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Three Ways to Free Yourself When You're Feeling Stuck.

Girl in car with window down
Worried Girl

Ever get the feeling of just being stuck in a rut, and unable to organize your thoughts? Maybe you're just feeling frustrated and overwhelmed in general? I hear you, we've all been there. Whether it's been awhile since you had any real change, you're frustrated about your relationship or job, or maybe you just aren't where you feel you are supposed to be in life. Sometimes we need to dig in and free ourselves from our own stuff.

1) Self-Evaluation.

Here's a big one because most of the time, we feel stuck and we don't even know why. Sometimes we need to take a closer look; This means taking inventory on some big areas in our lives.

a) Work/Career. This one is huge because what we do to earn a living takes a ton of TIME out of our day-to-day lives, so it's important to be satisfied about where you're at. Some big questions to ask yourself can be, "Am I getting paid what I think I'm worth?" "Is there room for growth?", and even "Am I doing enough to move forward if I want to?" Some other things to consider are relationships with co-workers and supervisors. There's nothing worse than working with unlike-minded people or people that are huge downers and bring tons of negativity to your day. Is there anything there you could work on or change? And finally, how is your work environment? Do you look forward to going there each day? Are there any small changes you can make, like cleaning or organizing your workspace or adding plants or pictures to make it more "homey"? Sometimes small things can make a huge difference in how we view our space.

b) Relationships. Relationships are so, so, so important to our happiness. These can be relationships with a partner, friends, family members, or roommates. Are any relationships causing you consistent or unnecessary stress? If one comes to mind, maybe it's time to prioritize that relationship, or perhaps it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate why that particular relationship is stressing you out? Maybe it's just your own stress! Sometimes we project our feelings onto others (oops!)....but we all do it. Sometimes fixing relationships is an easy call, apology, or acknowledgement that we've been slacking or being a bad friend, partner, sibling, kid, whatever it may be. Sometimes it's going to take some hard work to get these back on track. Either way, you gotta start somewhere.

c) Living Space. Do you enjoy going home each night? If the answer is "no", this is worth looking into. Maybe your place needs some redecorating or re-arranging. Maybe you just need to take some time to put off all of the cleaning you KNOW you need to do.....For the past six months. Or think bigger! Perhaps a whole new space/apartment/house? Somewhere with more light, a bigger kitchen, closet space? Either way, where you go to relax and be you is super important, and you need to enjoy it.

d) Self-Care. Are you doing enough for yourself? Do you have free-time? Do you spend your free-time doing enjoyable activities and hobbies, both alone and with people you enjoy spending time with? Maybe you're spending all your free- time on projects around the house that need fixing. Sometimes we just need a little time to read a book, binge Netflix, or pet the dog. Whatever it is, spend more time doing what relaxes and excites you....And don't feel guilty about it!

2) Identifying Anxieties and Worries.

After you've identified some ways that you can improve your own situation, do you still have some worries that you can't seem to fix? Maybe you've been up countless nights worrying about a friend going through a divorce. Or you're terribly worried about the health of your Dad. Or a disagreement at work has been replaying over and over in your mind. Whatever these worries are, MAKE A LIST. Write 'em all down. Then I want you to highlight all of the worries that you personally have control over or can change. I think you'll find that most of the items on this list won't be highlighted, and then guess what? It's time to let these go, at least for now. And if they are highlighted? Add them to your to-do list.

3) Plan of Action.

Alright, you've identified areas where you might need to improve. Now what?

a) Re-Prioritizing. This involves figuring out where all of your time and energy is spent. Balance includes spending equal(ish) amounts of energy into yourself (self-care, hobbies, goals), work, and relationships. Maybe you need to just re-prioritize, and by putting in a bit more time each week, you'll see improvements. If your relationship is suffering, adding in a date-night instead of the usual "sit in front of the TV" routine could make a huge difference in a week. Maybe you need to cut back on some of your hours at work so you have more free-time. This one might be more of a long-term change, but in the long run you might see huge improvements by cutting back by just a few hours each week. Maybe you can just agree to "leave work at work" and not focus on it at home. Re-Prioritizing can make a huge difference.

b) Look at the big picture. Are you generally where you want to be in life? Maybe you're caught up in the "little things", but generally everything is going alright when you really look at it. It's important to not forget about these things. Ask yourself, "What is going WELL right now"? We tend to always focus on the things that we need to change or fix, but reminding ourselves about what we're grateful for can make a big difference in improving our mind-set.

c) Goals. Figure out where you're headed. If it's re-prioritizing, work towards putting your energy where it's needed. If it's reducing anxiety and worries, work on letting go of what you can't control or learn some coping skills. If it's changing your life path because you aren't where you want to be, accept that this is going to be a long process but acknowledge that it takes a lot of insight to get to the point of deciding to make a change. At that point, you're already on your way!

For more information, contact Courtney at or 507-421-0180.

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