We all feel it sometimes. The mundaneness of life, the way everything goes from exciting to dull in no time at all. We go from that first day on the job, excited and beaming, to another day stuck in the commute, waiting to get home. Sometimes, the best part of your day, the part you look forward to is when you put your head down on the pillow.
When life loses its luster, sometimes it takes a little time to shake things up again. You could go away for a weekend, or book a massage. Something new can be rejuvenating.
The difference is when the dullness settles. You make friends with it, day in and day out, almost forgetting that once life was filled with enthusiasm. How funny to think that you used to wake with joy to greet life.
My friend, I have diagnosed you and you are in a rut! The difference between being bored with life versus a rut is that with the latter you can snap out of it. You can book a workout class. You can go out to eat with friends. You can take a nice stroll in a museum after work. And like that, BOOM. You’re back to normal. You have something to look forward to. There are still new things awaiting you.
A rut is a tough spot. It’s different because you need to start living differently. It is the way that life tells you that you need to change. When we get stuck, we resist change. We think being stuck is temporary. That we only need to grind the wheel harder to keep going.
In reality, the old needs to go. You need some new rhythms. You need to adopt some new perspectives.
In your day to day, everything might be okay, and yet you feel a bit stuck. Maybe you’re in school and you’re trying your best – but your best isn’t working out. Perhaps you just ache – every day, there isn’t much to look forward to. And yet, you do it all over again.
If you’re in a rut, read this:
Clean. And I mean, deep clean. In our daily lives, we wash the dishes and sweep the floor, but when was the last time you did an overhaul? When was the last time you took everything out of your closet and donated something to charity? When was the last time you washed your sheets and made your bed new again?
Do yourself a favor. Deep clean! Summer is the perfect time to assess and reflect on what you’re wearing and how you keep your space. You need to figure out if the things you have and the space you’re living in is serving you.
This isn’t a sign for you to get a new wardrobe or home decor. It’s a sign that you may need to get rid of all the junk you think you need to make you happy.
So take your time to lay out all the possessions you have, and ask yourself, “Why do I have this?” Does it genuinely bring you joy? Or is it something you were told you “needed” by society?
Delete social media.
Get off social media. Log off Twitter. Delete Instagram. Deactivate your Facebook. Do whatever you can to shut off the voices of the world and start listening to your own. When we scroll, we are allowing the images and words to define our view of the world. Our opinions get lost in the opinions of others.
Take some time off. We ALL need to scroll less. Instead of being on social media, take a walk. Have coffee with a friend. Take some time to just be. To figure out where you are in the grand scheme of things. You often can’t figure out what’s wrong because you are distracted.
And nowadays, we are so easily distracted. The more we scroll, the more we scroll. It’s easy to get lost in the dopamine hit, looking for your next fix, rather than truly stepping back and looking at our lives.
Instead of comparing her body to yours, ask yourself, “What did I eat today? Did I drink water?” If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you expect to feel good with your body?
The same goes for your mind. Did you exercise or take a nice stroll? Did you read or journal? You can’t fall into the black hole of Reddit and think you’ll come out okay.
Measure your life.
Evaluate your life by your own standards. Not the ones of social media. Write down all your priorities. And then figure out if you are living the way you say you want to or if you are living the life you see on social media.
Try something new. But make it a habit. Maybe it’s 30 days of being vegan. Or it’s meditation. You can’t figure out what’s wrong if you don’t make any changes. But change isn’t overnight. It takes time to see what works and what doesn’t. Dedicate yourself to one change. But be consistent.
If you lack consistency, ultimately, you lack discipline and you can’t live a life without discipline. Make space in your daily life for a change that matters, so that you can see what effect it has on you.
Maybe meditation makes you calmer. Maybe vegan food feels better to you. Maybe meditation and eating vegan doesn’t work at all. You have to make a choice to figure out why you are in a rut. Is it because you are living life at a pace that you can’t enjoy it? Is the food you eat messing with how you feel every day? Figure it out.
Gratitude. It’s the best attitude. You can implement all the changes in the world, but if you don’t change your mind, nothing will work in your favor. This is easier said than done. Sometimes everything is falling apart, and it is a lot easier to be mad. Sometimes tragedy is an unwelcome visitor in this chapter of your life.
Whatever it is, you can’t control it. It’s like vapor in the wind. There is often nothing you can do to make everything work out perfectly all the time. Instead of trying to control the outcome, let go.
There is a reason John Piper’s quote is one of my favorites: “Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”
He doesn’t skip over the heartache. In fact, he tells us to weep deeply. However, he doesn’t instruct us to stay there. When you’re ready, wash your face. Trust God or trust that life has a greater plan, and embrace the life you have.
When trying to get over something, we often jump into our lives, but that doesn’t give us time to grieve. And we’re not supposed to grieve forever. Rather we are trusting that the circumstances in our lives, in our daily lives, it is enough.
So be grateful. For the roof over your head. And the job. And the family. And the fact that you get to wake up and breathe. Maybe you don’t feel it now, but there are beautiful parts to life, and I hope your eyes will become aware of all this life has to offer you.
I hope you all are well. I hope you are on the journey to where you want to be.