Stuck In An Emotional Rut? Here Are Some Tips To Help You Get Unstuck
Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in a monotonous rut? Have you ever felt that you’re going through the motions of life without really experiencing it fully? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then it is highly possible that you’re stuck in an emotional or mental rut.
What is an emotional rut? It is a state of mind where mentally we are present in the present moment but are unable to move forward emotionally. When the motions of life become monotonous and dull, it can become emotionally tiring and draining. The longer you are in an emotional rut, the harder it becomes to get out of it.
An emotional rut causes you to feel that your life is meaningless and that you’re stuck in a constant loop of getting up, going to work and going back to sleep – a state where there is no excitement and no motivation to do anything else.
This emotional state can be frustrating and draining. To get unstuck from this emotional rut, first, you need to understand the signs of being stuck in one:
Signs You’re Stuck In An Emotional Rut
Being stuck in an emotional and tiring loop of doing nothing exciting doesn’t happen at once. This feeling builds over time, day-by-day, night-by-night. It can disguise itself in the form of your daily routine until everything you do feels like you’re killing time instead of doing something meaningful.
Look out for these signs:
- Every day feels like the same. You have trouble distinguishing between the days.
- You are going through your daily motions without actually feeling them. You don’t feel excited or motivated.
- Life has become boring and monotonous. When you do find inspiration to do something you can’t find the energy to do so.
- You generally feel ‘meh’ if someone asks you, “how are you feeling?”
- You want to change but feel comfortable with the status quo. You fear failure or discomfort.
Sometimes these feelings might just be temporary but the longer you feel them, it might turn into persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia. PDD is a chronic depressive disorder that can disrupt your daily life as well as overall mental, emotional, and physical health. The symptoms of PDD can be low mood, loss of energy, and loss of interest (anhedonia). If you think you are experiencing these symptoms, reach out to a professional mental healthcare provider immediately.
How To Escape An Emotional Rut:
Sometimes an emotional rut might be a result of your personal relationship, or maybe your professional relationship. What you need to figure out first is the source of the emotional state and the effect it has on you. While all emotional ruts might look the same, the effect on each person’s mental health may differ.
Being in an emotional rut might make you feel like your life satisfaction is zero to none. But you can change that:
1. Accept Your Feelings
Acknowledge and accept that being in an emotional rut is normal and okay. It is temporary and won’t last forever. Don’t deny your feelings or the status you’re in. Don’t brush off your feelings with “I’m just tired” or similar lines. If you continue with this thinking, you’ll just prolong your distress and delay your escape.
2. Taking Care Of Yourself
Self-love and self-compassion are great weapons when it comes to escaping and fighting an emotional rut. Assess what is it that you need? Do you need to sleep? Do you need a break from your routine? Do you have enough support?
Self-care is essential for your overall health and ignoring it won’t help you make your escape. Treat yourself with what you love. Take care of yourself, first and foremost.
3. Change Your Daily Routine
It’s hard to do anything else if you’re constantly doing the same thing over and over again. If you feel bored with your daily routine, try changing it a little. Strike up a conversation with new people, expand your social circle, engage in activities that keep you busy and excited, or find a hobby and stick to it.
You can also try to do something new like watching a new TV show or signing up for an online class. Don’t be afraid to try something new and spontaneous.
To escape your monotonous life, make small but subtle changes to your life. Start small, make goals, and carry them forward. Just keep moving forward.
4. Spend Some Time Outdoors
Being in nature has proven to be an effective way to treat many emotional, mental, and physical problems. Taking a walk in your garden or just spending time surrounded by plants can help you lower depression, stress, and anxiety.
Nature therapy is amazing and it also helps you increase creativity and inspire you to do something equally amazing.
Next time you’re feeling emotionally tired, go for a walk in nature or just breathe the fresh air. Bottom line; step outdoors and enjoy the wonders of nature.
5. Find Your Life’s Purpose/Passion
The one thing that enhances your emotional rut is not finding your purpose or passion. It feels easy to fall into a monotonous life if you don’t have passion or purpose. To escape your emotional rut, find what makes you tick. What is it that makes you want to get up in the morning besides work?
Make plans, even small ones like running an errand or hanging out with friends. Watch your favorite TV show, movie, or read your favorite author. Volunteer if you can. Find what makes you happy and inspires you.
6. Get Help
For many people, an emotional rut might just be a sign of PDD or any other kind of major depressive disorder. If you feel that your life hasn’t changed, get professional help. Therapy is a wonderful way to find support and guidance when you don’t know how to move ahead.
A therapist offers a safe and judgmental-free environment to help you figure out what you can do to move forward.
Don’t hesitate to consult a therapist when in need of help.
Being stuck in a monotonous loop of nothing can be frustrating and draining. It can make it impossible to stay in touch with your friends and family, maintain your social connections, and concentrate on other things. If you feel like you’re stuck in an emotional rut, ask yourself; what is it that brings you joy? Why are you doing what you are doing? Do the things you’re giving your time on making you happy? Are these activities meaningful to you?
With a few lifestyle changes, self-care, self-love, taking a mental break, taking a much-needed vacation, and by adding a little novelty to your life, you can escape the wearying and dull life. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed about bringing a change to your lifestyle, you might be experiencing symptoms of Persistent depressive disorder (PDD).
In such a case, consult a mental health professional for additional guidance and support immediately. Remember, the longer you’re stuck in a loop, the harder it will be to find an escape.
“If there are clouds and storms one day, remember that it will pass and one day the sun will shine down on you. All you have to do is keep faith in yourself and move forward until that day comes.”
Until then, stay healthy and stay safe!