Lately, I have been struggling with what to write for my blog. I had a complete block and couldn’t snap out of it. Instead of fixating on trying to force myself to be creative, I decided to continue my yearly binge of one of my favorite shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I was already on season 6 (a personal favorite) and the episode titled “Once More with Feeling” was next in my cue. This is one of my favorites because it is a musical episode. A demon forces all of the characters to dance and sing their inner thoughts and secrets.
The first song of the episode is called “Going Through the Motions.” As I listened (and sang along), I began to think how true to life this song can be. Most of us aren’t battling demons and vampires like Buffy does, but the song is about feeling stuck and playing the part that is expected of us.
Have you ever felt the same way? Maybe it comes and goes or maybe it is a way of life for you. Sometimes this is referred to as “being stuck in a rut.”
In theory, changing your thoughts and daily routine sounds easy enough, but in reality it can be extremely difficult. You get into a rut by being stuck in the same thoughts, feelings, and actions so making a change can be difficult.
Making a change in your life is like building muscle and losing weight: You have to keep working at it to see results.
Here are 3 ways to begin to make some changes to optimize your life.
Before we begin it is important to remember 2 very important things:
1. Starting small and slow is ok
Rushing into something is how many people fail. Creating a plan on what you want to change and taking small steps to accomplish your goal is the best path to take.
2. Don’t insist on perfection
Life isn’t perfect and you don’t have to be either. Plan to make the changes that you desire with the understanding that it won’t be perfect.
1. Spice Up Your Routine
First, start off by thinking of your average day from start to finish and then try writing it all down.
I’ll give you a second to do that.
Go on, think and then write it down.
This is an example of my morning routine:
7:00am- Wake Up
8:15am- Out the Door
9:30am-Begin to see clients
It does not need to be extremely detailed or exact. I do not have my day planned out minute by minute, but I know when I wake up and when I leave for work and everything in between. The point is to give you an understanding of your daily routine.
After you have it written out I want you to take some time and think. Ask yourself “how often do I do something different?”
Maybe you never break routine; maybe you break it once or twice a week, maybe once or twice a month.
Some things in your routine may not be able to be changed, like dropping off or picking up your child up from school/daycare. That’s fine! Not everything needs to change.
Looking at your list select one thing that can be changed. Remember that starting small is ok. Maybe you can give yourself 15-30 minutes extra sleep in the morning or take a nice long shower to begin or end your day.
What you do is up to you. Schedule a lunch with a friend or a walk in the park. Do whatever makes you feel passionate or joyful.
2. Recognize Your Thoughts
You may find yourself saying, “I can’t change that, it would mess up my whole day.” We are trying to break your routine in a way that will enable you to get everything that has to be done completed while throwing new things in the mix to shake things up.
Your thoughts will be the main reason you decide not to do something.
When you recognize that one of these thoughts pop into your head, stop and process what is causing you to think that way. Is that thing as important as you think? Can it be changed to another time?
Pay attention to thoughts that are disguised as excuses like, “if I don’t work out today I can get more work done.” Personally, I love this excuse and have to catch myself from using it all the time.
We try to come up with excuses not to do something when we are stuck in a rut, experiencing sadness, anxiety, etc.
3. Actively Invest In Something You Enjoy
It is exhausting to be stuck in a routine full of things you don’t enjoy. Some of us, myself included, do not like exercising yet we do it because it is a way to stay healthy.
Do you enjoy walking the park? Going to lunch with a partner or friend? Exercising? Reading? Taking a hot bath? Writing? Music?
Starting, ending, or breaking your day up with something you enjoy can help you get through the day full of other things you may not want to do.
Don’t wait for the weekend! We are taught that Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be fun and stress free. However the 5 days in between can be so taxing that it isn’t healthy for us to wait.
It’s important to remember that self-care is an everyday thing!
You are in charge of your life, even if it doesn’t feel like you are.
Going Through The Motions: Flashforward
Staying in a rut can have lasting effects. Depression and social isolation are just two common components of staying in a rut.
If you find yourself unable to break out of a rut or fear you are experiencing depression or another mental health concern please seek mental health assistance. Websites like Psychology Today are amazing resources to find counselors.
Recognizing and reaching out for help is the first step and a clear sign of courage and strength.
If you have any questions/comments or if you are interested in setting up a free 30 minute consultation please contact me by clicking here, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at 512-593-2287.
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About my Blog
I love providing people with information. So in my blog you will find posts on topics such as: community resources, media suggestions, parenting questions, and informational posts.