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Helpful Tips/Advice/Recipes, Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, PROJECT ME, Uncategorized

How To Get Out Of The Rut

Feeling in a rut? This flashback post may be just the what you need.

wpid-IMAG0925_1_wm.jpgEvery day we make so many conscious and unconscious choices its easy to forget that we actually have a choice.  We have a choice to hold the door for someone or the choice to give up our seat on the bus to someone more deserving.  We have the choice to be sad or we have the choice happy.

This morning I was feeling pretty down.  My mom, husband and dog are all not well, I am really tired, I am sick of winter and the control it has over my life, and I am still trying to figure out when I can find the time to go dress shopping and get my haircut before the wedding next month.

Even blogging couldn’t cheer me up since I felt like I had nothing to say that mattered.  There are a million mommy blogs out there, I know because I make a point of reading hundreds (which I have to stop).  Post after post of the same thing, mommy wars and people thinking they are the only ones in a situation when if they would just look around there are 10 other posts about the same thing.  Not to mention the posts that just serve to remind you that there are lots of people out there who are “better” than you.

I tried writing a gratitude list, then I visited some of my favourite websites like Tiny Buddha for a pick me up, and I even did some online browsing for dresses but nothing got me out of my funk.

Later in the day I ran into a colleague that I don’t see very often and then a volunteer who I see on occasion.  All of the sudden I was laughing and joking, smiling as I gushed about the twins and how busy things were.  When I walked away I felt different.  I wasn’t just acting happy, I was happy.  I was back out of my head and engaging in life.

So I am writing today as a reminder to myself of the tools we have to snap ourselves out of the rut we are stuck in and get back in the game.

1. Let Go.  Ha ha ha you chuckle.  Two simple words that actually have volumes behind them.  Letting go of whatever is bothering you and weighing you down can be so hard, but you need to do it in order to move on.  Even if it starts with just a conscious understanding of what you are holding on to and why, it is a step in the right direction.

2. Smile.  Like I said, you are actually overriding your body’s wiring when you smile when you are sad. It makes your brain come out of panic/depression mode and think that things are okay again.  Because they are ok.

3. Do a good deed.  There is a joy that comes from doing a good deed, and an even greater joy in knowing that you put yourself aside to do it.  It could be something as simple as holding the door for someone or as grand as making a donation to your favourite charity, but I guarantee you it will lift your spirits.

4. Focus on something else.  I am one of those people who is happiest when they are busy.  Too much time to think is a bad thing for me.  It’s amazing how rehashing something in your mind can actually make you physically feel the negative emotions all over again even though the moment is gone and there is nothing in the present to be upset about.  Occupy yourself with something else.  Not just anything, it has to be something that requires focus and concentration to shift your thoughts away from the negativity.

5. Do something different.  Do you always order a coffee?  Get a smoothie instead.  Always take the same route home from work?  Try a different way.  While the goal is to always see the world with fresh eyes, sometimes actually refreshing our lives helps by bringing back the focus and engagement we have lost from being on autopilot.

6. Get outside.  There is an amazing feeling that comes from stepping out the door and taking a deep breath.  Connect with the ground beneath your feet and stand tall and proud as you are completely aware of your surroundings.  That moment is perfect there is nothing wrong, you are alive and in the present moment.

7. Learn something new.  One good thing about feeling low is that I feel like I have a lot less to lose since I am depressed anyway. So why not try doing that thing you have been wanting to do or learn.  If it doesn’t work out it couldn’t make you feel and worse, and the odds are, it will work out.  After 30+ years of being a nail biter I decided I was going to start doing my nails.  It was hard at first and I had a lot of “learning” experiences (read: gluing my hands together) but now doing my nails are one of my favourite pass times, and it makes me smile to look down at my lovely blue nails taping the keys on the keyboard.

Now it’s your turn. What are your tips for getting unstuck?  Share them in the comment section below.


About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


11 thoughts on “How To Get Out Of The Rut

  1. Ugh, sorry to hear you had one of those days! I love how you put it – get out of your head and engage with life in some way! We had something similar on Saturday…. we had nothing planned for the day, and any new plans I tried to make didn’t quite pan out. And the weather was nasty. And everyone was moping around the house getting on each others nerves. I ended up sending my husband and daughter on their weekly grocery trip while I had a nice long phone call with an old friend. When hubs and daughter got back, we snuggled up and watched “Croods” on Netflix. By then, the clouds had parted and I could start to see some rays of sunshine 🙂

    P.S: The title of the post says ‘”HPW” to get out of the rut’ – typo or an acronym?

    Posted by afineparent | March 10, 2014, 9:57 am
  2. AMEN SISTA!!! Great Post!! Glad to hear you got out of the rut!!

    Posted by vrein11 | March 10, 2014, 10:14 am
  3. Writing gets me unstuck, leading me away from running circles in my mind. I suspect it’s the same with others writing posts on topics covered hundreds of times before. Sometimes we have to go through the steps ourselves, even if countless others have gone through them before.

    Posted by Deborah the Closet Monster | March 10, 2014, 2:00 pm
  4. “Even blogging couldn’t cheer me up since I felt like I had nothing to say that mattered. There are a million mommy blogs out there” < I can relate to this. Sometimes I feel so… inferior. Like, what kind of authority do I have to share my thoughts on motherhood? Just remember that people choose to read your blog for a reason, and us mamas got to stick together. I LOVE being a part of the mom bloggers community and I LOVE reading what other moms have to say!

    Posted by Mom Life Blue Wife | March 10, 2014, 2:44 pm
    • Thanks, that is true I guess. I don’t necessarily feel inferior, more like I am just wasting my valuable time (I do put a lot of work into my blog) since I feel like so many people blog but few people take the time to read other blogs (or at least the amount of time I do). You know how it is when you are down, little things make you upset. Thanks for sharing your point of view it was very uplifting. Cheers.

      Posted by Shannon | March 10, 2014, 4:24 pm
  5. Wish I could triple like this! Turning on music, saying a prayer and getting out in the sunshine always help me get out of a rut. Those ruts seem easier to find when you are a busy parent, don’t they?

    Posted by livinginthedeepend | March 13, 2014, 12:07 am
    • Good question actually. I never thought about it before but I actually think it’s less as a parent because the kids grow and change so fast you are constantly adapting. I think in my case a lot of it is the record breaking winter we are having (just got another 15-20cm of snow today). Fingers crossed for spring. You get out there and crank your tunes in the fresh air 🙂 thanks for reading.

      Posted by Shannon | March 13, 2014, 12:46 am
  6. Oh I love this post! That’s exactly how I feel sometimes.
    Sunshine and fresh air help as well as getting busy on something else.

    Posted by authenticallysheen | March 4, 2015, 8:59 pm

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