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5 Practical Ways to Quickly Break Out of a Rut

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Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.


Low points in life are inevitable. That doesn't mean you have to let them stand in your way, however. With a little grace and mindfulness, you can pull yourself out of that rut and get back to living life on your terms.

I don't know what it is about this summer, but I've had more than my fair share of low points lately. What helps me quickly turn it all around is taking action. Getting up, moving around, and focusing my attention elsewhere prevents me from sitting too long in an unproductive pity party. Below are my top ways to break out of a rut swiftly and effectively.

1. Tackle A Chore You've Been Putting Off

This probably seems counterintuitive. The last thing you want to do when you feel stuck is that tedious chore you've had on the back burner. In fact, wallowing is looking pretty enticing compared to that monstrosity, but before you click off this article, hear me out. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is get out of your head. All of my action tips center around this idea. What better way to accomplish this than by getting something done? Just imagine how productive you'll feel once you tackle the chore.

Most recently for me, this meant heading outside to knock down the jungle of my garden beds. I had put it off all spring and it was an eye sore. Instead of sitting in a slew of bad thoughts, I grabbed my tools and headed outside. There's something cathartic and satisfying about chopping and pulling weeds. After a few hours, the garden beds looked fresh and alive, but more importantly, I felt invigorated. Nature had worked her magic. My mind was clear and I felt accomplished.

2. Play Outside With Your Kids And/Or Your Pets

After the aforementioned gardening adventure, my son and I spent an hour playing football. This is one of our favorite summertime activities. We have a small collection of outdoor games and toys we love. If we're having a bad day or feeling down, we head out to the backyard for a little fresh air and physical activity. It works every time.


3. Clear The Clutter

It's difficult to focus when chaos surrounds you. Now is the perfect time to tackle the clutter that has piled up in your house, your car, or your office. Put your favorite music on and get to work. Once things are clean, organized, and put away, you'll feel accomplished and productive.

Clutter doesn't just refer to your physical environment. Now is also a great time to go through the files on your computer, deleting anything that is unnecessary. Run a virus scan and check for updates while you're at it. Look through your phone and clean that out too. Back up your photos and delete any apps you no longer use. This might also be the time to downsize your social media. Unfollow and unsubscribe from accounts that no longer inspire you, making room for those that do.

4. Do Something Creative

Gather up some crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paint and give your mind a break. Draw a picture, follow a tutorial on YouTube, or create a unique wall hanging. If you have the supplies, follow along with an old Bob Ross episode. Alternatively, you could search Pinterest for a fun craft to make. Maybe pull out some clay or play-doh and make cute sculptures. Let go and just have a little fun.

Bob Ross - Reflections of Calm (Season 31 Episode 1)

5. Have A Beauty Day

The simple act of taking some time for you can go a long way to helping you get out of a rut. It doesn't have to be the entire day, but allow for enough time to get everything done. Take the long shower, apply a face and hair mask, paint your nails, the whole nine yards. Physical appearances aren't everything, but when you feel good about how you look, that confidence shines through into other areas of your life.



Alyssa (author) from Ohio on July 15, 2021:

Oh how exciting Brenda! Sounds like all you need is paint maybe. Have you watched any of the "I followed a Bob Ross tutorial" videos on YouTube? I've always wanted to do one.

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on July 15, 2021:

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Awww, how wonderful to have a getaway visit with family! That's awesome, Pamela! I'm big on organization too. I can't deal with clutter for very long. haha! I hope you have a restful weekend!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on July 15, 2021:

And I'm excited for you and Bev with your trip this weekend! Getting away will be amazing. I'm looking forward to our family's vacation next month. We're counting down the days haha!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 15, 2021:

Great advice.

I definitely need to pick up the clutter.

These last few days I've let a few things pile clothes on my dresser.

It does have a way of messing with my Creativity.

I love Bob Ross...i actually bought myself a little to go easel that I can take anywhere...only I have never done it.

I always wanted to try my hand at painting the beautiful pictures my eyes see.

Maybe one day soon.

Taking time for oneself definitely helps.

Have a great day & thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 15, 2021:

I really like to stay organized, and when I am not it really bugs me. Many chores are hard to do now due to my health problems, so if I am not careful I cn get way behind. However, we just returned from visiting our 6 year old granddaughter and family. We had such a wonderful time, so now I am just happy and tired.

I like your suggestions, Alyssa. I no longer have children at home, but the rest of the suggestions would work for me. This is a very good article.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 15, 2021:

I follow the same routine daily. To some it would be a rut. For me it is soothing. Still, it feels like a run more now than ever before. I think I need to break the mold a bit, you know?

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