Have you ever felt stuck in a rut? Maybe you’ve reached a point where things that normally brought you joy and fulfillment no longer seem enjoyable – or even seem like a chore. It’s not necessarily what you would consider “depression”, but this sense of malaise can most definitely impact your overall mood if goes unaddressed.
It could be career burnout, boredom with you lifestyle and daily routines or a general lack of a feeling of fulfillment, pride or accomplishment. In other words, you’ve “stagnated” – and human nature is usually one that wants to be moving forward, especially if you’re a goal or achievement oriented type of person. If this sounds like something you’ve gone through, there are definitely ways you can pull yourself up and out of the rut, and get your creative, grateful, motivated self back.
Ask for a challenging project or learn something new
Taking on a big project at work, learning a new skill, or any other “new to you” challenge that is going to instill a little discomfort and initial fear in your life or livelihood can really get our brains into the space of creativity. Problem solving keeps our minds fresh, youthful and challenged.
Complacency does the exact opposite – it kills creativity and the feeling of pride and confidence that comes with expanding your horizons and conquering something that may have seemed extremely challenging at first.
Too often we get in the habit of trying to stay within our realm of comfort, and the longer we do this, the harder it is to step outside that comfort zone and actually grow and challenge yourself. Paradoxically, keeping yourself “comfortable” results in lower confidence, self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment and worthiness.
Worse, when real problems that need to be dealt with do arise, you are ill-equipped to deal with them without extreme discomfort and anxiety if you don’t keep this problem-solving part of your brain active and sharp.
Book a trip near moving water
Take a trip somewhere that is close to moving water, like a great lake, the ocean, a river – or even better – a waterfall. Being near moving water really does something to energize not only the body, but also the mind. And it’s not all just the calming effect of the sounds of crashing waves, gurgling streams or gently lapping currents that does the job.
Nor is it the fresh scent or beautiful, interesting landscapes and terrains that tend to accompany freely moving water – although that is a part of why spending time there has an actual physiological effect on our brain activity. All of this of course is just an extra bonus that adds to the rejuvenating effect.
Moving water generates negative ions, which are molecules that we breathe in. Have you ever stepped outside after a huge rainstorm and experienced a rush of energy and a sense of well-being? Well that is the effect of negative ions.
We can’t necessarily see or smell them (although they often do make the air smell clean and crisp), but these little molecules have tremendously invigorating effect on our mind, and our mood. They oxygenate and purify the blood, clean the air of pollution and impurities, and promote deep sleep and strong immunity.
Get out in the sun
Getting out in the sun (if it’s shining of course) is one of the quickest, easiest ways for an instant recharge. This piece of advice is counter to some of the anti-sun exposure rhetoric we hear today, but the sun really does play a vital role in not only our emotional state, but also in our overall well-being. It’s no secret now that vitamin D is a major influencer when it comes to stable mood, cancer prevention and a whole host of other important functions.
Simply stepping out on lunch if you work during the day and getting some natural light and exercise can even help elevate mood and rejuvenate your mind. It brings with it positive thoughts, fresh air, and an infusion of both vitamin D when absorbed into the skin, and infrared heat, which in itself also has a positive effect on both mind and body.
Make a happiness list for your free time
Too often, we get bogged down in the mundane chores of life when we’re away from our “jobs”. It is a mistake to not make time for a fun hobby, pastime or therapeutic activity. You need “me time” to strip away the banalities of day to day life and revive your sense of joy.
If you don’t have a hobby or an activity that gets you excited, try a new one. It might be gardening, reading books, wood working, baking and creating interesting food dishes. Whatever it might be, you really need to find something you enjoy, and stick to the Happiness List at least every other weekend but ideally every weekend. You’ll still have time for chores, just make happiness and creative expression a bigger priority.
Danna Norek founded AuraSensory.com, where you can find effective, results-oriented natural body, hair and skin care products.
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