No doubt we all get stuck in life at times. Whether it’s with your job, relationship, recovery, friendships, emotions, health, or some other area, feeling stuck is pretty common.
But what if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stuck for weeks, months, or years?
Here are some practical tips to apply to your life if you’re tired of feeling stuck.
A lot of people feel overwhelmed. Especially since COVID hit, stress is at an all-time high level. Emotions are all over the place. Gone are the days when we could freely roam the planet without fear resting on our shoulders.
Still, there are plenty of people who busy themselves quite a bit – even though they’ve been given permission to stay at home and rest.
Maybe they think that being busy means they’re being productive or successful.
Or maybe sitting in silence just feels too uncomfortable.
Sometimes it’s more like striving, striving, striving to get a “happy” feeling. However, that happy feeling never stays long because happiness is an inward thing. You don’t get it by doing, doing, and doing some more.
Happiness comes from within.
Yes, we should have active goals and action plans to go after those goals. The daily responsibilities of being a parent, student, partner, employee – all take some time and effort.
We ought to be “doing”, but in balance and with wisdom. In other words, not “overly” doing.
Getting stuck in any area of life can cause you to feel plenty of negative emotions. Frustration and anger are two that are commonly reported.
Are you feeling stuck? Are you ready to break through?
Let’s get you moving through with the following steps:
If you’re wondering, “How can I get unstuck?”, the first thing you can do is go to a quiet place with a notebook/journal and a pen. Don’t take your phone or computer. Go the old-fashioned route. Show up at your local coffee shop with your notebook or journal and find a comfortable seat. Or, head out into nature.
Open to a blank page. Write this at the top:
You’re going to make a list of things that you absolutely do not have to do each day. The things that you do not have to do each week or month.
What are you doing that is a timewaster that you really don’t need to do?
Be completely honest with yourself. Resist the urge to think about what others think, including your partner or spouse. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are things in your life that you’re doing that you do not have to do, or you are not taking time for yourself.
You may neglect stress-reduction time. Taking deep breaths and relaxing. Letting go. If you are caretaking or people-pleasing like a maniac and not spending quality time with yourself, then you’re likely to feel overwhelmed.
For example, most people are checking Facebook multiple times each day. Even if their intention is only to stay there for a few seconds, oftentimes 10 or 20 minutes will go by and all they’ve done is scroll and look at pictures and words. Add that up 4 times a day and there’s a whole lot of time that they could have been doing something productive, investing in themselves, their relationship, working, or doing all those things they say they would do if they had more time.
Turn the page of your notebook and decide on one area of your life that you want to work on. For example, maybe your relationship needs some quality time. Maybe you’ve had some triggers recently and have been taking out your frustrations on your partner. Or maybe the relationship just feels dull.
How can you get unstuck? Be honest with yourself and make an investment in your relationship with yourself and your partner. So, on this page of your notebook or journal, write down what’s going on in that area right now.
Be honest about how you feel. If you feel disillusioned, or if you’re angry or scared, write it down. Then write down the things you’re doing to contribute to that. If you’re afraid you can’t make rent next month and you feel fear surrounding that, write down what you’re doing to contribute to your financial lack. Or rather, what you’re not doing to contribute to your financial lack.
Are you being lazy? Are you settling? Are you giving it your best shot? Be honest here.
What areas do you want or need to work on?
Turn to a fresh page and create an action plan as to how you can take that part of your life to a new and better level. Write what you want and be specific. If you want your relationship to be magical and deeply intimate, write it down and create an action plan as to how you’ll go forth doing your part to achieve that.
Don’t point fingers and leave it all to your spouse or partner. You take action and do your part and watch what will happen.
If you want to make more money, what are you going to do? What are some concrete steps that you can take to increase your finances and or decrease your expenses? Do you have a budget? Is it in written form? Do you track your expenses? Are you being irresponsible? Write down all that you can do to change it up. Be honest and deliberate.
Next, turn the page and write a present-tense story about how you want your life to be right now.
What would your life look like if you weren’t stuck? If you weren’t overwhelmed? What does that look like on a day-to-day basis?
Be as specific as possible and write it like it’s happening right now.
Write down what time you’re getting up each day, what kind of breakfast you’re eating, what kind of exercise regimen you are doing. What job are you going to? What kind of paycheck are you getting? How magical is the bedroom intimacy? How much laughing are you doing? How do you feel? What friends are you hanging out with? How are you adding value to people?
The reality is that happiness and success don’t just fall into your lap. When you’re asking, “How can I get unstuck?”, there are past thoughts, beliefs, and actions that have landed you right in that spot. If you’re going through life unconsciously and not giving much thought to what’s going on under the surface, you’re more apt to get stuck, sad, anxious, and more.
You may have to do this exercise regularly throughout your life. Invest in yourself by taking time regularly to sit down and get real and raw with yourself and your life. If you find you cannot do this on your own, consider getting yourself a life coach or mentor. Accountability can go a long way and often when you are willing to invest money into something, you’re more apt to follow through.
This is especially helpful for those of you who find yourself year after year in the same scenario, wanting to change but not really ever-changing.
Can you do it on your own? Absolutely, but sometimes it does require a little help. Don’t be afraid to reach out.