Are you stuck in a rut and don’t know it?

I’m going to admit it…I have been stuck in a rut for the last few weeks. It’s been tough with everything that has been going – the constant hovering of a perceived lockdown by the French government. My pleasure of changing my “office” and going to a café and sipping a well-crafted coffee. Unable to go to the gym to release whatever pent up frustrations I accumulated during the day.

The above may be “first world problems” in the grand scheme of things, but it doesn’t invalidate the feelings, or that the situations we are finding ourselves in are difficult for some.

This rut I’ve found myself in has left me frustrated, and I realised I got myself into a routine that just seems to be on a never-ending loop. Granted, even during any other time we seem to get stuck in a cycle – wake up, go to work, come home, eat, sleep…repeat.

And yet, sometimes there was a little break in that routine. A cheeky weekend away, or a brunch at a new restaurant around the corner. Maybe the odd party with good company and wine.

Today it’s wake up, roll out of bed, prepare a quick coffee, walk the few steps to sit behind the desk to work, and then the couch for a nap (OK, maybe this part isn’t so bad), back to desk, food, then bed.

Sometimes I go for a walk and look around, but Paris is slightly sombre without its restaurants open. Or its throngs of people making the streets buzz with excitement.

The “rut” checklist

I came across an article on Psychology Today that had a checklist on the 10 signs you are stuck in a rut, and wow, I hadn’t realised I was in one until I found myself ticking things off! 

Here are a few signs:

  • You’d like to get creative but can’t seem to get the juices flowing (check and double-check…there are a few blog articles that have been started and never finished)
  • Even though you’re checking off your to-do list, you still don’t feel like you’re getting much done (check)
  • Your days blur together (check)
  • When you have free time, you’re too tired or unmotivated to do something anything (check)
  • You’d like to do something new, but you’re too tired to actually do it…or you feel you don’t have enough time (check)

Now I’m on a mission to get out of this rut. I’ve been in it for a little too long (I usually allow myself having off days). But HOW? 

Trying to be spontaneous

One of the things the article suggests is to try spontaneous behaviour. So you know what? I’m going to branch out of my usual croissant and try something new at the bakery…spontaneously of course. 

There are so many tasty treats glistening from the window, and I’ve never actually thought of trying something other than a croissant or pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant).

Plus, maybe something I will try to take a walk around Paris but look through it as a tourist again – eyes wide open, and using all five senses again to explore the city that brings in over 30 million tourists each year.

I’ll walk with my head up to take in the sites, instead of head down, headphones in my ear to get from point A to B as quickly as I can. 

I’ll meander around one of my favourite areas in the 18th arrondissement and marvel at the Haussmannian buildings like I used to, its art nouveau architecture typically Parisian. Or perhaps I’ll take a new route to my destination and catch a new garden park to sit and watch people pass by.

It’s a break from the routine…and *maybe* if I go to the bakery and decide to get a croissant in addition to my new pastry, I’ll pretend to taste the all-butter, flakey, pastry with a different perspective too. 

How are you feeling? How are you REALLY feeling? What are your go to tricks and tips to help get yourself out of a rut, whether it’s a creative one or a run-of-the-mill life is the same one?

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