We've all been there. We're in the trenches, moving along but really, just blah. Days feel like a cycle where you're not moving forward, just moving to the next day. You're officially in a rut.
I've been there. Things aren't necessarily terrible, yet many days are "eh."
I've even felt this way with my career. I love what I do so I hate that nagging feeling. While being a business owner might comes with perks, I'm also the one who handles the billing, the HR, the paperwork, the good, and the crappy.
I had no major game plan to re-invigorate or re-inspire myself but I got lucky: I had the opportunity recently to speak to high school students part of a leadership program who are creating a service, product or business and then pitch it Shark Tank-style to investors. I chatted about my background along with PR, marketing, social media, blogging, all that good stuff. Long story short -- I had the most unexpectedly amazing time. They asked a million questions, were engaged and were interested in what this old timer had to say. I walked away invigorated.
So how can you get yourself out of a professional or personal rut?
STOP & THINK. Before you can do anything, take stock in your life, where you are, where you're heading and where you want to be. I did this recently and it was infinitely valuable (assuming you're 100 percent honest with yourself). You can't expect change from doing the same thing over and over, and you can't expect mega change or inspiration without taking a moment to set goals and imagine where you want to be. Where do you want to be in a year? In five years?
Get out of your comfort zone and make an effort to go to at least one new event, workshop or session about whatever you're passionate about. One dynamic event can change the way you're thinking. Push yourself even if you're having a really draining day. This could be for your professional path or perhaps you've always dreamed of being an artist (or bad-ass rapper!)... the best part is that you'll connect with others with the same passions, which is always invigorating.
Get outside. Assuming it's not 10 degrees where you are, take a step outside, put your phone down, breathe, and simply try to keep stress and your brain at bay for a few minutes. Look up and around, and soak in your surroundings. It's immensely helpful to get outside even for a few minutes.
Take time for you. Splurge on a few magazines -- whether it's Redbook or Fast Company -- take a pilates class, get a massage, go for a walk, or a girls' night, whatever is done selfishly for you. Even a 30 minute break is critical to recharge your mind and body.
Give yourself a break. Promise that everyone's lives are not as perfect as they pretend they are on Facebook. Give yourself freedom to know that you don't have to have all your stuff together, that we are all working on our lives one day at a time. I have days when my kids are screaming, my house is a disaster, laundry is everywhere, something goes wrong at work, and I want to hide under my covers. Other days, I have it all together and can conquer the world. #balance.
Getting out of a rut and getting inspired may happen like a light bulb going off, and it might happen over time. Either way, recognizing that you can bring more joy to your life is the first step to finding a happier self.