If you're feeling stuck in life, you're not alone. Perhaps you feel like you're in a dead-end job or a relationship that doesn't seem to be progressing. Maybe you're simply feeling lost with the direction of your life, and you're not sure what your goals are anymore or worry that your values are misaligned.
Here are 13 little but big ways to get "unstuck" in life that can help you to turn a new leaf.
If you can't change a situation, that doesn't mean you're not in control of the situation. That's because, if you can't change what's happening around or to you, you can change your mindset about it. And that's a powerful tool.
If you're busy reminiscing about or regretting the past, you'll never be able to move forward. You need to be grounded in the present and working toward your future in order to forge ahead in life.
It's easy to feel lost and question your life if you're working a mundane job or in a dull relationship that doesn't fulfill you. Figure out what you're passionate about, and pursue that. This doesn't mean that you have to quit your job, for example. It does mean, however, that you do need to fill your spare time with things you love to do.
Making big changes takes time. While you might feel anxious to pull a 180 and turn your life around, you need to set small goals for yourself. When you are able to check off small goals along the way to your bigger goal, you'll keep your spirits high and your motivation up.
Don't give up hope in yourself. Having faith in yourself, even if your goals are lofty ones, will help propel you onward. After all, if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will.
Working out helps to release endorphins and can pick up your mood. If you're feeling stuck, that's an aspect of your that you can control. It's something you can do for yourself, starting today, to make a positive impact on both your physical and mental health.
Finding a purpose in life, whatever it may be, can help to provide you more direction. For example, if you find a purpose in your career, through a volunteering project outside of office hours, through your family, etc., it can help you to feel like you have some kind of direction — something toward which you're working.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and then expecting a different result. So try something new, if you're feeling stuck. Maybe you'll have a different result.
If you don't have goals for yourself to achieve more, it can be easy to feel stuck in the mud. But if you have your heart set on something bigger, you'll feel like you can move forward. This doesn't have to mean setting huge, unmanageable goals for yourself. It can be as simple as hitting the gym three times a week or setting the goal to learn how to cook so you can save some money on eating out.
To-do lists are a great way to keep on track, but it can be easy to put things off and push them to tomorrow... for a lot of tomorrows. Make a prioritized list so that you know exactly what you have to get done, exactly when you have to get it done. This way, when you inevitably sometimes put things off, at least you'll know what's OK and what's not.
This goes back to shifting your mindset. It's easy to fall into a rut of "I can't do this" and "I can't do that." Start thinking about what you can do — and telling yourself that you can do what you think you can't. Where there's a will, there's a way.
It's OK to ask for help. Friends, family and colleagues can be your support systems if you allow them to be. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength because you know yourself well enough to know you need help so as to not burn yourself out.
If you're really struggling, it may be time to talk to a professional. In fact, even if you're not really struggling, talking to a therapist can help you to work out your purpose and direction in life, set goals for yourself and find success, however it is that you define it.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.