I’m in a rut. It’s like I’m in a glass box and outside of it, my life is happening but I’m just a passive observer. I’m on the board, and I see the perfect wave but instead of getting up and riding it, I just get knocked down and dragged to the shore. I’m sick of my recipes, I don’t want to work out. I’m tired. I’m irritable. I’m unmotivated. I feel like a car stuck in the snow, endlessly spinning my wheels to no avail.
I don’t know why this is happening. Perhaps my body can’t quite reconcile the fact that it’s mid October and the temperature still hovers near 80. The stews and slow cooker meals I usually make now just feel heavy and forced. I find myself wanting to just make pasta or order in Chinese. Or buy something pre made from Trader Joe’s (gasp!) I’m unconcerned about vegetables. I’m unconcerned about everything. Part of me just wants to sleep. Part of me just wants to run away. Part of me is ashamed to tell you this.
I’m ashamed because this is not who I am, or who I strive to be. I strive to be upbeat, positive, life affirming. I work hard with my clients so they can accomplish their goals to manage their weight and get comfortable in their kitchens. If I can’t pull it together for myself, how then can I pull it together for me?
We all have vices or escape mechanisms. The thing we turn to to to “feel” something. We get high, we drink, we binge eat. We run or bike mile after mile after mile Or we turn off the phone and ignore the world. That’s what I like to do. I like to disappear like a bear in its cave for winter. But I have a family, a job, a life. I can’t hide. I can’t sleep off my rut. So what can I do?
I need to take my own advice. I need to become my own client. What are the things keeping me in my rut? What can I do to work past this to go back to being the happy, positive person I know myself to be?
1) Accept that not every meal needs to be gourmet or even “complete” for that matter.
Food is food. Who says you can’t have an entire meal of appetizers? So my action step is to just make some food. Little plates and snacks. Maybe some white kidney beans in a light dressing of oil and vinegar. A plate of cucumbers, string beans, crunchy peppers and carrots. Some quinoa with feta cheese.
2)Exercise. Even if I don’t want to.
Exercise is a mood elevator. Next time you are feeling down, do some jumping jacks or hold a dance party in your living room. See if you are still in a bad mood after. While you might go back there eventually, in that moment, post exercise, your heart beats, your breath is harder, your serotonin releases. You feel something. And something is always better then nothing.
Yes, sleeping all day every day is not a good thing. But not getting enough sleep at night is just as bad. I love to sleep but I also love to watch bad TV. So often at night, when my body says “sleep” my mind says “oh just one more episode of the Vampire Diaries.” I need to turn my mind off and listen to my body. Damon and Stefan will be there later. My sanity from lack of sleep probably will not.
4)Get more hugs/body contact
I find that when I’m in a rut like this, I really don’t want to be touched. I don’t want to hug or have anyone too close to me. With a husband and two kids, this is obviously not good. So I need to let go. Put the barriers down and take the hug or the snuggle. Our bodies crave touch. Touch soothes us, makes us feel good, releases tension. Gives us the sense of being loved. We relax, melt into the touch.
5)Allow yourself time to wallow.
It’s ok to get stuck sometimes, to feel sad, to feel like you aren’t the best. If we ignore it, it gets bigger and you find yourself in a rut like me. If we acknowledge it, “things are hard now, but they won’t be forever,” our mind is given the opportunity to reset itself. It realizes that how it is feeling is temporary and begins to take steps to move out of dark and into the light.
These are my tips to myself to get out of my rut. How do you handle your life when you get stuck? Does it mire you down? How do you rise above it? The pages of our story are constantly being written and re written as we plunder through life. We don’t know what’s behind door number two or if the great and mysterious Oz is going to emerge from behind the curtain to save us. The only things we know is that we have one life to live. Just one. So if you get stuck, or find yourself in a rut, just remind your self that you are the author of your story. And a book where nothing happens is quite a boring book indeed. So make a list of the things you need for motivation. Start slowly but bit by bit, come out of the cave, blink your eyes at the light and start over. Otherwise, your just watching your life go by, instead of living it.
Want to continue the conversation? I offer a free health consultation. You can find me at www.roslynwellness.com; [email protected], on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roslynwellness or on Twitter @courtneyabrams.
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.