It is finally time for a change! Leap into action and shift your mindset to achieve your fullest potentialPublished on 18 April 2022
The pandemic has led some of us to live a mundane life that is dictated by monotonous routines. This situation isn’t instantaneous but has been building up over time. After more than two years living with COVID-19, our daily routine is influenced by new rules, restrictions and practices to help us navigate through the ongoing pandemic.
Embracing this new normal can either make or break you. You might be demotivated as it feels like each day is running on a loop, and you are simply going through the motions. This leads to feelings of dissatisfaction and stagnation from being “trapped” in your current situation. It will eventually affect your quality of life and even your work, studies, or relationships. It is a big indicator that you might be stuck in a rut.
With so much negativity surrounding us, it’s not surprising that many have fallen into this pandemic rut. Sticking to goals can be a bit trickier now. A lot of things are outside of our control, and it will eventually force us to pivot plans or cancel them altogether. While you might recognise that you are stuck in a rut, you might not know how to get yourself out of it. Now’s the time to be proactive and break free from the grind with these tips.
Take good care of yourself
Although it may sound like an easy solution, many of us do not know when or how to take a break. This is a manifestation of our pre-pandemic behaviour where we prioritise work before our own well-being.
Start with a quick assessment of how you have been taking care of yourself. Have you been eating healthy and regularly? Are you getting enough rest? Have you been spending enough time with your loved ones?
Understanding the lack of self-care and subsequently addressing the issue will increase the ability to be compassionate towards yourself, which is critical to your mental health. Remember, caring for yourself is not a selfish act. Self-care begins with being kind towards yourself, and not setting unreasonable expectations. Give yourself room to breathe and take it slow. Not only will it strengthen your emotional and mental health, but it can also trigger the production of hormones that boost your energy levels and immune system.
Change your routines
Establishing a routine does not just involve setting aside time to squeeze in activities like exercising and indulging in hobbies. It also involves simple solutions like removing negative words from your vocabulary and changing the location of your workspace at home. Making a conscious effort to change what you are used to disrupts your humdrum existence and introduces little doses of positivity that may help change your perspective on certain matters.
Changing your vocabulary for example reinforces your beliefs and influences the listener. Avoid using negative or defensive phrases like “can’t,” “won’t,” “I wish I could…” and “No, but…,”. Phrase your sentences differently to train your subconscious to alter your perspective. “I will try,” “I’m going to…” as well as “Yes, and…” are phrases that suggest although there are uncertainties, there is still a possibility of progress, which also opens the listener’s heart as they feel empowered by your words rather than being demotivated by them.
Boost your motivation
Motivation seems unattainable; it comes and goes on a whim, which usually does not last long. However, there is a way to reinforce motivation on days when you are simply unable to move. Positive reinforcement is an active approach to spur you into action.
By promising yourself a reward for starting the task, you will look forward to accomplishing certain milestones to attain your reward. Rewards can get you through the first most difficult part of accomplishing a task, which is starting it. It can also help generate greater interest in what you are working on. Continue to reward yourself to achieve consistency.
Talk to a professional
We tend to undermine our struggles and leave our feelings unattended. This may prove to be detrimental as it can lead to serious issues and greater mental health struggles. When the situation seems too dire, seek help.
Sometimes, a professional opinion can help open your mind to new perspectives and possibilities. A coach could give you the step-by-step guidance you need to get back on your feet and a therapist could help regulate your emotions. There will always be a right match for you so seek help when you feel backed against the wall.
Find your purpose
As cliché as it may sound, being stuck in a rut might be due to the lack of purpose and meaning in our lives. When the world was forced to stop, we were stripped away from our daily routine that involves going to school or work and meeting up with friends. We suddenly find ourselves alone with no direction of what we can achieve as an individual.
The time has come to truly search deep within you and figure out who you are and what you want to be. By holding out for larger rewards in the future, people build better self-control and stronger willpower. Make plans, care for someone or serve your local community. The possibilities of what you can achieve are endless.
Feeling stuck in a rut can be frustrating. However, we can stay positive and have faith that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite not being able to control the world around us, we are able to control our response and reaction. That alone is a feat worth achieving. When you are feeling overwhelmed and numb, take a step back, acknowledge your situation, and remember that there is so much more to life that is waiting to happen if only you will allow it.