Stuck In A Rut? Here’s How To Dig Yourself Out

Fed up of the whole “new year, new you” mantra? You’re probably not alone. While the turning of a new year is packaged as the perfect time in which to start anew, you might not always have the means to reinvent yourself each January, emotionally or otherwise. Getting stuck in a rut is a more common side effect of modern life than you might have realized and despite the fact that the media is telling us that now is the time in which to start afresh, many of us might simply not feel up to it. When the pressure to change gets too much, the natural response is to run and hide.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Feeling forced into changing your lifestyle can lead you to make any number of bad decisions and along the way, you can end up feeling a whole lot more lost. The trick is not to panic. If you slowly pinpoint areas in your life that could do with an overhaul, you’re more likely to make the kinds of changes that are really going to alter your life for the better. These everyday tweaks can help you to get back on track, making it easier for you to carve out the kind of life that you really envisioned for yourself.

Get Honest With Yourself

Making changes just for the sake of it is only going to end in disappointment. To get to where you really want to be in your life, you’re going to have to have a serious conversation with yourself to get to the root of the problem. While you might feel tempted to alter certain parts of your lifestyle, is doing so really going to make you feel better? Try and get to the heart of the problem and really listen to what’s driving you. Doing so will change your life for the better in more ways than one.

Give Up Your Complaining

Ruts are not forever and viewing them as so is only going to make the situation feel all the worse for you. Complaining about the fact that your life is at a stand still is going to slow down any progression you could be making, stopping you from taking a positive step forwards. Rather than dwelling on your complaints, try taking all of that negative energy and seeing how you might change it into something productive. Changing your perspective can give you a whole new understanding of your surroundings, making it easier for you to know what you need to do to get going once more.

Take Back Your Power

Feeling like the world is using you as its punching bag is never a good thing. When your life fails to move forwards in the ways that you had envisioned, you can feel incredibly powerless, unable to take a step towards finding a positive solution. While you might feel like you’re a passive piece of the puzzle, the power to change your life is entirely in your hands. Instead of trying to tackle everything you want to change at once, try focusing on one element of your life and seeing how you might tweak it for the better. Taking baby steps towards a goal will give you the confidence to take back control once and for all.

Look Forwards

When it comes to getting yourself out of a rut, the key is in the future. Focusing too much either on the present or on the recent past will only leave you feeling powerless and unmotivated to make any real changes. If you want to really stop focusing on past mistakes, you need to keep your eye on the future. Instead of looking what might have gone wrong before, opt to search for solutions to your current situation. The future is something upon which you can really have a positive effect, so make sure you seize it by both hands.

Stop Looking Over Your Shoulder

Try as we might, we can often find it impossible to stop comparing ourselves with those around us. Looking at the progress that other people make can stop your motivation in its tracks, leaving you feeling seriously down in the dumps. People will only show you a fraction of their lives and behind the scenes, you have no idea what their day to day existence could be like. As much as you can, cut your focus on other people and keep your attention fixed on your here and now. Getting out of your rut starts with you alone.

Take Care: 6 Phrases You Need To Stop Saying To Yourself

The way that you take care of yourself can have a huge effect on how you feel everyday. While you might have the best support system, the most successful of careers and the happiest of relationships, it can mean very little if you’re not treating yourself in the right way. When it comes to feeling good in and of yourself, it’s all a question of perspective. While change is not going to come about overnight, you can slowly start to implement alternatives in the way that you think about yourself. Consciously changing your thought patterns can take some work but after a little time and a touch of patience, you can be well on your way to becoming a healthier, happier you.

I’ll Be Happy When

Having something to look forward in life can be a great way of setting yourself goals, motivating yourself for the future and keeping a positive mindset. When you’re so focused on achieving a goal that you forget to appreciate everything else around you, however, things can start to become messy. There are some things that can make it easier to keep on going but if you base your happiness around one single thing, you’re unlikely to be content in what it is you’re doing. You’re never going to get everything you want out of life, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be just as sweet.

Things Could Be Worse

Coming from any sort of privilege is a blessing. You should be thankful for your upbringing and think about how it has enabled you to get where you are today. When things are not going right in your life, however, it can be easy to let this privilege turn into guilt. Telling yourself things could be worse, while technically true, will only serve to invalidate your feelings and make you feel even worse about the whole thing. Don’t take away from your own emotions and your own situation. Have a little perspective, yes, but give yourself the time and care you need in order to mend.

I’m Boring

We’ve all had moments in our life when we feel a whole lot less than sparkling. Feeling dull and uninspiring is something that happens to most people but focusing too much on how you feel about yourself will only serve to worsen the situation. As long as you’re happy with your hobbies and your interests, that’s all that matters. Try as hard as you might, you simply cannot please everyone. Being happy in your own skin will see you through and make it easier to make others who appreciate you for exactly who you are.

