exact opposite: gushing like a country singer about how shit’s got them down. That doesn’t help either.
How to Get Out of That Rut
So what do you do? Your husband says you’re just complaining too much and you should recognize the blessings in your life. Your mom friends are great listeners but aren’t that helpful because they’re either pulling you right down with them or they’re the ones with the seemingly perfectly vacuumed houses.
And the truth is, you don’t even really know what you would rather be doing, so you lay on your couch in your pajamas and convince the kids to watch the Paw Patrol marathon on TV. And by the end of the day, you feel even worse.
You’re not going to get out of your rut if things don’t change, though, ladies. That’s the honest truth. Same old shit=same old shit. And we all kind of know what it would take for us to personally emerge from these stretches of mild depression and apathy, but sometimes it just seems too big, too complicated, or too hard.
So start small. It’s all about baby steps.
Here are 5 quick fixes:
1. Do something you love every day.
This can be as simple as taking a shower, making yourself French toast with a ton of butter, or rolling down the windows and belting out your favorite song as you commute to work. There was a time that my rut was so deep I couldn’t even remember what I did love to do. But then I challenged myself to do something I loved for 30 days, and this is what happened. So this is what you can do today, especially if you’re not in a rut and you’re feeling inspired. Write a list of things you love to do. Keep it somewhere you can refer to it, like on your fridge or in your nightstand. Nothing is too big or too small for this. Just get it down so you remember what gets you going next time you really need it.
2. Move your body.
I’m not talking training for a marathon here. I’m just saying if you sit on your couch all day, you are going to feel it. Your muscles are going to get tight, and your joints might get achy. That’s only going to make you feel worse. At the very least, do some light stretching, ankle rolls and neck rolls. Go for a walk around the block. Do a headstand. Just get up and move yourself. I’m a big fan of the Franklin Method when I’m not in the mood to exercise but I need to get moving.
3. Plan to do something completely different.
What have you been doing for the past few days? To get out of your rut, do something completely different. Have you been working nonstop? Take a day off. Have you been going to bed too late and you’re a total bitch in the mornings? Make an effort to go to bed earlier. Have you been going nonstop taking your kiddo to playdates, parks, and to the beach? Schedule a movie day and have an indoor picnic. Have you been lying on your couch for hours on end? Make sure you leave the house tomorrow.
Don’t just say, “Yeah, yeah… I’ll get out of the house tomorrow.” Plan it. Call a friend and have her keep you accountable or come with you. Know where you’re going and at what time. Write it down. Make sure it happens. Or else tomorrow is going to be a lot like today. And yesterday. And the day before…
4. Connect with friends.
Put away the computer and connect with friends in real life. We spend so much time scrolling down our acquaintances’ newsfeeds that we often don’t know what is really going on in their lives, and we often don’t share what is really going on in ours. Take the time to actually connect in person with a friend who is really supportive. This may not be the best time to try to meet up with a big group of mommy friends you don’t really know. It also may not be the best time to connect with that friend who always drains your energy. Find a happy medium, or grab the phone and chat with an old pal.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
One of the hardest parts about being stuck in a rut is that you constantly tell yourself what you’re not accomplishing. You get down on yourself and push to try to be productive, so you never actually allow yourself to take a break. If you don’t take breaks, you’re going to crack, and when you crack, you’re going to get stuck in that rut. So if you’re already in it, one of the best ways to get out is to simply allow yourself the break.
This involves giving yourself permission. Acknowledge that you are zoning out because you need it. Give yourself the go-ahead to slow down. And then, instead of telling yourself what you should be doing or telling yourself that you should be able to mentally handle the overwhelm of life better, just take that break. Enjoy it for a change. Once you enjoy the break, you’ll be ready to release the rut. You might even be surprised at how quickly you bounce back.
Know someone who’s stuck in a rut? Share this article with them or have them contact me for a free 30-minute connection session where we talk about what are the next steps to really owning your powerhouse, woman!