We’ve all been there: everything seems fine, but you find yourself going through the motions of your self-care routines. The things you used to do to feel grounded, safe, and happy no longer seem to cut it. Maybe you have entirely lost interest in self-care? Perhaps you’re just bored with what used to make your heart sing? If this sounds like your life right now, then you might just be stuck in a good old fashioned self-care rut. Let’s explore what you can do and what it all means.
Go see your therapist
First and foremost, this is the time to determine whether you’re dealing with a depressive episode or not. We pay our therapist the big bucks to help us suss out all the nonsense and noise, so that we can get down to the business of being well. Your therapist is the perfect sounding board to find out if what you’re feeling is depression or if you’re in need of a serious shake-up. Depending on your comfort level, state of your insurance, or other factors you might not have a therapist, which is not uncommon. If this is the case, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Textline are excellent alternatives. They’re confidential, comforting, and staffed by professionals in mental health who can help you to get back on track.
It’s time to abandon your comfort zone
Once you’ve determined what you’re feeling is indeed the discomfort of being stuck in a rut, rather than depression, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs! Plateaus in life are normal, but we can’t live and thrive in that space. When your self-care tactics are starting to feel like a chore or boring, it’s time to stretch some unused muscles. Hop onto YouTube and look up videos on how to DIY a project that you normally wouldn’t try. Read a book you’ve been putting off, or take a class that could be challenging. Reach out to a new group of people you admire or want to get to know, but have feared their (unlikely) rejection. Doing things that make us quake in our boots, but aren’t truly dangerous, can be just the remedy. You might discover a side of yourself you never knew needed nurturing.
This is your chance to rediscover what makes you feel great
Sometimes being stuck in a rut can be a blessing in disguise! If we didn’t start to feel dissatisfaction in life we would never force ourselves out of the box. You might never let go of what works without the push of boredom. When a routine no longer works, its not your fault – you’ve just outgrown what used to fit. Take this as the opportunity to grow that it is! If you’ve been afraid to abandon your self-care routine, now is the perfect time to figure out what you need. A return to the basics could be what your body is calling for. Pair down what you were doing, then look at what your mind is calling for. You might find what you needed wasn’t out of reach after all.
At its root, self-care is the opportunity to nurture yourself into the person you want to be, while simultaneously declaring love for yourself as you are. You simply can’t live a happy life without it, so don’t give up when you find yourself in a rut. The next great way to show yourself some love could be just around the corner.