I’m Not Doing Well Enough

Personal pressure is a very funny thing. Have too little of it and you can lose your way entirely. Have too much of it and you can feel crippled in your tracks. The trick is to find the magic number, and put just enough on yourself in order to keep yourself motivated. Being proud of how well you’re doing is nothing to be ashamed of and in fact, it can help to nurture a psychology that is a whole lot better rounded. You can sing your achievements without coming off as arrogant, so don’t feel like you can’t be happy with your situation.

Everything Happens For A Reason

Sometimes, things happen that you don’t understand and only months later, you come to realize how you’re in a much better position. Other times, however, things happen and turn your world upside down, leaving little significance in their wake. Both good and bad comes out of change but no situation changes because that’s how it was supposed to be. As hard as it might be, telling yourself that things happen randomly will give you the freedom to let go and stop trying to understand tragedy. Bad things are far too commonplace, no matter how good of a person you are.

I Don’t Have The Time

When things start to pile up on your social and working calendars, it can be easy to step out of your responsibilities for lack of enough time. While it can be harder to say yes to things on a regular basis, you can soon find yourself in a spiral of saying no, using your schedule as an excuse. If you’re living without children and have few other responsibilities, you might have the most amount of time you ever will do. Don’t overload your plate, but try saying yes to things once in awhile; you don’t know how good it might feel.

Travel Further: Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Traveling further can open up your eyes to all sorts of cultures that you never knew existed. Getting beyond the everyday might just help you to see the world anew, find a new purpose, or discover where it is you’re meant to be in your life. Taking that one big trip, however, can be a very big deal and unless you’re born with a self-assured sense of confidence, you might find it hard to really put yourself out there. Getting out of your comfort zone and going further with your next big trip can seem like a very scary prospect but once you finally do it, you can reap all kind of benefits. Getting up the courage to get out there starts from the inside out and as soon as you start to adjust your perspective, you can go further than you ever dreamed.

Pick Up A New Language

Want to feel more assured once you hit the ground? Try picking up the local language. If you’re journeying to a place in which the locals speak a different language from your own, then you might feel concerned about getting around and finding the essentials. While there will always be somebody there who can help you with what you need, learning a new language can help you to feel more at ease and more aware. Knowing that you can cover your back in a crisis is a great sense of relief and simply being able to communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more sweet. If you pick up enough of the foreign language, you can even try forging friendships with people who live abroad. The bigger your circles of friends around the world, the smaller the place will feel.

Venture Out On Your Own

If you really want to experience what’s out there in the world, heading out on a solo trip is a great way to go about it. While traveling alone should be done only after you’ve weighed up all of the pros and cons, doing so can completely transform your trip. When you travel alone, you are forced to put yourself out in the world and communicate with the people around you. With only yourself to rely on, your sense of confidence is likely to shoot through the roof and before long, you will be able to take on anything the world throws your way. Going it alone will be scary at first but before long, you will feel right at home in the world.

Talk To The People Around You

Want to know the best way to really get to know a new place? Talk to the people around you. Whether it’s with locals or other travelers, talking to the people that you meet can introduce you to a whole range of different places you might never have found otherwise. If you’re staying in a hostel, try to get to know the other people that you meet along the way. It’s more than likely that you will meet individuals from all sorts of different cultures, which will give you an insight into another way of life. Traveling can open up your eyes but it is the people you meet who will really surprise you.

Make Up Your Own Mind

Not sure whose advice to listen to when it comes to picking a country? Try going with your heart. While getting to grips with a place before you leave can give you a greater understanding of how it works, don’t take other people’s’ opinions too seriously. A travel review is just that; a review of another person’s experience, dependent upon a whole range of different circumstances. Make sure you’re safe before you travel, of course, but try and leave your judgment at home before you venture off.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Scared

While the whole “do one thing a day that scares you” thing might be a little on the clichéd side, it can be a great way of approaching your trip away. Before you go, try thinking about what it really is that scares you (within reason) and aiming to tackle it head on when you’re away. If you’re unsure about foreign food, make it your mission to try a different local dish every night. If speaking in a new language makes you feel uncomfortable, try to find one local person to speak to at least once a day. Putting yourself out there can feel hard at first but eventually, your fears will melt away into new habits.

No Boys Allowed: Essential Podcasts For The Every Girl

Listening to and learning from great women is something that we all aim to do in our lives. With tell all biographies from the likes of Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler making the publishing rounds, getting to the heart of what makes our favorite women tick has become easier than ever. In a few hundred pages, we can get up close and personal with the things that helped them to become who they are and by revealing their innermost thoughts they show us that they, too, experience all of the same insecurities as the rest of us.

