6 Ways To Get Through A RUT
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There are days we wake up feeling mentally and physically drained, to a point we want to give up. Personally, the hardest thing I have felt especially this year is waking up every day and giving 100% while being in the same position as I am each day. Mentally knowing how much I'm trying even though the return isn’t equivalent to the 100% given does slowly break you down.
Today’s piece is dedicated to those days where you feel beaten down or in a rut with a million things to do. Being stuck in a rut is that state where you feel trapped in a mundane, non-changing pattern of life. With that being said, how do you get out of one;
1. Know your triggers.
Triggers are external events or circumstances that may produce very uncomfortable emotional or psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, panic, discouragement, despair, or negative self-talk. Reacting to triggers is normal, but if we don't recognize them and respond to them appropriately, they may cause a downward spiral. That is why whenever there is tension in your life, you need to address it and pay attention to it.
For example, self-doubt. That negative voice that sneaks up on you makes you doubt your abilities, snipping it requires digging deeper into why it is in your mind in the first place. Personally, my self-doubt comes from my childhood trauma. I always seek outside approval but never really took the time to support myself. To solve this, I began giving myself small compliments when I finish any task which so far has increased my self-esteem. On top of that, a good playlist boosts my energy levels.
P.S: If something still bothers you after 24 hours, speak up within 48 hours. Healing only starts when we communicate.
2. Break down tasks
To match your energy levels throughout the day, it helps break down your tasks into deep and shallow work. Further break down them into high, medium, low, and fun energy tasks. Deep work encompasses tasks that require full concentration such as analyzing data, research, or developing strategies. On the other hand, shallow work is tasks that you can perform in a state of distraction such as responding to emails or scanning websites. This method helps to strike a healthy balance between productivity and fun.
Self-care is all the steps an individual can take to manage stressors in his or her life and take care of his or her health and well-being. It could be as simple as polite drinking with your friends, going for a staycation on the weekend, or exercising. Invest in yourself to limit burnouts, depression, anxiety e.t.c.
Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant. Sometimes it’s doing little things that add up to help you nurture yourself.
4. Change your routines.
People are creatures of habit, and sometimes feeling stuck stems from boredom. Small changes such as being spontaneous, trying something new, or even changing your workspace, can add zest to your life. Kill 2 birds with one stone by going on solo dates be it on weekdays or weekends. This way you get some self-care as well as spicing up your everyday life.
5. Recognize when it’s not a rut.
Sometimes a rut is just a rut, a temporary state that you can work to improve. It can also indicate something more serious like depression or dysmorphia. Some of the symptoms may include;
low energy or mild fatigue
less interest in daily activities
anhedonia, or difficulty finding pleasure in life
loss of motivation or productivity
feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem
Note that If you just can’t seem to shake the feeling that you’re stuck in a rut, you have options for support, which brings us to our last tip.
6. Get Support.
Therapy is a great outlet for when you’re feeling stuck, whether you have any mental health symptoms or not. It simply serves as a safe space to explore past choices and future options. Take for instance Befrienders Kenya, which offers a space where you can anonymously share your concerns, free of charge. We can all agree anonymously sharing gives a bit of leeway, to be honest about a situation.
There is also an organization called CBT Kenya that offers counseling and therapy support to people with either anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Their goal is to empower you to be in control of your life by achieving mental health.
Before starting therapy, here are 4 things to note;
1. Do your research.
Take your time to figure out what they specialize in, their fees, and what approaches they use. Have a consultation session to help you figure out if you click, and figure out their suitability for you.
2. Don’t expect it to work right away.
Therapy is like a marathon. It might take a while for you to get comfortable enough with your therapist to work on the painful stuff, and applying what you’ve learned to your everyday life takes time too.
3. You won’t have a breakthrough every time.
Some sessions could be mind-blowing and earth-shattering and sometimes you might feel like you are not getting anywhere. That’s all part of the process but remember to talk if you feel like you are not making any progress.
4. It’s okay to switch Therapists.
Sometimes you might encounter a therapist who really shouldn’t be one and sometimes they aren’t a right fit for you. If you feel like it’s not working out, it’s okay to switch to a new one.
5. Some people will be weird about it.
And that doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. Some have misinformed, stigmatizing opinions about therapy, and they might project them onto you. Sometimes having a conversation about it with them can help, other times it’s better to ignore it and set boundaries.
The most important thing is to celebrate every aspect of your growth and growing pains, creativity, fearlessness, persistence, and determination. For every effort, you put into building your future. Don’t let outside distractions or your insecurities stop you from your goals. Embrace the struggles
Written by: Grace Mwarania