Falling into a slump happens to all of us, even the most driven and productive people. It can feel really frustrating because we all want to feel like we have direction and motivation but instead we feel like we’re in limbo with our hands tied.
Today I’m sharing some things to do when you feel stuck in life. Sometimes just taking a small step or making a small change can get you back on track, so try one or several of these suggestions and I promise you’ll start to feel better.
How to Get Unstuck
1. Change Your Mindset
The first thing you need to do is realize that “feeling stuck” is a story you’re telling yourself. It’s a state of mind, not reality. Maybe you feel tired or uninspired but you don’t have to stay that way. Don’t judge yourself for your thoughts, just accept and change them.
Reframe “I’m stuck” to “I’m looking at the opportunities available to me,” or “new ideas on are their way to me.” Turn “I’m tired” into “I have all the energy I need and I’m going to be productive today.”
I’m going to be really honest with you, if you aren’t willing to change your thinking nothing else I recommend will work either. So if you feel resistant to changing your mindset that’s what you need to work on most. Then you can move forward with the rest of this list.
Learning to change your limiting beliefs can be difficult, this free worksheet can help get you started.
2. Get Outside Your Normal Space
Being in the same physical space too long can make you feel stagnant. Sometimes just having new surroundings can get you feeling energized and refreshed again. Even just sitting outside for a while or taking a walk can stimulate your brain and shift that block.
So go outside and take a walk, go to the park, see a movie, visit a museum, hang out with a friend, try a new restaurant, or go the library.
Just today I was feeling very unmotivated and down. Going outside for a while and playing with my dogs improved my mood so that I could refocus and do some work. Or sometimes I just need to go wander around Target or Home Goods for a while, then I feel energized when I come back home.
3. Put Your Mental Clutter on Paper
Get out a pen and paper and just get out all the thoughts and ideas bouncing around your brain. This can be in the form of journaling or a brain dump. You can write out ideas you have or vent about something that’s been bothering you. Just tune into your mind and get out everything onto paper, and then you can sort it out.
4. Do Something Creative
If you have a creative hobby spend some time working on that. If you aren’t the most creative person (I can relate) buy a coloring book or paint by numbers kit, even if it’s for kids. Learn to write calligraphy with a beginner’s guide. Try a puzzle or crossword. Give your mind a break and just play with colors or build something.
5. Switch Up Your Routine
Look at your current daily routine. Write down your daily activities and see if there are areas that you could change up. Can you try something new? Can you eliminate a task or habit that isn’t really serving you? Do you need to develop some new habits so that you are more productive? Even small changes can make you feel refreshed.
6. Visualize What Your Best Self Would Do
What would the very best version of yourself do to get out of a rut? Or one of the people you look up to? Channel your best self or your hero and take some small steps. You DO NOT have to be that person today! Oprah wasn’t built in a day, her success was an accumulation of small daily acts that compounded into the woman we all know.
7. Perform an Act of Service
Find a person or cause to help. Volunteer at an animal or homeless shelter. Show up at your parents or grandparents home to help them with a chore. Canvas for a grassroots political campaign that you believe in. Offer to mow your elderly neighbor’s lawn. Give your partner a massage. Babysit your sibling’s kids so they can have a date night. Helping other people makes them and you feel good.
8. Declutter Your Home
Physical clutter doesn’t just create exterior issues, it can create mental blocks and make you feel stuck in life. I have seen the results of this so many times. Have you ever finished cleaning, looked at your space, and went “ahhhhh!” It feels good, right?! On the other hand, looking at a chaotic, cluttered space can make you feel mentally drained.
Pick an area to clean (big or small), put on some music, and if you need to set a timer for 10-30 minutes. You can take a trash or donation bin around the house and collect things you want to get rid of, or pick a closet to empty and organize.
9. Talk to Someone
Talk to a friend, family member, or a therapist. Other people can give you a new perspective on yourself or your situation. Sometimes we’re just too in our heads and feelings to see things clearly. An outsider may be able to offer a new point of view, and help us find solutions to our problems. Or maybe all you need is someone to listen and sympathize, sometimes we just need to vent.
If you need professional help I’ve heard Better Help is a good option for online therapy (I am not affiliated).
10. Treat Yo’ Self!
Sometimes you just need to be kind to yourself. This can come in many forms. You can go to the gym, have a spa day/night, get a massage, take a long bath, or put away your to do list and have a day to just chill with netflix or a good book. Take yourself out for ice cream, treat your inner child.
I hope you found this list of things to do when you feel stuck in life helpful! If you feel like you need to go deeper into WHY you feel stuck, read 9 Reason You’re Feeling Stuck.
You may also enjoy How to Overcome Life Challenges.