Finding your way out of a Rut


There comes a time in everyone’s life where they, unfortunately, fall into a rut. Ruts can be a result of many things, but sometimes they occur when you realize you have no time to do anything for yourself, but rather you are drawn to doing things solely for your family, friends and your career. Because of this, when you are left alone, you experience negative feelings that only build up, causing you to fall into a rut and then possibly even into a mild to severe form of depression. How can you find your way out of this rut? Do you try to determine the root cause of what’s putting you into the rut and get proactive about fixing it or do nothing?

Here are some easy things you can do to find your way out of a rut:

1. Acknowledge that the Rut Exists

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First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge that you’re experiencing a rut. Ultimately this is the first step to correcting it and determining the cause. If you choose to wait it out and think it’ll improve by itself, you’ll realize that the negative thoughts associated with it will become more empowering over time. It’s likely that you already know what the issue is, so you need to be honest with yourself and tackle the issue before it gets worse. Once you identify it and choose to handle it, you will be able to correct it much faster and eliminate negative feelings.

2. Understand that You’re not Alone

Understand that you’re not the only one who has ever experienced a rut before. Everyone experiences feelings of discontentment or boredom in life as it is human nature to get demotivated and down at times. When you get down on yourself about things going on in your life, it’s easy to view all those around you as more accomplished and progressing in life, thinking that you’re behind and that you haven’t achieved much. Some of the most common ruts include feeling stagnant and bored at work, experiencing relationships woes, bad eating habits, financial strife and more.

3. Focus on What Matters Most & Determine Priorities

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Oftentimes we get into ruts because we are overextending ourselves. Because of that, we tend to lose sight of what’s most important to us including family, friends and your career. Don’t lose focus of your priorities, and keep in mind all of the people or things that mean the most to you. You will be happier knowing that you’re keeping those near and dear to you close to you. We have all been guilty of overextending ourselves, and it’s challenging at times to realize that and make proper actions to minimize the amount of responsibilities and projects we put onto ourselves. Take time to really decide what matters most and focus on that.

4. Establish Realistic Relationship Expectations

Oftentimes we have unrealistic relationship expectations and because all of your relationships are different and dynamic to each individual, you need to analyze each relationship. It’s important to determine which relationship is a priority by figuring out who are really your friends and family versus those who are, at best, acquaintances. Your time and energy should be focused on those that are in your life all the time instead of those who may come and go. Don’t waste your valuable time and energy on those who aren’t willing to do the same.

5. Follow your Passion

It’s imperative to understand that sometimes the reason you get into a rut is because you’re not doing what you’re passionate about. For example, if you’re passionate about helping others but you’re in a role where you don’t work with people at all, then you need to get into a field where you are exploring your passion and calling. Keep in mind that if you’re doing something that you’re not truly passionate about, your work probably shows just that. Always follow your dreams and understand what you’re passionate about. Take the necessary steps to get there.

6. Learn to manage your Anxiety

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We are all human, and as much as we’d like to believe we are immune to anxiety, we are not. When we are faced with situations in life that cause anxiety, we should be exploring those feelings instead of quieting them. When faced with anxiety, it’s easy to fall into some pretty dark places and get down on yourself and those you surround yourself with. Individuals facing anxiety tend to lose sleep and can develop harsh negative feelings towards themselves and others. Determine what’s causing the anxiety, that is no doubt contributing to you being in a rut, and make steps to remove yourself from the situation. Are you miserable in your job? Find a new one. Are you in a dead-end relationship? End it and find something better. Sit down and really think about the cause of your anxiety and then address it sooner rather than later.

7. Don’t overextend yourself

Most of us are people pleasers by nature and because of this we tend to overextend ourselves. We take on more than we should because it’ll make others happy but then because of that we are causing our own happiness to be compromised. You should never get too busy to enjoy your life. You deserve to stick up and look out for yourself and do what makes you happy without overextending yourself and your valuable time.

In order to find your way out of the rut you’re experiencing, you need to determine what’s causing it. There will need to be changes made in order to obtain happiness again. Don’t fear this change for it’s for the best. Life gets complicated. Life gets busy and it can be incredibly overwhelming at times, but if you take time to truly understand and access your life while looking at the big picture, you’ll be on the fast track to happiness.

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Here are some ways to disconnect and reconnect with those that matter most. When you’re in a rut sometimes the most important thing you can do to help is spending time with those that mean the most. 

Photo credits: Danielle Jones, Kevin Schmitz, Sarah GiboniBen White on Unsplash



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Danielle Jones
Danielle Jones
Danielle lives Kalamazoo, MI with her husband, Jason and their very active, goofy and curious toddler, Braxton. They also have two non-ferocious and loving pit bulls. When Danielle isn’t writing, she is working as a recruiter and also runs a photography business (Two Clicks Photography and Design) with her sister. Her interests include fitness, healthy eating, cooking, wine, reading, photography, exploring beautiful state of Michigan, and spending time with family. She is a hardcore Spartans, Lions, Tigers and Red Wings fan and can talk sports all day long. You can find her blog here: and visit her photography page at Follow her on Instagram: danielle_jones and twitter: @ daniseitzjones.