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10 Ways to Get Unstuck

Friday, January 29, 2021



The past year has taken a toll on all of us in one way or another. Moms have taken on everything from juggling working remotely with navigating virtual learning, to worrying about our families’ mental and physical wellbeing, and so much more.


It’s exhausting. And even though moms are incredible, we’re still human and at some point each of us has likely found ourselves feeling… stuck. 


If you’ve felt that way lately – I know I have! – here are ten things to try to get unstuck:


Put it on paper


Call it journaling, call it a brain dump, call it making a list; whatever you call it, getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is extremely cathartic and absolutely necessary for clearing your mind. The beauty of this exercise is that it doesn’t need to look pretty; it can be scribbled or drawn. But here’s the catch: no matter how you do it, it should be on actual paper. The physical act of scrawling out your thoughts is just as therapeutic as the mental act of emptying your mind of them.


Take a (tech free) walk


Early this summer, I began channeling the anxiety I was feeling into moving my legs and taking a daily walk. Though I brought my phone along with me, I tried not to look at it, instead paying as much attention to my surroundings as possible. On these walks I noticed blooming trees, inspirational sidewalk chalk messages, rainbows hung in windows meant to encourage neighbors. I smiled and said hello to those I walked by, and the connection—though brief—made so much difference in my mood. 


Phone a friend


Girlfriends are our lifelines. During these difficult times, let’s not forget the power a chat and a belly laugh with those who know us best can have. Just when connecting with others seems hardest, is when it’s most important. Make the effort to ask a friend when she’d be free for a catch-up call (my girlfriends and I refer to them “phone dates”), and notice how your mind and heart are eased when you hang up the phone.


Prioritize getting dressed


There have been more times than I’d like to admit during this ordeal when I’ve woken up and gone the whole day without changing, only to fall asleep in the same pajamas that evening (tell me I’m not the only one!). Trust me when I say: it has never helped my spirits. No matter how busy, crazed, or rushed through the day we may be, prioritizing getting dressed and ready for the day – even if it’s just brushing our teeth and throwing our hair into a ponytail – is crucial. 


Make plans for the future


I’m convinced that, as human beings, we need things to look forward to. Our spirits thrive when we know that something happy, hopeful, fun, or restful is in store for us. Especially during these times, when so much has been cancelled and we feel like we’ve really missed out on a lot, it’s so restorative to sit down and plan something for the future whether it be a trip, a visit with faraway family, or a big goal and how we are going to meet it. 


Repeat a mantra


I know you’ve already heard about mantras and their benefits, but if you’re anything like me, you might not have known what a mantra should even sound like. Here’s the good news: it can sound like anything, as long as it empowers you, sooths you, or otherwise helps you get through the hard stuff. My two favorites are “I can do hard things” and “this too shall pass.”


Consume uplifting media


Media – from social media to the news – is an inevitable part of our lives in 2020, and it’s safe to say there has been a ton of media to consume this year that has been hard, sad, scary, divisive, and stressful. Try taking some time away from the types of media that make you feel down. I like to turn up my most upbeat songs and read the stories of people who inspire me. The types of media we consume day after day become the lenses through which we see the world, and inevitably effect how we feel.


Turn your sights toward others


Nothing helps me get out of my own head like making an effort to help others. With so many needs out there, it can become easy to get overwhelmed by the thought of lending a hand. Don’t underestimate the power of small gestures: helping somebody reach something on the supermarket shelf, or giving someone an eye-crinkled masked smile can be extraordinarily powerful. I call this “planting seeds.” Bonus: a healthy dose of perspective never hurt any of us!


Focus on small moments of joy


We’ve lost a lot this year, and those losses can sometimes overshadow what we still have. One way to reclaim happiness is to practice noticing small moments of joy. Think: the way the creamer swirls into your black coffee in the morning; the way your daughter’s hair smells like shampoo; the coziness of your favorite blanket wrapped around you. Though these aren’t grand moments, they add up.


Remember gratitude


It’s easy to be grateful when life is easy, fun, and happy and everything is going as we think it should. Gratitude, though, is a buoy available for us to grab onto when the waters get deep and dark. So long as we’re holding onto gratitude, we keep sight of hope on the horizon.


Of course, there are times when we will need more than just “mood lifters” and we should never feel ashamed to ask for as much help as we need – whether from our family or a professional. But if you’re simply feeling stuck or having an off day (or week), I hope you’ll remember a few of these tried-and-true tactics.


What do you do to help yourself out of a rut?

2 comments:

  1. Yes to getting ready for the day. Even if it is something small like teeth brushing and regular clothes. It has been so important for mental health. Yes to phone calls with girlfriends. I need to do that more. I also love walks without technology. Though it has been snowy lately. These are all good. That is also why I love blogging...it is a journal of life for me.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Writing and journaling is such a good outlet, and one that is often overlooked I think. Glad I'm not alone. ;) xo

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