A quarter of 2021 is now past us. And yet, it still feels very much like an extension of April last year. We’re still at home. Travelling is still not advisable. And your ‘temporary’ routine has become the only routine you remember. If you can relate, know that you are not alone! The rut is very much real. I was in a funk a few weeks ago and I’m still figuring my way out of the cycle. I thought I’d share what I’m doing so if you’ve been feeling the same way, I hope you find this useful!
Embrace the funk
The funk is your friend. Instead of fighting it, pause a minute and try to understand where it’s coming from. For me, it’s when I lose control of my plans and ideas. Some others slip into a rut when they’re feeling listless or overwhelmed by everything going on around them. And given the news cycle that we read everyday, it’s hard to not be overwhelmed. So it’s okay. I’ve been taking a few minutes everyday just to breathe deeply [I’ve an app that sends me reminders, you can also just set an alarm every couple of hours] and to tell myself that although the world we live in continues to be a shitshow, things will get better. They really will.
Plan for something fun
I find planning to be a great little escape for me to the point where my vacation board on pinterest is now my happy place. Apart from distracting me from my present, it also gives me something to look forward to and something to plan for. It’s easy to believe that there’s absolutely nothing that’s happening for us when we’re in the middle of a rut. But planning for a future event – whether it’s a holiday, meeting family and friends, the art project you want to get started on or even just a recipe you want to try – helps you keep a more positive frame of mind for your present.
This is such a cliche, but i truly don’t believe that anything works as well as physical movement does. By movement I don’t necessarily mean exercise (although I love myself a good workout), but I mean actually heading out of your house/workstation for a little walk outside, maybe a cafe (if you’re up for it) or even just a stroll around your terrace. I’ve been noticing that sitting around only makes my mood worse and whenever I sense a cloud over my head, I just get up and go to the terrace, water my plants and just spend a few minutes soaking up the green! Fresh air really does a world of good to my mood.
Break Out Of Your Routine
I love routine and cannot function without it. But every time I feel like I’m in a rut, I try to make small changes to my routine, consciously. This way, I get to evaluate if this change makes me feel better or worse after which I can decide to add it to my routine or cut it out. Usually these are low commitment, like a single workout class or a free trial of Skill Share (super fun!). Whatever it is, consciously breaking out of routine helps me reorient myself while adding something new to my life.
Know That You’re Not Alone
Finally, know that you’re not alone! It’s been a hard year and it feels like its never-ending. We get it! And we feel it too. Know that while things feel bleak, there will be light that eventually comes out of the tunnel. I know that it’s easy to say ‘be positive’, because it’s just. so. hard. But we can do our best to accept the situation and find ways to cope. Things are hard. But we can do hard things.