A social media expert by the name of Kylie Francis once said, “Change isn’t risky, being stagnant is.” But what do you do if, no matter how hard you try to make things happen, you seem to feel stuck?
Like, even with all of the things that are on your to-do list, it seems as if everything is on the fast track while you’re mentally and emotionally in the same space. And no matter how much you wish you could change that, you just…can’t?
When you feel stuck in your life and/or your career, it can feel almost paralyzing. That’s the bad news. The good news is, no matter how isolated you may feel right now, everyone has been where you are before. Not only that but like the seasons of weather, this is a phase that will pass.
It’s all about knowing what you should do in the meantime when you’re feeling this way so that you can get over to the other side. So, if you’re feeling kind of lost in life right here, here are seven tips to get you through it.
As weird is it might sound, sometimes stagnation (feeling stuck) comes from feeling overwhelmed (being mentally busy). The connection is, when you feel anxious, it may be because you’re so focused on the future that you aren’t remaining in the present. Something that can help you in this area is meditation.
By taking a few minutes out in the morning to get a still and deep breathe, it can calm your senses and relax your body. Meditation is also proven to reduce anxiety, make you more self-aware, put you into a more positive mood and lengthen your attention span. All of these things can only work in your favor when you’re not feeling the best and want to get out of a rut.
Verbally State Five Things That You’re Thankful For
Words have power. One of the ways to feel empowered is to think about some of the things that you are grateful for. That’s because a state of gratitude helps you to remember the good that is happening in your life which better equips you to handle the challenges that you might have.
Writing things down in a gratitude journal is beneficial. But when things feel extra difficult, try vocalizing what you’re thankful for.
Hearing the good coming out of your own mouth can help to alter your perspective and make you feel stronger. Just try and see.
Comparing yourself to other people is pretty normal; that doesn’t mean it’s good for you, though. One study revealed that comparing yourself to individuals on social media decreased their positive feelings and left them feeling worse about themselves.
Everyone’s purpose, calling and life path is different. If you feel stuck because you’re looking at what other people are doing or what other folks have, distract yourself by honing in on your own plans and goals. Someone once said that if two people were just alike, one of them would be unnecessary.
You are here for a reason. Embrace where you are. It serves a greater purpose.
Take Social Media Breaks
As of 2020, there are reportedly over a 3.6 billion people on social media. And while social media does have its good side — including the fact that it can keep you in the loop with immediate news, it’s a great marketing tool and it helps you to stay in touch with family and friends — too much of it can be problematic.
The reality is that social media can also cause you to feel overwhelmed with information. Some studies say that it’s also able to trigger feelings of sadness. It can also cause you to forget that your online “friends” are not necessarily your actual friends. In other words, social media can keep you from making a physical connection with those who are in your “real world”.
Doing anything in excess is typically not the best idea. So, if you’re feeling stuck right now, it can never hurt to take a bit of a break from social media.
Getting back to reading books. Hanging out with friends. Sitting on your back deck while enjoying a glass of wine. Watch how much better these “unplug activities” will make you feel.
Consume What Calms You
When we’re feeling stuck, sometimes we don’t give ourselves the kind of self-care that we truly need. When that happens, our level of self-esteem and our professional performance can suffer. Believe it or not, something that can help your mental and emotional state in times like these is to pay attention to what you eat and drink.
For instance, if it seems like your mind is spinning and that’s what’s keeping you stagnant, there are foods that can help to calm you down:
- Salmon contains fatty acids that improve brain function
- Bananas have potassium that reduces anxiety
- Dark chocolate is full of properties that can help to put you into a better mood
- Yogurt contains probiotics that improve mental health
- Chamomile tea has antioxidants that fight inflammation that triggers anxiety
Try some of these when you’re not at your best. They are proven to be an immediate pick-me-up hack.
Focus on “Baby Steps” to Not Feel Stuck
Unfortunately, some of us feel like if we’re not doing a billion different things at one time, we must not be doing anything at all. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, one study revealed that only 2.5% of individuals are actually good at multitasking; that’s not very many people at all.
Actually hearing this fact should give you a sigh of relief. That’s because it’s a reminder that it’s better to do one thing at a time before moving on to something else. And when it specifically comes to your career, if you start each day off with a list of 3-5 small goals and focus only on completing them, it can give you a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Before you know it, by the end of the week, those “baby steps” will have helped you to get even more done. And that can make you feel more confident about setting even greater goals in the future.
If you were to ask a counselor, therapist, or life coach about what you should do when you’re feeling stuck in life, something that they might recommend is creating a ritual; something that makes you feel strong and confident.
One that is easy to do is to make it a practice to toast yourself at the end of each day. Literally pour yourself a glass of red wine (which can also calm you) or sparkling cider and celebrate something about yourself.
An assignment that you completed. A hard conversation that you had. Maybe even something as simple as getting out of bed and getting to work on time.
There is always something to celebrate. Toasting whatever that is can remind you that you’re making more progress than you’re probably giving yourself credit for.
Help Is Never Very Far Away
If after trying these suggestions, you’re still feeling stuck, I’d be happy to help you out.
Contact me anytime, so that we can get you to feel great about your life and career again. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. You deserve it.