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Small changes you can make to get out of a rut

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get out of a rut

Humans are creatures of habit. We like doing the same things in the same order; Routines and schedules dictate our lives, perhaps now more than ever. With this comes the danger of getting stuck in a rut. Things become mundane and unoriginal. We get bored, easily irritated, frustrated, and feel trapped. If not dealt with, these feelings of restlessness can turn into resentment, which can cause more damage in our lives and relationships.

There doesn’t need to be any major life changes to get out of these ruts, though sometimes a major change is exactly what you need. Below are some smaller ways that you can brighten and change your life, for the better.

Break out of the rut and get back to loving your life.

Write it down

Keep a one-sentence diary. Beginning a diary can be a daunting task, but what if you only had to write one sentence to sum up your day? It would cause you to reevaluate the day and focus on something that truly mattered, instead of getting bogged down in the tedious or frustrating aspects of life. Doing this task will help you to see the patterns in your day-to-day life, and if it’s worth changing.

Consciously change it up everyday

Do one thing out of the ordinary each day – just something new to liven things up. Take a different route home from work. Eat at a new restaurant. Shop at a different store. Read a book from a genre that’s out of your comfort zone. Pick up an activity such as biking or jogging that you normally wouldn’t. The change in routine will lessen the feeling of mundanity.

Educate yourself

Learn a new language or subject. Anytime you’re expanding your mind, it will give its own rewards. Focus your spare time and energy on this new task and allow yourself to be immersed in a new culture. Even if there is no practical reason for you to learn Latin or Russian, try it anyway. Who knows, you may really like it.

Have that difficult confrontation you’ve been avoiding

Have a difficult conversation with someone, or confront someone you’ve been needing to confront. When there are unresolved issues in your life, it weighs on you. Every time you see or talk to that person, you’re reminded of the issue. It feels like being poked with a needle – not enough to bleed, but it still pricks your heart. Talk to that person, and try to resolve the problem.

Sweat it out

Exercise. The benefits of working out are countless. The endorphins will brighten your mood. You’ll start to see changes in your body which can lead to a confidence boost. You can take pride in your hard work and feel good about yourself. It’s an instant mood-booster.

Nip it in the bud

End a bad relationship. This is a major cause for feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. It doesn’t even have to be a romantic relationship; If you have a friend who is constantly dragging you down with their own junk and drama, gradually let go of that relationship. Constant negativity will hold you back. Instead, surround yourself with positive, encouraging friends and partners.

Get creative

Take a dance class, learn how to play an instrument, attend a painting and wine night, or visit a museum. Go to an open mic night and read a short story or spoken word piece. Let the creative juices flow and see how your life will brighten.

Declutter your life

Have you been avoiding your overflowing closet, a pantry full of expired items, or that junk drawer that’s basically a junk dresser now? Have you lost your pet before in the piles of crap around your house? Stop avoiding and tackle the mess. Get rid of everything that is unnecessary and that doesn’t bring you pleasure. Donate unneeded items to Goodwill, sell it online or drop off clothes to a homeless shelter. A cleaner, less cluttered home makes you more peaceful. It will take away conscious or subconscious anxiety by clearing away the mess.

Try a new hair style

Change your appearance. Want to spice things up? Get a haircut. Dye your hair a new color. If you’re really daring, dye it an unnatural color. Get a manicure or pedicure. Wear colored contacts for a day. If you usually wear contacts, wear glasses, and vice versa. Buy clothes from a store or style that you normally wouldn’t wear. Trying something new and different with your appearance if a quick and fun way to feel like a new person.

Step out of your comfort zone

Do something adventurous. Whether that is hiking, sailing, white water rafting, biking, hang gliding, visiting another state/country… just do it.

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Heal thy self

Eat healthier. If you’re feel crummy or down all the time, try adjusting your diet. Sometimes too much sugar or gluten can lead to feeling poorly. Try to eat more veggies, fruits and seafood. Make your meals at home instead of eating out often. Always drink more water than any other beverage (yes, including coffee).

Have any ideas that can help your life get the change it needs? Comment with your ideas below and share you secrets to a fulfilling life.

Kaitlyn is a graduate from Lee University and is a staff editor for R.H. Boyd Publishing. She enjoys travel, books and penguins. When she's not working, she dreams of seeing the world.