We’ve all been there. For whatever reason, your life is feeling a little lackluster these days. It could be your humdrum job, dull social life or even your uneventful love life. You’ve found yourself doing the same workouts — and, to be honest, watching the clock like a hawk until it’s over — resorting to the same plans on date night and hitting up the same cocktail bars with your girlfriends. In other words, you’re stuck in a rut and something has got to change.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to break out of a rut. All it takes are a few lifestyle tweaks to make a difference. And best of all, you’ll see the benefits of making these changes almost instantly. By breaking through your plateau, you can realize your full potential — romantically, professionally and socially — all while boosting your physical, emotional and mental health. Ready to shake things up a bit? Try these four super simple strategies for getting back in the swing of things.
1. Meditate for mindfulness
There’s no doubt about it: Meditation is not just for yogis anymore. These days, it seems like everyone is adopting this practice into their daily lives, and with good reason. Study after study has revealed the many benefits of meditating, from helping to reduce high blood pressure and ease insomnia to alleviating symptoms of anxiety. There are many other perks of meditation that can have a major impact on your life as well, no matter what areas you’d like to improve upon. For one, meditation has been shown to increase positive emotion and decrease stress, so it’s a solid strategy for simply feeling happier overall. Plus, studies have revealed that meditation can boost your capacity for social connection while also making you more compassionate, so it’s a great tactic to try if you’ve been feeling a little lonely or out of touch with loved ones. And if you feel like you’ve been lagging at work lately, consider that meditation can do wonders for your productivity. In fact, research has shown that it can improve your ability to multitask and enhance your focus and attention.
If adding meditation to your daily life feels overwhelming, start small and use tools to help keep you on track. Begin by incorporating a five-minute meditation into your morning routine, lunch break or before bedtime. Then, gradually build from there. You’ll be amazed at what just a few minutes of meditation can do for your sense of well-being — and eventually, you’ll be able to enjoy 20-30 minutes or more of this calming practice. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer can be helpful for beginners. Experts will guide you through meditations to help keep your mind from wandering, and with so many themes to choose from, you’re sure to find a meditation that meets your specific needs, concerns or goals.
2. Treat yourself to some quality underthings
Who says you have to wait for someone else to buy you lingerie or that you have to have someone else to wear it for? One foolproof way to infuse a little excitement into your life — as well as practice self-care — is to treat yourself to some designer lingerie.
There’s something even more luxurious about buying yourself lingerie than any other kind of clothing. Perhaps it’s because your undergarments are the first thing you put on and form the base of every outfit you wear. Or maybe it’s because lingerie is specifically designed to bring out your sexy side.
Give your collection a refresher by buying something you wouldn’t normally go for. If you’re a sucker for bralettes, try a longline version with a little extra detailing. Or if you tend to go for a hipster panty, consider a cheeky tanga instead — which still has plenty of coverage but is a tad more flirtatious. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try a totally new style, like a teddy or a bodysuit, either.
Once you’ve found a couple pieces you adore, it’s time to turn on an empowering playlist and slip on your new unmentionables to feel an instant boost of self-confidence.
3. Try a new workout
It’s very easy to stick with the same routine every time you exercise, whether that means hopping on the elliptical machine or taking a Pilates class. But it’s so important to switch up your workouts here and there — and not just to prevent boredom, either. Shaking up your sweat sessions will allow you to reap the benefits of different kinds of exercises. In fact, you may end up working muscles that have long been neglected and building up strength in new ways. Plus, the time is bound to fly by a lot faster if you continually change up your workouts because you’re more likely to stay mentally engaged.
So, if you’ve been doing solo sessions on the treadmill, consider trying a new form of cardio — like kickboxing, dancing or a spinning class that incorporates dumbbells. If you’ve been getting a little tired of those Pilates classes, try a power barre class for something slightly different. Remember, change is a good thing when it comes to your workouts. It prevents you from reaching a fitness plateau by continually challenging your body.
4. Change up your routine
On weekdays, you wake up at 7, jet out the door by 8 and grab coffee at that same café every day. After work, you hit the gym and then run a few errands before heading home to unwind with that same familiar show. As creatures of habit, it’s pretty natural to fall into some kind of routine — but if things are starting to feel a little ho-hum, it’s a good idea to try and shift your routine around.
For example, you might try waking up earlier to get errands out of the way before work, and then using that extra time after you leave the office to cook up some batch meals for the rest of the week. Or you might try to squeeze a workout in on your lunch break to give you a little energy boost that’ll power you through the rest of your workday.
A little variety now and then can do wonders for making your life feel less monotonous.
We all feel stuck in a rut on occasion — it’s a normal, natural part of life. That doesn’t mean you need to stay there, though. Try any — or all — of these tactics to transform your routines, add some excitement back into your daily life and refresh your outlook as well as your self-image. And remember: Change is a good thing.