FRESH FOCUS Bringing one small new thing, such as learning a new skill or starting a new hobby, into your week can lessen the feeling of being stuck in a rut, and increase feelings of hopefulness.
We are all familiar with the phrase ‘stuck in a rut’. It brings to mind the image of someone doing the same old thing day after day, with nothing new or exciting to shake things up a bit. It is so easy to get caught up in this type of cycle. We are creatures of habit and we tend to do the same types of things day in and day out.
This can be good, as without some structure and routine, life can feel chaotic and exhausting. But too much can be damaging; feeling stuck in a rut can lead to negative thinking and feelings of depression, which in turn can keep us stuck for longer.
Signs that you could be stuck in a rut include feeling tired, drained, lacking in energy for things you usually enjoy, lack of joy or enthusiasm, everything feeling like a constant struggle, feeling like nothing’s moving forward despite all the effort you put in, going through the motions just to get through the day, feeling trapped, feeling hopeless, some anxiety or depression and less confidence in yourself and your abilities than before.
If the above describes you, it is time to introduce something new into your life. If you want your situation to change, you will need to do something different.
You have to get out there, take a risk and do something. Nothing drastic. Small actions are the way to go. You don’t need to give up a job, end a relationship or move across the world right now. Just let yourself get used to the idea that you want something to change and open up your inner radar to new ideas.
Give yourself a period of time to gather information. Use this time to see what’s available in your local area. Examine the possibilities in front of you to see what feels interesting or exciting. Now is a perfect time with lots of new things starting up again for the autumn/winter period.
Commit to taking small action steps. When you commit to action, your intuition can begin to guide you. It puts options, possibility and hope in your path. I recommend trying out a new class, course, group or idea. Bringing one small new thing into your week can decrease the feeling of being stuck in a rut and increase feelings of hopefulness.
Most of us are capable of doing many things we haven’t tried before. As long as it’s not too risky, it doesn’t hurt to give something new a try. Whatever you decide to do, it doesn’t have to have any aim, it just has to be something you want to do.
Looking for somewhere to start? Why not check out some of these local information hubs? Westport Family Resource Centre, www.westportfrc.ie/clubs--groups; the Organisations section on the Ballyhaunis Life website (www.ballyhaunislife.net); The Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, www.thelinenhall.com; the Programmes section on the South West Mayo Development Company website, www.southmayo.com; The Family Centre on Chapel Street, Castlebar www.thefamilycentre.com; and the Community Groups section of www.castlebar.ie/Community_Groups.
Don’t forget to check out your local newspaper, newsletters and notice boards for more ideas. Good luck.
> Jannah Walshe is a counsellor and psychotherapist based in Castlebar and Westport. A fully accredited member of The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, she can be contacted via www.jannahwalshe.ie, or at firstname.lastname@example.org or 085 1372528.