It happens to the best of us. Try as we might, we get stuck in a rut. And there are so many ruts to get stuck in! Professional, personal, romantic, wellness, etc. But have you ever been in a self-care rut? It sucks. Because it becomes a vicious cycle of feeling like crap. Because we can’t bring ourselves to do our self-care, our wellbeing suffers. And when our wellbeing suffers, our morale drops and it makes it harder to focus on prioritizing self-care. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can pull yourself out of your self-care rut and find your way back to a happier wellbeing. Here’s where I remind you that I am not, in fact, a medical professional, but a self-care enthusiast. If you’re not feeling your best physically or mentally, definitely check in with your doctor. But if you’re looking for some new ideas to reignite that self-care flame, read on.
How to tell you’re in a self-care rut
There are a lot of signals your body and mind can send you to tell you that you’re in a self-care rut, but here are some of the most telling:
- You don’t get excited about your self-care routine, it feels like a chore.
- You’re feeling creatively drained and lacking in new ideas.
- The days all kind of blur together.
- You feel bored even though you’re “busy.”
- You’re playing the martyr and putting other’s needs ahead of your own, often to your detriment.
Do any of these sounds familiar? Again, we have all been, or will be there at some point. So how do we get out of it?
How to get out of your self-care rut
Start with a quick assessment
Self-care is critical to mental and physical wellness. Start with a quick assessment of how well you’ve been taking care of you. Have you been eating well? Are you sleeping enough? Have you been spending enough time with people who care about and support you? Healthy food, adequate sleep, daily exercise and social support are all essential to your physical and emotional health. Once you have a better view of which areas are lacking, you’ll be able to make a plan for taking care of yourself and ensuring you have the energy to stay focused and excited about your life.
Change your routine
The number-one cause of ruts is fear of change. We get comfortable in our day-to-day routine, even if it isn’t what’s best for us overall. After you’ve done your assessment, it will be hard to ignore which areas are lacking. But we are creatures of habit who don’t enjoy change and the discomfort that comes with it. Start with small, doable changes in your daily routine. Try moving the pieces of your day around in simple ways: go for a walk in a different park, wake up an hour earlier or run errands on a different day of the week. The point is to stop turning our lives into a monotonous routine. Just because we do it all the time doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. You’ll eventually find a routine that works best for you and pull you out of your rut.
There’s something magical about the anticipation of the future. Sometimes you might look forward to existing events, such as the a fun night out or your favorite holiday. But you also can create these moments intentionally. Plan to give a room in your house a budget-friendly makeover. Organize a volunteer day with your best friends. Go on a scenic road trip with your partner. Give yourself things to look forward to and get excited about.
Take time each morning to close your eyes and imagine yourself as you want to feel. By imagining yourself feeling how you want and attaining the goals you set for yourself, it becomes easier to overcome the hurdles that block your way. This is how you begin to tell yourself a different story about who you are and actually believe it. Mindsets change behaviors and vice-versa. Affirmations and visualization are just more tools in your arsenal to help pull yourself out of this rut. Visualize yourself at your highest being and then work backwards. What do you need to do or change in order to get to that point? It’s all about tangible baby steps!
Main + featured image via our home tour with Hope Harris.