Inspiring women are not just writing about their lives, either, and thanks to the rise of the podcast, it is easier than ever for us to understand some of the most successful in the world. While a medium spanning every topic imaginable, the podcast has taken off in a big way for women’s listening and now, there are a number of shows which are simply unmissable. If you’re new to the world of podcasts, never fear; follow this listening guide and rest back in the sweet knowledge that everything you hear will be hilarious, heart-warming and just a little bit honest.

Slumber Party With Alie & Georgia

Let’s get to the heart of the really good stuff. Since taking off in 2009, this two-women podcast has taken off in a really big way and now, it has given way to its own cult following of eager listeners. Recorded in California, the podcast does exactly what it says on the tin, with the two hosts discussing crushes, education, breakups and everything in between, usually with a special guest. The episodes are always hilarious and touching in equal measures, and will change the way that you listen to the radio. If you can’t get enough of the duo, you can also follow their exploits on the Cooking Channel, where they just got their own show.

Throwing Shade

If you’re looking for something with more of a political edge, however, you will turn your attention to Throwing Shade. A feminist podcast, it focuses on all things LGBT and female related, discussing current news and events around the world. If you’re worried that the issues discussed sound a little too specialist, don’t be; the hosts both contribute to Funny Or Die and always spin their issues with an incredibly entertaining edge. As each episode is topical, you can start the series wherever you like, meaning there’s no better time in which to start than now.

I Seem Fun: The Diary Of Jen Kirkman

Recorded from the bed of host Jen Kirkman, this podcast is as intimate as they come and feels like you’re having a chat with a friend in your pajamas. Spanning topics as diverse as acts against feminism and extreme iTunes reviews, the podcast jumps from one theme to the next, just as you might in conversation. Jen herself is funny and cynical in equal parts, making listening to the podcast a real joy.

Girl On Guy

Taking a popular theme and spinning it on its head, Girl On Guy sees host Aisha Tyler interviewing a different creative each week, who is usually a guy. Parodying the popular “comic interviews an artist” format, Girl On Guy presents the phenomena in a different light, with Aisha lightly poking fun at the genre of podcast. While the episodes do go into the creative industry, they do so in a conversational style, making listening along feel like you’re talking to your friends.

Ronna & Beverly

It’s not just about non-fictional podcasts, however, and across the board, there are a great number of series which use fictional characters as their backbone. Ronna & Beverly follows exactly this format, detailing the lives of the two eponymous Jewish mothers. While they often bring in celebrity guests for interviews, they also run through their elaborate 40 year history that forms the basis of who they are and what they think. If you grew up missing the Jewish mother you never had, this is the podcast for you.

Whatever the genre or topic, there are a great deal of podcasts out there to meet any kind of listening style. Getting advice through the lives, thoughts and careers of these women, you can take a little inspiration along with you wherever you go. All that’s left to do is subscribe, load up your phone and go along for the podcast ride.

How To Step Into The New Year As The Real You

New year, new you. At least, that’s what we’re told at the start of another calendar year. While positive mantras might encourage us to overcome our insecurities and fight to be the very best version of ourselves that we can possibly be, actually going through with it can be a very tricky thing indeed. Shedding the expectations that other people place on you is something that even the most confident people struggle with and if, this new year, you want to feel  a little more comfortable in your own skin, you’re going to have to get a little savvy about it.

Inspirational posters are all well and good but if you want to go ahead with verve and confidence, you will need to take a few active measures in order to achieve it. Starting with a few simple adjustments could be all it takes, however, and pretty soon, you might notice a real change in the way you carry yourself.

Be Aware Of Who You Are

It might sound like an incredibly simple thing to do, but actually recognizing who you are as a person is a very tricky thing to do. When we are around others, we tend to mimic parts of their behavioural style in order to fit in with their world view. While this is a normal part of socializing, doing it too often can be detrimental to your confidence and sense of self. Although you don’t have to be the most confrontational person in the world in order to get your voice heard, it is ok to disagree with the people around you when you really can’t see eye to eye. Understanding how you react with those around you is a great way of understanding how you function as a person. If there are any things you don’t like about how you interact with those around you, think about why that is and how you can go about changing them. You shouldn’t have to go against your beliefs to fit in with the people around you.

Understand Where You Get Value From

Determining where value stems from in your life is one of the most simple ways to understand how you see and appreciate yourself. If the people in your life that you value don’t seem to reciprocate your feelings, it’s worth asking why you have kept them around for so long. Often, we hold on to bad relationships or friendships because we lack the confidence and self-worth to cut people like this out of our lives. Ultimately, the person you should value the most in your life should be yourself and those that you spend time with should merely compliment this fact. If you are having to change things about yourself to fit in, it might be because you don’t value yourself enough to wave goodbye to bad relationships. Cutting ties doesn’t have to be a bad thing and the sooner you do it, the closer you might be to finding people who value you back.

