Question #4: Getting out of “ruts”

We all go through the inevitable ruts–they could be for day, a week, emotional-based, physical-based, etc. What are your strategies, besides the external motivating factors of kids, job, urgency, and even the actual GOALS you have, that get you out of “ruts”?


  1. Sherin Pierce says:

    Getting out of ruts, let me count the ways. Whether it is an emotional or a physical rut, the one thing I never ever give up is my exercise schedule that consists of my walks, jumping rope, doing yoga and attending dance classes. The lift they give me helps me feel more energized and more able to deal with where I am at ay moment in time. When my husband died suddenly almost 4 years ago, I quickly realized that if I did not get myself out there walking again I would never do it, you see that was our thing we walked everyday and used the time to talk about everything. Great marriage therapy, I highly recommend it! I walked with my friends, attended classes with my friends and that got me back into my exercise rhythm whilst enjoying their company. I try to identify whether it is a time of day or a particular place that is making me fall into a rut, Saturday afternoons for me were awful, I learned to find things to do and not be home alone where I would be engulfed with grief.

    So as personal as this entry is I share it with you to know that whatever the rut, there is a way to climb out, be with friends, exercise your mind and you body, rejuvenate your body and your spirit, perhaps with a relaxing massage, go to plays and the movies, try the opera it is something different. And love your family they are your greatest treasure and legacy. Throw yourself into your dance classes or whatever turns you on, learn to laugh and appreciate what you have now instead of only dwelling on what you have lost, if you allow the loss to dictate the rest of your life you fall into a rut of misery hurting yourself. Get the help you need and appreciate what you have today, you have freed yourself, there is so much to look forward to , different yes, but a life to be enjoyed.

  2. Shelly Mars
    shelly mars says:

    I kind of like “ruts”-we all need routines or structure to maintain our daily lives.
    However, we all need change in our lives to grow and to be more productive.

    I guess there can be good “ruts” and bad “ruts”!! If I am in a “bad rut” I take small
    steps weekly to make a change. For example, I recently hired a personal trainer to
    help me mix things up at the gym ( I was doing the same routine every time). I have always
    been a “gym rat” but I was really bored with the weight training part. I knew I needed to
    incorporate weight training back into my gym routine , but I just could not do it on my own.
    So I hired a personal trainer for 16 weeks, seeing him 2 times per week. This not only got me
    back to weight training and strengthening my core, but I now have a new friend. I guess it’s always
    good to change things up-what do you have to lose?

  3. Cathy Utzschneider
    cathy utzschneider says:

    This question reminds me of a time when I was in a rut. I felt bored, as if I was going nowhere in a hurry, frustrated, restless. I declared myself “stuck”. So I started writing. Bought a little journal (4 X 5 inches) at CVS and disciplined myself to write an entry every day — even if just a few lines — about what I might want to do next.

    A clear idea emerged about two weeks of this exercise. I wanted to teach a course on Transitions — to deal with the exact issues flooding my mind.

    I began teaching the course at Boston College about six months later.

  4. Alison Foley says:

    Ruts……….argh….we all get into them. I hve a two-week remedy that typically works for me. I will go on a 2-week organic kick and only eat organic foods and just water. I couple this with getting to heated YOGA 4-5 times each week. I also get more aware of how many hours I am sleeping and try to get at least 7 each night. I swear, I feel like a new woman at the end of these 2 weeks. My mind feels sharper, I feel completely re-energized, and just all and all a healthier human being. Suddenly, I feel I can tackle bigger projects, see the glass half full and ready to turn things around. Try it out!!

  5. Linda Ruth
    Linda Ruth says:

    Something I’ve discovered that is actually a little counter-intuitive is that sometimes it’s best to give in to a rut for a little while. When I first fall into one sometimes I flail around to climb out but the rut ALWAYS resolves itself as a new challenge, new interest, new fresh idea blows in. So it seems to me that just going with it for a bit allows the next step to start gathering itself.

    The other really major strategy is I find that there is nothing more powerful to rut-busting than brainstorming with other people. Talk to them about the challenges you currently face or the lapse in productivity that is currently happening and they will often say just the exact right thing that moves you from that plateau up to the next level.

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