Burnout Blues: Survive a Rut and Making It Work For You, Too
Warning: this post is somewhat personal but I decided to share ot here.
We have all seen the scenario: life slow down and enters into one of those mild, quiet phases. Nothing is bad, nothing is great, they just teeter on “tolerable”. You find yourself surprisingly dissatisfied, as though waiting for something to happen. Whether it is your job, your marriage, your social life or your personal goals, this seems to be a cycle that comes around every 5 – 7 years for us all. No one is completely sure why, but there is some speculation that it is the way that our brains work.
When it comes, you might feel restless and helpless, unable to do anything that you want to, even though you can see how much progress you have made. Feeling stuck is never a positive, but you can turn it into one. Sometimes, all it takes is a concentrated effort to force yourself into new activities or goals. This can transform a rut into a life altering experience.
My Personal Rut
I had this problem about a year ago. Everything was more or less OK; I had a steady job, my marriage was boring but stable, I had a few friends I spent every other weekend with. There was nothing I could complain about, but there was nothing exciting me, either. This was a dangerous place for me to be, as I have always thrived on activity and energy. Being trapped in a life with none of either was putting me under pressure, and so effecting the way I did my job, the way I acted with my husband, and how close I was to my friends.
I knew I had to do something. Which is exactly what I did, and over the next 12 months I ended up turning my entire life around. I was able to begin taking higher-end clients and bumped my going rate. I started spending every other weekday evening watching something with my husband, which was more time than we had spent together in months. I started taking a community class and made new friends. I even quit smoking after more than eleven years with the habit, lost ten pounds and got my kids on a ore productive schedule.
All it took were a few simple changes in my life, and most of all my outlook. I honestly believe you, too, can benefit from what I learned from my burnout.
1. Realize it is temporary. Yes, it might seem like your life is going nowhere and that will never change. But that isn’t the case, and your rut will be over before you know it.
2. Be productive, even if you don’t want to be. Feel like hanging out on the couch all weekend and watching TV movies like you have the last three weekends? Don’t. Get up and go do something that can benefit you. Fix that loose cupboard in the kitchen. Reorganize the garage. Go through your house and eliminate clutter.
3. Don’t blame anyone but yourself. It can be easy to look at your spouse and say they are doing something to hurt your marriage, or look at your boss and call them a tyrant. But if you are experiencing burnout, it is probably because of you. Don’t blame anyone else.
4. Take control of your day to day. Remember that you are the one who has control over your life. If you are bored with you every day routine, then take charge and change it. Add something new, get rid of something old, switch it up…anything that reminds you that your life is your business, and business is good.
5. Use other people’s stories to get inspired. Reading about how other people have changed their lives to escaoe the routine always works for me. Some great examples include Glen aka ViperChill who earns his living online while traveling around the world. Another awesome example is Kyle, a self made person, who has built a business from scratch and now owns the huge coupon code directory that “generates over 6 million a year in sales”.Kyle also maintains a great frugal blog and here are a couple of posts that have helped me get inspired:
- How To Take a Frugal Family Vacation: Some rest always help to get back in shape.
- Quick Frugal Living Tips For the Weekend: Don’t forget you do have to spend “normal” weekends.
Changing your life is difficult but if others were able to do that, you can too.
A rut doesn’t have to be the end of anything. Instead, it can be a chance to have a new start, try new things, or just look at new horizons. Think of it as your life’s way of telling you that change is necessary for your growth. Once you have that in your head, you can do anything.