When motivation runs thin and you feel yourself settling into a rut, you might feel like there is nowhere to turn and no way to find a fresh start. If you find yourself stalling out, self-care is the name of the game, according to Jessica Bixenmann, a national board-certified health and wellness coach with Sharp Health Plan.
“As parents, spouses or friends, we tend to focus on doing things for others, which can be draining,” says Bixenmann. “Recharge your batteries regularly with something you enjoy.”
Some things that recharge Bixenmann’s batteries include a relaxing bath, meditation and a good movie. “Self-care is the only way to ensure your ability to take care of everyone else,” says Bixenmann.
While we all have our own unique indulgence or escape when a foul mood sets in, Bixenmann suggests these eight tips to get out of a rut.
Get more sleep.
“A good night’s sleep will give you more energy and a clearer mind to try something new,” she says. The key to getting quality rest includes committing to a regular bedtime schedule, avoiding intense workouts a few hours before bedtime and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. By getting enough sleep and finding a comfortable sleeping position, you can wake up invigorated and ready to start the day. If you have the opportunity, a power nap can be just the break you need.
Cross one thing off your list.
Have a daunting to-do list? Break it down. “Smaller and more manageable lists can be great for stress and time management,” suggests Bixenmann. “Crossing something off gives you a boost in confidence. If lists aren’t your thing, think about setting an attainable, specific goal for the day.”
What you decide to put into your body will change your mood, sleeping habits and energy. But don’t add additional stress by trying to completely change your diet; instead just choose to eat healthy-ish. This includes adding some healthy components and portioning out any foods that bring you joy but may not be the best to consume in excess.
“There is nothing like the natural endorphin boost you get from working out,” says Bixenmann. “The better you feel, the easier it is to make a change.” Exercising takes you out of your head and gets your blood circulating. Even a short walk can get you outside and more mindful of your surroundings — a perfect way to clear your mind.
Write a card to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
Don’t know this person’s home address? Send a text or email, pick up the phone or try video chatting. “As humans, we crave connection,” says Bixenmann. “If you are feeling isolated, reach out to a buddy to get connected.”
- Get organized.
Something as simple as organizing one drawer in your kitchen can make you feel ready to take on the world. A clear living space or work space can lead to a clear mind, which allows you to move forward without feeling like there is something in your way — both figuratively and literally.
- Make time for yourself.
Sometimes the pressure we feel is something we have put on ourselves. Does it need to be done right now? Can you take care of it tomorrow? When a rut hits, it’s important to reset. Whether it is splurging on that sushi roll you have been craving for weeks or hopping in the bath with a magazine, take some time to treat yourself.
- Consider a health coach.
If you feel like you need some additional support, you might benefit from a health coach who can help you with managing your weight, stress and eating habits. If you are a member of Sharp Health Plan, enroll in free health coaching to reach your goals.