Climbing Out of a Rut

From time to time I find myself getting sucked into a rut of lethargy and general funkiness. These are the days when I am most likely to stand infront of the open refrigerator and try to cure my ill ease with a snack, or three. During these times my to-do list feels weightier and my self talk takes a negative turn. Maybe this sounds familiar to you. Unfortunately I happen to find myself in one of these ruts right now.

The hardest part about being in a funk is identifying it. Wallowing can get comfortable very quickly making constructive thinking difficult. It can take a few days or even weeks to identify a rut. Currently I am experiencing a few key symptoms:

  • I am running out of unwatched shows in my television queue.
  • I am about to tape my mouth shut to keep from eating every sweet or carbohydrate laden food in the house. 
  • I am inventing tasks to make me feel productive that prevent me from working on my to-do list.
  • I am watching deadlines approach without taking action to finish the work they require.
  • I have memorized my Pinterest Feed, thus increasing my cravings for “bad” foods.

Now that I have identified my funk I need to take some action to get up and out of it.  I don’t expect to be restored to my normal motivated self for a few more days but here is my plan of action.

  • Declare the problem. “I am in a funk and it is my job to get out of it.”
  • Get moving. I can continue watching t.v. but an hour of it must take place at a brisk pace on the treadmill. Watching t.v. on the treadmill also keeps me occupied through the worst of my cravings.
  • Hydrate. It is common for our bodies to mistake thirst for hunger. When this happens we go after unhealthy snacks when we should just grab a glass (or two) of water.
  • Be extra aware of my diet. Cravings may also mean I am not eating a balanced menu. I am taking extra care to put additional fruits and veggies on my plate at all meals and snacks. I planned a menu for the week so I spend less time thinking about food.
  • Pick one task on the to-do list and focus until it is complete. The longer I avoid my tasks the bigger and more insurmountable they feel. Completing even the smallest bullet item on my list helps me rebuild momentum and gets me back on track.

Finally, I am really enjoying the weather. Playful snow flurries all day yesterday and glorious sunshine today. It is always easier to get back on track when the sky is a cheerful shade of blue.

How do you help yourself get out of a funk, rut, or period of malaise?


  1. Exercise normally works for me. The treadmill is where I do most of it during the winter but if I can, and the roads are free of ice, I try to get outside for my walks. Nothing beats that sunshine! Even if it’s 20 degrees outside.

  2. I tend to get in ruts too. Love your suggestions for pulling yourself out of a rut. Proble is it’s so hard to find the motivation to do anything during those times. Hate when making even simple decisions seem like monumental tasks.

  3. Any sore of a good sweat session.. especially yoga and even though I hate it, cardio (especially boxing)! Other than that, getting out of my element.. going to a park or museum, someplace that force me to appreciate beauty.

    I will say we’re opposite in Texas.. I love a good rainy day!

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