End Your Rut Now

Whether you’re in school or working full-time, it can sometimes feel like you’re in the same old grind– school/work, home, dinner, sleep, rinse and repeat.

Routines are comforting and comfortable, but ruts are an endless disappointment. A feeling of– is this it? What’s next?

Rather than remain rut-ified, you can break out of the cycle in four simple ways that don’t involve overhauling your life.

-Take up a new hobby/activity: Don’t choose something super-challenging– you’ll be put off and probably drop it immediately ( I would). Pick something in your existing area of interests. If you like sports, take up  a new one. If you like helping others, do some volunteer-teaching ESL. If you’re an NSCS member, attend a chapter meeting or participate in an event on campus.

-Get up earlier: I’m not really a morning person, but whenever I’m up a couple of hours before work, I find I have more time to do  little things like tidying up or reading that book I’ve had lying around for ages. This new pocket of time makes your day seem fun too– you no longer feel the drudgery of routine. You get up, make yourself some coffee/tea, stare at the sunrise, and get cracking. It makes your day seem new and interesting again.

-Cook: Creating things is satisfying, but nothing is quite as soul-satisfying as food. Rather than get more takeout or eat at an expensive/fast food restaurant, why not make something unusual and out of the ordinary? A warm bowl of gumbo can brighten up the dullest day.

-Call someone you haven’t been in touch with: We all lead transient lives, moving to different cities/countries for college or work. But you see roughly the same people everyday.  Take some time this weekend to call your best friend from high school or your crazy cousin who lives across the country. Talking to people who’re live somewhere else and do something else helps you break out of that mental box that you’ve put yourself in.

I’ve tried all four of these things, and they’ve worked for me.

Are you going to try one today?


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