Feeling Stuck? Here's How To Cope
We all go through stages of highs and lows throughout our lives. Sometimes we feel like we can accomplish anything and that we’re well on our way to conquering the world. Other times, we feel stuck, like we don’t really know what we’re doing or where we’re going. Navigating these times in which we feel lost isn’t always easy but with some key tips we can effectively move forward and upward.
1. Acknowledge How You’re Feeling
If you’re feeling lost, acknowledge it. We live in a culture where we have to outwardly always appear to “have it together.” Everyone is busy at the their full-time job or school, doing lots of interesting extracurricular activities, on some new power diet, working out 5-7 times a week, and so on. If you’re feeling a little like you don’t “have it together,” that is totally fine! As they say, “It’s okay to not be okay.”
Rather than trying to push that feeling away or ignore it, try to acknowledge what you are feeling in a non-judgmental way. Maybe you’re feeling unmotivated, lost, tired, or a little apathetic.
Identify what you’re feeling and also understand that it’s okay to be going through a time where you feel a little lost. This way, you can pinpoint what is going on and find a way forward.
Whatever it is and why, know that phases like this are a part of the natural lows and highs of life.
2. Coming Back To Basics
When feeling lost, one of the best ways to ground yourself is to come back to basics. What are the core areas that comprise your life? These might include your health, job or school, family and friends, hobbies, or building healthy habits. Prioritize your top fundamentals and for the time being, let it be enough to focus your energy on these areas. Do your best in the areas that matter most---quality not quantity. If that means shuffling your schedule or taking a break from some fringe activities that are not truly adding value, make an empowered decision so that you can focus on what really matters.
3. Focusing On Our Long-Term Goals
Remember the why behind everything you do. Paulo Coelho reminds us that in the journey towards our long-term goals there will be good days and hard days, and we must charge forward regardless: “If you only walk on sunny days you’ll never reach your destination.” Really reconnect to how what you’re doing now is paving the way for the life you want to be living in the future. Visualize who you look like in five years and inspire yourself to action in the present moment.
4. Enjoying The Little Things
Sometimes when we’re lost, everything can feel mediocre; we feel like nothing excites us and we’re just trying to get through the day. It’s during times like these that the little things can provide a spark of joy in our lives. For some of us, it’s the perfect cup of coffee after lunch that helps us power through the rest of the afternoon at work. For others, it may be taking a bubble bath after a long week. Don’t take these little things for granted, because ultimately our lives are the sum of all of these little moments. If we can take the time and awareness to appreciate each of these small moments, we can feel more exhilarated.
5. Be grateful, be grateful, be grateful
Enjoying the little things goes hand-in-hand with cultivating gratitude. We can experience the full glory of small moments when we have a thankful heart that is open to all experiences. When you’re feeling down, focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t can help you energize in the present moment (glass-half-full mentality). What are the experiences and people for whom you are thankful? As you think about these, let the warmth you feel radiate throughout your body and help you power through your day.
How do you deal when you're stuck in a rut? Let us know in the comments below how you stay exhilarated.