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The 6 Things That Got Me Out of My Huge Rut

A couple of weeks ago I was deep in a rut. It was the kind of rut where my motivation was so low that I could barely get myself to leave my house, even if just for a short walk… and you know how much I love my walks. It was also the kind of rut where I couldn’t get myself to write any blog posts or do anything except lay on my couch, go on Tik Tok and eat a bunch of chips, so, hi, I’m back!

I reached out to all of you via Instagram stories when I was having a particularly bad day to ask if you were feeling similarly, and the comments and DM’s just poured in. While it’s sad to know so many of us have felt frustrated, unmotivated, and just overall, not great recently, it’s also a bit comforting to recognize that we are all having a tough time right now and the feelings, highs and lows, and lack of enthusiasm for daily life are normal. I wanted to write this post sooner because I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, but… well, the motivation just wasn’t there. It’s here now though, and for anyone who is still in a rut, I am going to share how I got out of mine, and how you can get out of yours, too.

For me, winter is already a generally more difficult time. I struggle to wake up when the sun hasn’t yet, and for someone who thrives off of daily walks, the cold and lack of sunlight really hinder my motivation to get outside. So, couple the seasonal changes with rounding the corner on a year of lost concerts, wild nights out, and, not to mention, lives, due to COVID, of course, I found myself at a bit of a low point. I think many of you can relate.

I don’t want to just start spitting out all of the reasons this season is tough because 1. I don’t want to make it seem like I am not incredibly grateful for my health and all of my blessings right now-- I recognize that a lot of people are less fortunate than I, and 2. because I know we all are going through different, difficult things right now, and it doesn’t really matter what exactly that looks like for you because whatever it is, you are allowed to feel the feelings you feel. SO, yeah, I don’t need to list out the handfuls of reasons as to why I found myself getting down and feeling unmotivated throughout the past few weeks. Instead, I want to list out the things that helped me get out of my rut, and get back on track with my positive, balanced lifestyle I try to cultivate for myself!

For me, when I have a productive, positive day, I am more motivated the next day to have another great day, get my shit done, wake up well before my morning meetings, eat healthily, etc. When I have a bad day, the vibe is killed, and… the opposite happens. If I start eating terribly and spend all day staring at my phone and waking up five minutes before my meeting, of course, my day is going to be worse, and then the next day I’ll be in a bad mood and it’ll just become this cycle of bad days. Therefore, I have found that when I am in a rut, the easiest way to get out of it is to do a few small things throughout the day that will set me up for success for the next day. 

Here are some of the things I try to do every day that really help me to have great days, one after another:

1. Practice a morning routine that makes me feel prepared to have a productive day
For me, my morning routine looks a little like this: I wake up between 6:30-6:50 and turn on music, make my bed, spray my room spray, do my skincare routine, brush my teeth, and change into a semi-real outfit. I work from home so my outfits usually consist of leggings and the same couple of sweaters I have on rotation, but it doesn’t really matter to me as long as I get out of my pajamas.

When I was in my rut, I would wake up at like 7:15, brush my teeth, not make my bed, skip skincare, stay in my pajamas, and immediately head downstairs for coffee. I felt sloppy and unmotivated for my workday and simply not like the productive little queen I do feel like now that my face is serum-ed and moisturized and I have clean clothes on all before 7 AM!

I know some people also love to write down what they are grateful for or journal in the morning, but I haven't gotten into that yet. Do you do any writing as a part of your morning routine?

2. Go for walks
Now that the sun is up a solid 30 minutes before my morning meeting (at 7:30AM), I plan to start taking my morning walks again!! My morning walks were a part of my morning routine last spring and summer during quarantine, and I’ve really missed them this winter, but there was just no chance I was going to get up and get walking in the dark and cold. Like, is that even safe?

Anyway, I just took my first morning walk in forever this morning actually, and it felt so good. I really felt like I was set up to have a great day as soon as I got back home. But before today, I have always made it a priority to get out during the day, even if only for 20 minutes. Getting fresh air, some steps in, and listening to the Morning Toast is something I look forward to throughout the morning while I work, and the break in my day usually gives me that motivation I need to get through the afternoon. 

3. Drink tons of water
Like I mentioned above, when I was in my rut, I would immediately head downstairs to make coffee. While this probably works for many people, drinking my coffee at 7AM is just not the optimal time for me. First of all, when I wake up in the morning, I can feel my body wanting to drink a ton of water, so hydrating properly before coffee just makes me feel better. But mainly… I was just making it out of habit. Something I am trying to work on is really listening to my body when it comes to the things I eat and drink, because often I reach for things out of habit, like a dessert or unhealthy snack at 3pm, or coffee the moment I wake up in the morning, instead of listening to my body and realizing… maybe I don’t actually want or need this right now. I have found that if I fill up my huge water bottle during my morning routine (and throughout the day!) and focus on myself instead of my coffee or what I’m going to eat next, I can really create a healthier mindset around food and what my body really wants, which ultimately makes me both more productive, and happier.

4. Work from my desk
When I was in my rut, I would spend all day working from the couch. Not only was this less productive, but it just didn’t make me feel good! I felt so lazy on my couch in my pajamas, even if I was technically turning around the work I needed to. I’ve been working from my desk lately and (shocker!) it’s made a huge difference. I feel productive and much more comfortable sitting up straight in my chair with my blue light glasses on.

5. Eat actual meals
This one is tricky for me. I have always been a huge snacker, and something about eating larger meals freaked me out for a long time. But recently, I’ve noticed that if I eat normal-sized meals, I’ll eat fewer snacks, and staying full means I am not constantly thinking about when I can have another snack or what snack I want to have next, really freeing up a lot of space in my mind to be productive with work and focus on the things I need to get done.

6. Read before bed
I am making a conscious effort to limit my screen time, especially before I go to bed. I was spending hours and hours a day on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, adding random things to my stories all the time, watching other people’s stories all day long, not focusing on the things I should have been, and it was mentally exhausting. Before bed, this was even more out of control because it’s so easy to lose track of time. I’ve been trying to read more lately before bed as an alternative to wind down and it’s definitely helped me fall asleep easier and faster.


How are you doing? 
Is there anything you do that helps you have productive days and stay motivated?

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