6 ways to get out of a rut

By Jesse Coulter @jessecoulter

There are times in life when we get stuck. Stuck in our attitude, mindset, and actions. There are many factors that come into play….stress, grief, family, work, money, you name it. I’ve experienced tragedy, financial failure, rejection, and lots of stress that has made me want to crawl into a hole and never come out. The good news is I’m still here and you are too! Today I’m partnering with Frost Bank to share six ways to get out of a rut!


Exercising is my #1 stress reliever. I mean shopping is up there at the top, but I only have so much money to spend in a month. When I’m stressed about work or feel down, going to the gym allows me to get outside of my head for an hour. I’m not worried, I’m not stressed…instead I’m focused and dedicated to one thing which is getting through my workout.


Staying optimistic is key! Michelle Gielan, positive psychology researcher and best selling author, describes optimism as the expectation of good things to happen and the belief that behavior matters, especially in the face of challenges. Optimists generally view setbacks as temporary. They believe that if they take steps to fix the problem, they can improve their circumstances. It can be tough to see the light at the end of a dark tunnel, but your thinking and actions can guide you out. By believing that life’s challenges are temporary rather than permanent, you can feel inspired to take meaningful steps toward improvement!


When I’m down in a rut, having something to look forward to always lifts my spirits. A vacation, a happy hour, a date night, an event. It’s a scientific fact that planning a vacation increases happiness. I love to plan events ahead of time! When I’m having a tough weekend with my kids, knowing I have a date night to look forward to makes the day SO much better! You decide what brings you joy and put it on the calendar.


Fresh air and spending time outside does wonders for the soul. That is why cold and dreary winters are so tough and depressing (one reason I’m not leaving Texas)! On days when I’m stressed or anxious about work or life in general, a walk outside is what I need. It’s amazing how my creative juices and ideas start flowing when I’m by myself walking and observing nature. I don’t listen to music or talk on the phone…I simply enjoy the silence and let my mind wander. I think every person should spend 10-15 minutes a day practicing some sort of meditation, and mine is spent walking.


Take the focus off of yourself and do something kind for someone else! Not only does it take your mind off your own problems, but it feels good to help others! Have a friend or family member going through a tough time? Have cookies or flowers delivered, help them with a chore at their home (new moms could use this), or my favorite, send them a DoorDash gift card so they don’t have to worry about dinner! If you are able to help someone else out of a rut, it can spark confidence and potentially help you as well.


Talking about what you are going through with a friend, spouse, or even your parents can be very beneficial as long as they are supportive and open to listening. I don’t really talk to Alex about work, because he gives me advice and all I want to do is vent. Some topics are best to discuss with certain groups, so give your mom a call, or set up a lunch with your best friend. Make sure to surround yourself with positive and uplifting friends! Talking through a problem can have significant benefits. I would also advise you to see a counselor or therapist if you’re in a major rut. Having an outside perspective can be very beneficial.

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