7 Little Ways To Feel Inspired When It Seems Like You're Stuck In A Rut
Who among us doesn't get burnt out? It's that feeling when your body, mind, and spirit are all, "I just. I can't." Between professional, academic, and social obligations, gathering the energy for ~life stuff~ can seem like a rather big task sometimes, not to mention actually enjoying what's happening while also feeling motivated to show up for it all. But trust me when I say there really are easy, little ways to feel inspired when you're stuck in a rut, or sense that you're on the edge of total burnout. It all begins with making space for some new self-care actions.
First of all, let's pause for a moment to talk about burnout, because it's very real, y'all. As ScienceAlert points out, it's usually seen as the result of "a chronic stressful work environment." What's more, the outlet says, the term "burnout" first came to public attention during the 1970s, when research was showing that many employees in human services were finding it hard to cope with job stress — in other words, they were experiencing burnout, which has since been shown to be linked with other difficult mental health struggles, like depression.
Self-care coach Carly Schweet tells Elite Daily over email that staying inspired in the face of burnout can definitely be tough, but taking care of your well-being, she says, should always be a top priority, no matter what.
A good place to begin, Schweet explains, is to simply remind yourself why you started whatever it is you're doing right now in your life in the first place, whether it's a job you snagged just to pay the bills while you work on a passion project on the side, or you're continuing to learn how to code after you get home from your PR job every day. Even when it's seemed impossible to reach these goals you originally set for yourself, you've always managed to stick with it all, because it's all about literally accomplishing your dreams — and that's all worth it in the end.
So when it feels like that sense of inspiration is slipping away, here's how to maintain your grasp on it, and feel genuinely passionate about what you're doing.
1. Make Sure You're Getting In Some Alone Time
It's a simple thing, but Schweet says that, sometimes, reconnecting to your own energy is just what you need. Try taking a step back from things for a moment by going out into nature, or even unplugging from social media for a few days. "It's amazing how refreshing and inspiring some time alone can be," she tells Elite Daily.
2. Keep A Daily Journal
Janika Joyner, LCSW, of Elevation Counseling Services, tells Elite Daily she's a big advocate of keeping a journal. And while this, in part, can simply offer you an opportunity to vent and let your mind run free, Joyner says it can also be a way to help you focus on what's going well in your life at the moment.
"Find three things you are thankful for and write them down," she tells Elite Daily. "Practice on focusing on what is going right in your life and what you have done that is positive. Oftentimes we get stuck in negative thinking, which affects our mood."
Joyner points out that writing in a journal allows you to track those thought patterns and replace them with more positive, realistic thoughts.
3. Go To The Woods
Or the park. Or around the block. Basically, Joyner recommends, just take some time each week to really allow yourself to wander on some grass, be out under the open skies, and you know, touch a tree or something. "Being in nature can help you reconnect with your inner self and assist you with feeling inspired," she tells Elite Daily.
Not to mention, spending time in nature really is proven to boost your overall well-being.
4. Try Something Totally New, Even If It's Super Small
And really, this can be anything. Read a book instead of watching Netflix. Try drawing because it's something you've always been interested in. Decide to go on a spontaneous weekend road trip, even if it's just somewhere that's technically a couple towns over.
As counselor David Bennett tells Elite Daily, research has shown that time is perceived as going more quickly, and sort of blurring, when your life becomes highly routine. "One way to break out of this is to have new experiences," he says. "So, to break out of a rut, the best way may be to break out of routines and try new things."
And truly, he says, that might even mean getting something new for lunch one day. Baby steps can make a big impact, girl.
5. Take A Mental Health Day
When you're really feeling the burnout, life coach Nina Rubin, M.A tells Elite Daily, this is a sign you should take a mental health day. "When you notice yourself forgetting simple tasks, not having enough time to do dishes or laundry, or are constantly tired, this is time to take a mental health/personal day," she says.
For one thing, you'll benefit from feeling more refreshed after the fact, Rubin points out, and you might also find that, when you take that time when you really need it, it makes space for you to return to your usual routine feeling both brighter and happier.
6. Spend Five Minutes In A Dark Room
It might sound like a weird suggestion at first, but board-certified chiropractor Dr. Rubina Tahir tells Elite Daily this is all about finding a way to simply relax, let your mind wander, and really clear your head of all the clutter that's cramping your inspiration.
"After five minutes of just sitting in the dark, spend another five minutes writing down your thoughts," she suggests. "When you're suffering from burnout, you are on repeat with the same thoughts and stimulus." And if you don't attempt to clear that stuff from your mind, it's hard to let any sense of inspiration peek through, you know?
7. Phone A Friend
Just like on a game show, y'all. Dr. Tahir says this is a great way to get a nice dose of new inspiration, as well as a change in perspective. "Phone a friend, and chat and ask them about projects they are working on," she tells Elite Daily. "When you hear good things from others, it helps you focus and get back on track."