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How to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut

How to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut

Top: c/o Topshop also comes in red! Available at Nordstrom, too! // High-waisted Mom shorts: c/o Topshop –also available at Nordstrom – The distressed version is super cute too!  // Bag: Madewell Transport Tote – there are so many colors and variations! This is one of my favorite bags ever! Plus, the version with the stripe is on sale and so cute // Mules: B.P.these are similar in beige and I’ve also have been eyeing these that are on sale (do I get them?! SOS!) How cute are these Topshop Gucci horsebit lookalikes, too!?// Lipstick: M.A.C. Relentlessly Red 
The other day I sat down to do some brainstorming on what to write about over the next several weeks (disclaimer, I’m trying to pre-load a LOT of content because I’ve got quite a bit of travel coming up and then it’s WEDDING TIME!) and my favorite thing to do in times like these is to turn to you guys for ideas on what topics you’d like to hear about!

I got a lot of responses that were all over the board, but many had a similar theme–more advice posts! Elaborating on certain topics, experiences, and what helped me along the way.

One of those topics: how to get out of a rut!

Whether it’s a big, life-altering rut or a tiny little one that just makes you feel “blah”–ruts are a place we often finds ourselves in! I’ve been in QUITE a few myself. Like anyone, some have felt like attempting to jump the Grand Canyon, but mostly, they’re more like puddles. Regardless of how large they are, a few things that always help me:

How to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut

Jess Keys How to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut

Identify the root of the issue

It sounds simple, but often times we go around feeling like we’re out of balance without stopping to ask ourselves why. We assume “we woke up on the wrong side of the bed” or that “it’s just part of life”–but that’s just not true. There is likely an underlying cause of why you’re feeling out of sorts–I’ve found that talking it through with someone else usually helps you figure out what is really the root of the problem. It’s amazing what others can easily point out that you are blind to.

Call up your best friend, your mom, your significant other, your therapist–whoever is your go-to “talking” person–they’ll help you sort it out. However, be careful not to mistake this as calling to complain. Let them know you’re feeling off, and that you can’t really figure out why, and ask them if they can help you figure it out–the people who know you best often know you better than you know yourself, and will have a sneaking suspicion–even when you don’t!

Determine whether you need to be saying more “no” or more “yes”

I firmly believe that a lot of unhappiness is caused when you are too one sided with the “yesses” or the “no’s”. Let me give you some examples.

Too many yesses:

We all have the one friend who says yes to EVERYONE. She’s at EVERY dinner, every shower, every happy hour, every housewarming party, literally anytime anyone invites her to anything–she bends over backwards to make it there. This is an amazing quality to have in a friend. However, she is so busy catering to her other friends schedules that she doesn’t ever make time for herself. She works 70 hours per week and gets 4 hours of sleep because she never says no or admits when she’s drowning and can’t handle it all. She often finds that she gets sick or loses her voice because her body physically cannot take everything she’s putting it through.

Too many no’s: 

The girl who is all talk and no action. She makes excuses for literally everything. And she can’t go out because she has this. She can’t go out with that guy who seems perfect for her because of x, y, and z. And she really wants to make a career change but it’s too late now, or she would never get the job anyway, or maybe her parents wouldn’t be happy with her. Whatever it is–she says no all the time and holds herself back from the things that would make her truly happy.

We realize that these are both places that we do not want to be–yes? But it’s so easy to fall into the trap of either one. (And yes, of course, it’s possible to fall into both in different areas of your life.)

If you’re too far into one camp, you’re either over-exerting yourself, or you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Figure out which one you are, and adjust. Long story short, either stop making so many plans, or start making more of them. I cannot tell you how much this one factor influences my life on a daily basis.

Jess Keys life advice

Get back on track with your diet, exercise, and sleep

I used to think this was all B.S. – you know, the idea that eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and getting 8 hours of sleep a night can really truly affect your day to day life, but it really does. You have to take care of yourself. You only get one body! If I’m so tired that I have to drag myself out of bed at 8am, I am never going to be the best version of myself.

I’ve also found that going to yoga completely changes my mood–like, 180 degree change. Until I started doing power yoga, I loathed working out. I never understood people that said “working out is like my therapy” but a lightbulb went off as soon as I took my first yoga class. My entire mental outlook at the end of a week where I’ve worked out regularly is completely different than a week where I’ve skipped my workouts. And if you’re rolling your eyes at me right now, you’ve never been to Corepower. I’m just saying.

Jess Keys wearing pink bow mules

Schedule a couple friend dates

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to value my different kinds of friendships more and more. When I was in my early twenties, I just kind of lumped everyone in the same category–your friends are your friends, right?!

But I think it’s so important to have many different types of friends–ideally, a group of friends for every facet of your life, so you always have someone who understands what you’re going through at a given time. Being able to have those different kinds of friends to help you through things happening in your personal life vs. your professional life is a huge mental game-changer!

A lot of the “ruts” I find myself in are work-related, and having blogger friends who I can turn to who really understand what I’m experiencing at the time helps to pull me out of that rut so much faster than if I were going through it alone.

But–regardless of what “genre” of rut you are in–any one of your friends is going to help pull you out of it. I always feel like I’m looking at life through new eyes after a night of catching up with my friends over a glass of wine and a great dinner. Plus, scheduling something fun gives you something to look forward to, and that always helps brighten your mood, too!

Put on clothes that make you happy

Jess Keys summer outfit

Put on clothes that make you happy

This sounds superficial, but it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. When you’re feeling “blah”–it’s so much easier to pull on a sweater and leggings. To throw your wet hair into a bun and skip the makeup.

Don’t. Do. It.

You know how before an interview, they tell you to “dress for the job you want”? Well, I think that applies to real life too. Dress how you want to feel.

Instead of mindlessly reaching for the comfiest item in your closet, take a couple extra minutes to put together an outfit that brings you joy. Something that has a little extra flair–instead of a plain black tee–go for a fun version (the one I’m wearing here is a plain comfy t-shirt with eyelet ruffles on the sleeves! You can’t not smile while wearing this!)

What’s your favorite item in your closet? Try to incorporate that into your outfit. (One of my favorite summer staples are these high-waisted jean shorts. They’re really flattering and they always make me feel good!)

Choose something with personality (my bow mules always make me SO HAPPY and they look so cute with everything!) When all else fails–swipe on some red lipstick. It always makes me feel so much more confident!

How to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut

tips for getting out of a rut

What tips do you have for getting out of a rut? Would love to hear them! 

Photos by Cassandra Eldridge