(When You Feel Stuck and Have No Idea How)
Sometimes life is amazing! You find your groove, you’re meeting new people, maybe you just fell in love, or claimed your independence, your job is going great, your relationships are going great, you’re feeling healthy, having a lot of fun, stress is minimal, you’re planning a vacation, and life feels good! Then all of a sudden you wake up one day and you’re not feeling so high on life anymore. Life isn’t bad, but it could use a little bit of spicing up. Your routine has taken over and although you need a change, you feel stuck and have no idea how to break free from it or how you even got there in the first place.
This is totally normal! We all go through moments in life where we feel stuck or unhappy, but making changes is a lot easier than you think. One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we underestimate the power of making small changes. Another mistake is that we think life always has to be exciting. We get caught up in comparing our lives to the highlight reel of someone else’s, never realizing that their life probably isn’t all that different from our own. It’s also important to note that sometimes some down time is also very necessary. It’s great when you feel like your social life is booming, your weekends are full, and life is exciting, but it can also take a lot of energy!
I think the scariest part of going through an ebb after you’re feeling like you’re in the flow is the idea that you might never get back into the flow again, but that’s not how life goes and all you have to do is look around you to see it. You can look at your own life, other’s people’s lives, or you can take a look at nature and you will clearly see that life goes through phases. Whenever I was needing answers, the nerd in me would always look to nature to see what I could come up with.
What I found was that nature is full of patterns and as random as it seems, there is a certain predictability to it. Flowers know to seek out the sun and you can clearly see how they expand and contract or you can look at the tides of the ocean to see how they are guided by the moon, also expanding and contracting. You can watch how birds fly in flocks or observe how fish swim in schools. It’s pretty incredible to watch nature’s rhythms and intelligence. Bears naturally know to go into hibernation after a summer full of capturing food and tortoises know to retreat into their shells. Nature is full of examples and will show you that it’s totally natural to slow down and retreat, but it also will prove to you that it doesn’t last.
Did you know that our own bodies even function according to circadian rhythms? Just as there are seasons in nature, you will also find that as you move through life, you will go through your own seasons. The good news is, you will find that it is impossible to stay stuck even if you wanted to since slowing down and retreating is just one part of the cycle. Life is always changing around you and as much there are things that you would love to stay the same, they will eventually change too. Jobs change, people move away, relationships change, circumstances change, you will change…
With that said, if YOU want to change something in your life, then YOU have to change something. That doesn’t mean that you have to flip your life completely upside down and move to a new country like I did; you can start much smaller. If you’re thinking about making a big leap, I wrote about what I learned from my first year living abroad in my blog, “Lessons From An Anxious Expat”, but the very simple secret to changing your life is remembering that:
Small Changes Lead To Big Changes
The thought that you have to do something huge to give your life a makeover is exactly what will overwhelm you and keep you stuck. I want you to imagine your typical day.
What time do you wake up?
What do you drink and eat for breakfast?
What does your morning at work look like?
What do you eat for lunch?
What does your afternoon look like?
What do you eat for dinner?
What do you do after dinner and before bed?
What stores do you typically shop at?
How do you spend your weekends?
Who do you talk to on the phone the most?
If you can answer most of these questions pretty quickly because you feel like you’re living inside of a groundhog day, then it will be super easy to change things up. Here are some super simple tips to shake up your daily routine:
- Take a different route to work and a different route home.
- Try doing something different for lunch. Either go to somewhere new to eat, change who you eat with, bring a different lunch, or turn your lunch break into alone time to learn something new.
- Change up your look or get a new haircut at a nice salon.
- Change up your grocery shopping list and try some new recipes. Check out “The “Name Your Own” Diet” for some healthy eating tips.
- Make plans with a friend that you haven’t hung out with in awhile.
- Sign up for a new hobby.
- Take a weekend road trip.
- Ask a friend for a recommendation for a new place to try or something new to read.
- Start making big plans for something that excites you.
- Change up your routine and start going to different stores to run your errands.
It’s really easy to get caught up in what feels comfortable and it’s interesting that we go back and forth between hating change and then craving it. It is really challenging to be in charge of changing your life when you’re clinging to your routine. If you are dying for something to change, then the easiest thing you can do is to change something and it doesn’t have to be big.
It’s amazing how the small things can be so inspiring. Changing up your routine gives you the opportunity to spark new ideas, rediscover your creativity, meet new people, find new passions, discover new things, dream up new goals, and get you out of your comfort zone. Your mindset will also play a huge role in how you feel about your life.
If you know that life is going to be a series of ebbs and flows, it’s easier to just roll with it, but if you freak out every time things slow down or aren’t going exactly as you want them to, then life can feel really hard. I’m going to save mindset for another post, but if you’re feeling like you need some extra inspiration on easy ways to change up your life, come join my weekly challenges. Each week, you will get a new challenge that is designed to keep you on track and help you with your mindset, relationships, motivation, goals, creating healthier habits, and taking ownership of your life.
You don’t have to do anything crazy to change your life, you just need to do something different and the rest will happen naturally. Take that first step and do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off until later. Face a fear, set a big goal, and then work towards achieving it or just enjoy your down time, because like I said, your life couldn’t stay the same even if you wanted it to.