Find Things You Believe About Yourself

While we might all have a long list of things we feel about ourselves, we rarely focus on the things that we believe about ourselves, and that are unquestionably true. Instead of thinking that you’re not good enough, or that you don’t have enough confidence, try focusing on the things that you know you can do. If you’re a really great cook, focus on this part of your life. If, on the other hand, you’re a great sibling, or friend, look into why this is so, and how you act differently in this area of your life. Taking influence from areas of your life that make you feel happy and confident is a great way to transfer these behaviours to other parts of your life that you want to improve.

Seek Others Like You

While we might believe that we have many like-minded people in our lives, it’s not always so easy to find people who are emotionally compatible, especially when it comes to relationships. Finding traits in potential partners that don’t really exist is something that many people do when they try to form attachments, leading to problems further down the line. When you’re getting to know someone, try and be as objective as you possibly can be, and take all of the information they’re giving you in. Our brains often have the tendency to overlook negative signals in favor of positive ones, giving us a skewed perspective of the people that we let into our lives.

The relationships that we have in life with others can shape the person that we turn out to be but essentially, the most important relationship is the one that we have with ourselves, as we will always be in our own lives. This new year, let yourself be your greatest love; your future relationships will thank you for it.

Reasons To Be Thankful: How To Love Yourself Courtesy Of Your Favorite Women

Work, family, friends, health, travel: Being successful in your life means filling up every moment of your time with activities yet, with so many things drawing on your emotional resources, it can be hard to remember to pay it all back to yourself. When loving yourself is the last thing on your list of priorities, you know that it’s time to take a long, hard look in the mirror and readjust your perspective. Really struggling to be thankful for what you already have? Don’t sweat it; your favorite women are here to back you up.

Emma Stone

Flying the flag for strong women everywhere, Emma Stone has parted with some pretty killer advice over the last few years. Her most lasting statement? Stay true to who you are. Speaking about the importance of listening to your yourself, she said “don’t be afraid, even though people might say that what you’re doing isn’t cool or isn’t right. I promise you, you will not regret it if you stay true to who you are and what you love to do”. Listen to your heart, and drown out everything else.

Amy Poehler

As well as being one of the funniest women in any room, Amy Poehler also has a ton of essential advice to impart. In her bestselling book, Yes Please, she shared the importance of sticking up for yourself, no matter what: “Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works”. You’re not perfect, and you’re not always going to get things right but when you’re being wrongfully put down, you need to defend ourselves as you would someone that you love dearly. After all, you’re always going to be in your life; it pays to get along with yourself.

Anna Kendrick

Sometimes, it’s the simplest and most obvious advice that can help you to see things in a more positive light. Comparing yourself to the eerily perfect bodies of the models and celebrities you see in magazines can be one of the most detrimental things that you can do to your sense of self-worth. If you’re feeling down about the way you look, there is one piece of advice that you really need, courtesy of Anna Kendrick. “Girl, don’t worry. Everything is photoshopped”.

Taylor Swift

Not in a relationship? Who cares! The single most important relationship that you will have in your life is the one that you have with yourself. Begrudging those who share their experiences with a partner is something that you might have done in at least once before but in fact, life is about so much more than romantic attachment . Need a little more convincing? In the words of Taylor Swift: “Life can be beautiful and spontaneous and surprising and romantic and magical, without you having some love affair happening”. Love life, love yourself; anything else is a bonus.

Jenny Slate

Life isn’t all plain sailing, though, and from time to time, you will go through moments which will really test your strength. In times of crisis, it is important that you give yourself the space and time to work through your emotions, and let yourself feel whatever is happening to you. When comedian Jenny Slate was let go from Saturday Night Live, she said “when I was fired, I ordered 50 million pizzas and invited all of my friends over. It’s important to let yourself go through all of the emotions”. Feeling pain is not a sign of weakness and if something has rocked you, let yourself feel it fully. If it’s taking over your life, though, it could be time to readjust your world view: “if you start seeing yourself as a victim, rather than as all of the other amazing things you could be, it’s time to snap out of it”. Listen to your emotions, grieve your loss and pick yourself back up again. You can always bounce back.

At this time of year, it’s easy to let family commitments and seasonal pressures to overwhelm your life and make you forget to take a little time out to focus on keeping yourself in check. Remembering to be kind to yourself, to take things slowly and to listen to your heart might be the key to really following the path that you want in life. Only you can truly affect how you feel and what you do; it’s time to start listening to yourself (and maybe these women, too).

Sign-up For Free