Being in a rut in life or business can feel so overwhelming and can often lead to depression and feelings of self-doubt. Today I’m going to talk about what to do when you feel stuck in a rut, so that you can feel less alone and learn some strategies to become unstuck. I am sharing my personal experience of being in a post-holiday work rut. I am also sharing my 5 tips on getting out of a rut. Watch the video below, or if you prefer you can read the post below.
I know that keeping up with social media while being in a rut can be particularly straining, so I have this image pack available for you to download to take some of the stress off while you regroup.
The holiday’s have come and gone and I don’t know about you, but I am frozen. I was on a role before the holiday’s. I was posting once a week, I was keeping up with my social media to the best of my ability, I had direction and big ideas that I was working towards, and then the holiday’s happened and everything stopped. Then my kids got sick, and I got sick and my husband got sick and everything got stuck. Then the holiday’s ended and I had no idea how to pick myself up and start moving forward again. Every work day I would find something completely not work related to focus on.
My work time is blocked out around my kids and my husband’s work schedule, and I have to be very productive in that time. I was not being productive. I had a million windows open on my computer with different tasks I needed to work on and everything that I was working toward seemed all too overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start. I was also watching social media posts start pouring in and I was not participating. Work world was commencing without me. I was getting left behind. I was becoming irrelevant. I would have to start from scratch and my plans would fizzle and die. Ummmm would they really? I felt like I had to press on. Only every ounce in my being did not feel like pressing on.
I gave up and abandoned my computer. I cleaned the house. I read a book for the first time since I had kids. I meditated. I spent time cuddling and playing with my kids (which I do all the time anyway… but not during my designated work time.) I even used the precious time when they were at preschool one day to cuddle and nap with my husband for the entire 4 hours!! I didn’t do an ounce of work. I had moments of guilt and fear that my entire foundation was going to crumble. I had fear that I would be forgotten… I even had a moment of wondering if I would ever feel inspired again.
Years ago I would have pushed through this. I would have forced myself to get up and get back to the grind. I would have muscled through it…. but that would have meant missing out on some much needed quality time with my husband, some much needed time on things just for me and some time with my kids while they are still not in school. Do I regret that? Absolutely not. Am I going to lose followers on social media. Probably, but not the ones that I had a genuine connection with and those are the only ones that matter anyway. Was I going to fall behind. No… if anything I needed this time to regroup and come back with more clarity. Was I going to feel inspired again? Absolutely… inspiration comes in waves, and definitely doesn’t happen when it feels forced and urgent.
Here are five strategies for dealing with being in a rut:
- Read a book that inspires you: I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” and it was exactly what I needed for where I am at right now. I was able to focus on her words, which took me out of my head and out of my focus on being unproductive.
- Meditate: Chopra Centre has free 21 day challenges periodically. There are also several apps that you can use. Meditating is not only a great thing to do to relax but again it gets you out of your own head, thoughts and judgements and more centered and focused.
- Talk to a friend: Ask a friend to be an ear for you so you can talk through your ideas. I did this the other day and it helped immensely. Sometimes saying things aloud and going through the act of making sense of it to another person can give it all more order and sense to you.
- Put up visual reminders: (this was something my friend reminded me of.) When we have visual reminders around us of what we are working towards, whether it’s a goal or a business plan, this can keep us on track and motivated.
- When you get stuck, Let yourself be stuck for a while. Step away and focus on something outside of yourself and outside of the stuck-ness. Pushing onward is not going to be productive and will keep you in the stuck for longer.
- (Bonus Tip) Be kind to yourself: We all have different lives with different schedules, goals, needs, support and tools. Be kind to yourself and listen to yourself. Take the time when you need it. It’s all going to be there when you come back to it, and you will come back equipped with the energy and purpose that you might not have found if you didn’t take time to pause.
I get it. Balance is hard work. When you are trying to run a business and be a mom and take care of your marriage and take care of yourself and exercise and and and. It’s all too much and can feel impossible to do everything. It can feel like something always needs to be sacrificed. But let’s not follow the line of thought that our businesses will fall apart if we don’t tend to it every available moment. Let’s keep check on why we are doing what we are doing in the first place. If your business is a passion for you, then it will be there when you come back to it. It is loyal that way. If we don’t allow ourselves to do these things that help feed and inspire us…
Reading a whole book or meditating feels like a luxury we don’t have when we have so many other things that seem more urgent… that depend on us more.
The thing is, When we Leave our own head and critical thought process… when we step outside of ourselves we can think more clearly and actually allow our intentions to become more clear because it isn’t muddied by our own judgments and expectations. The spaces in between where we don’t focus on “the issue” where we are not looking through a microscope to try and analyze for a solution. Focusing that hard on anything for too long can damage your eyes and then you won’t see anything. Take your eyes away from the microscope, focus on something else and come back with fresh eyes that aren’t so strained.
I hope that you have found some of these thoughts and ideas useful and that you feel less alone and less guilty for taking time away when you need it. Now I would love to hear from you. What has helped you get out of being in a rut? Tell me in the comments below. I think we all get a little stuck after the holiday’s, so please share this video so we can all support one another.
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