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Breaking Out of the Rut

Ahh, freedom! Freedom can come in many forms like busting out of isolation, breaking free of restrictions or escaping the boredom trap. It’s the latter I’ll address in this blog.

There are times when all of us feel like we’re stuck in neutral, we’re blocked, we’re trapped in a routine that is making us numb. We don’t want to be there, but we feel compelled by our “to do” list or some self-inflicted deadline we must obey. Meanwhile, it isn’t urgency we feel, it’s a plodding sensation that makes whatever we are doing that day drudgery. In fact, on a day like that, you don’t want to do anything at all. It doesn’t matter if you have a mountain of work staring you in the face. Even though you are supposed to be busy, you’re bored with it all.

That’s when the perfect remedy is to jump up and do the unexpected! Yes, make a break for it.

This is no time for guilt. This is no time for overthinking the situation and this is no time for trying to figure out whether coffee, iced tea or some other caffeinated drink will help energize you. Trust me, nothing will work except something using drastic measures.

If you’re at the office, you must leave your desk to shift gears. Take a 10 or 15-minute break, right this minute. Walk around the block. Go sit on the first available outside bench and focus on life. People watch, car watch or nature watch! Go for a brisk walk to start the blood flowing, or just sit outside make a couple personal calls. Call an old friend, you haven’t talked to in “forever” and just tell them you were thinking of them. Or call someone else who might need perking up! Quite often if you give to someone else what you need yourself, you’ll notice you feel better.

If you’re at home and have computer burn-out, push back from your keyboard, stand up and physically remove yourself from the environment. Most of us in that situation have a little flexibility—so this is the perfect time to jump in the car, turn on your favorite music and go for a drive. A nearby Dairy Queen sounds like a great first stop but so does a short nature drive (desert or nearby mountains), a ride through a new home subdivision—just to see something different, or even better, stop and walk through the model homes! Here’s another idea, make a quick trip to a local shopping mall or groups of stores that sound appealing—and shop. You don’t need to buy but you do need to explore, just for the fun of it. You could be shocked at what you find.

If your situation is still different from those and you’re at home with nothing to do except cleaning, laundry, ironing or some other household serfdom that doesn’t capture your heart, reread and repeat the paragraph above or add a twist to your mind-numbing ritual. Turn your TV on to the channels with all the music. Find something loud and fun. Oldies from your favorite period, heavy metal or good old-fashioned rock and roll, classic country or something you can crank up and sing along to—just to break the boredom. If you have more than one television in your house, put them all on the same music channel so your house has surround sound! Now, no matter where you go to execute your routine, you’ll be uplifted and feel like singing or dancing!

There’s another option for the housewife or retired woman who is stuck at home with another boring day ahead of her. Bake or cook something spontaneously! No excuse here since we all have a box of brownies or cornbread in the pantry and even if we aren’t accomplished cooks, anybody can do that! Or make something you loved as a kid—toast with your Mom’s cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of all the butter you smear on. Maybe, a peanut butter/jelly sandwich (a half, please—calories, ladies!) or thaw some frozen fruit and have it on cereal or ice cream, just for something different. Amazing what a dose of sugar will do for the soul.

And, if you just need a good laugh – search your files and find a funny meme you’ve been saving to post “someday” and do it. Your Facebook, Instagram or your social media weapon of choice friends will respond, I’m sure!

Today is not a day for boredom. Today is a day for adventure. It’s your day and it’s one that is filled with all sorts of potential and glorious surprises—if you can just break free!

I promise you, when you return to whatever you left, life will look a whole lot better, and your attitude will make an immediate about face!

Remember—to totally change your mood, either do something nice for someone else or do something nice for yourself!

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