You probably have tried-and-true affirmations for gratitude or confidence, but what about when you’re feeling unmotivated, bored, or just plain blah? Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons, watching the news on repeat, or not feeling motivated like you used to. We’ve all had the “meh” feeling linger for too long and we’ve all struggled to get out of it. Feeling stuck in a rut is when you’re no longer eager to do your work, fill your social calendar, or do anything extra to stimulate your life. But the good news is that it’s a completely normal phase to go through.
Let’s be real: Feeling stuck in a rut is not exactly enjoyable. When we look back on our best moments in life, they often involve accomplishing a goal, being surrounded by loved ones, or maybe laying on a tropical beach (my personal favorite). But sometimes, our next great idea comes to us when we feel stuck, and maybe we occasionally need those lackluster days in order to have new and exciting ones. So if you are stuck in a rut right now, you’re not alone. Below are nine affirmations to repeat to yourself to help you get through it.
1. “I am not alone.”
When you’re feeling stuck, it’s easy to spiral into what I like to call the “what if” thoughts. What if my friends don’t like me? What if I’m not doing a good enough job at work? What if there’s something wrong with me? While these thoughts are often irrational and leave us feeling worse than before, it’s common to have them. To work through them, talk to someone about it: a close friend, family member, or your therapist. You are your own worst critic, and talking to someone can help you gain perspective and realize that you’re not alone in your fears, even if it may feel like it.
2. “Emotions are temporary.”
I have a 24-hour rule: If I am upset about something, I wait 24 hours before making any decisions about the situation. About 75% of the time, my mindset changes. In other words, while emotions can help us understand what’s right for us in our relationships, jobs, and many other aspects of our lives, if you’re feeling upset, irritated, bored, or annoyed, also know that these feelings don’t last forever, which is why we shouldn’t quit our jobs just because we had one bad day at work and why we won’t feel stuck in a rut forever. Listen and honor the emotions that come up during this time, but remember all emotions are likely to change.
3. “What is my body telling me?”
If you feel overly exhausted or unmotivated and aren’t able to stick to your routine, that’s OK. While some days, we push through and are grateful we went to a workout, other days, our bodies are telling us to stay home, binge some Netflix, and unplug. Both cues are equally important. Just like your body tells you when it’s hungry, the body also tells you what it needs to feel unstuck, more joyful, or motivated. Maybe pushing through to that workout class will make you feel great or maybe taking a few days off to rest and recharge will make you feel restored. Bottom line: When we tune in to our bodies, we can give them the support they need to be resilient.
4. “It’s OK to rest.”
Society tells us that unless we’re waking up at 6 a.m. every day and squeezing in a five-step skincare routine and hour-long workout before heading to the office, we’re not being productive or accomplished. And while I am all for a morning routine, not every day will be the same. Some days, we need to rest and, most importantly, not feel guilty about it when we do. Rest days are just as necessary as the days we pack our schedules with work, exercise, and happy hours. Our bodies and brains can’t function properly unless we allow them to recharge.
5. “This too shall pass.”
Now for my favorite affirmation on this list and one that I repeat to myself often. When you are going through a difficult time, it may feel like it’ll never end. It’s important to remind yourself that whatever you are currently facing is temporary and you’ll get through it. This affirmation reminds us that whatever you’re going through will not last forever. Seasons change, people change, and careers change—you won’t be stuck in a rut forever. After every low, there’s always a high.
6. “I am enough.”
Every now and then, we could all use a reminder to appreciate who we are, just as we are today. It’s easy to fall into the comparison game or think about how you’re not where you thought you’d be in your career, relationships, or financial situation—so much so that you may even be at risk of putting yourself into a rut because you feel like a failure compared to influencers on Instagram or even the goals you set for yourself years ago. Instead, celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Be true to yourself and the version of yourself you aspire to be. And while you’re at it, throw out any old timelines and expectations you’ve held yourself to. You won’t be needing them anymore.
7. “I let go of what no longer serves me.”
Going through a meh phase may feel unproductive, but it can be a great time for self-reflection. Take some time to journal or think about all the different areas of your life. What is making you the happiest? What is dragging you down? If something or someone is draining your energy, it’s time to let it go. It may not be easy, but you will feel lighter and create space for renewed energy. Feeling unmotivated or stuck in a rut is never a sign there’s something wrong with you but something wrong with what’s going on around you—maybe you’re feeling burned out because of inner pressure or maybe your friendships are toxic instead of fulfilling. Use this time as a way to better understand what to let go of in order to naturally allow yourself to come out of a rut.
8. “I am the narrator of my own life story.”
Every day you wake up, you choose whether or not to snooze, what to wear, and how you’ll move your body. While these decisions may seem small, they make up your whole life. You are in charge of your life and you have the power to decide your daily outlook. That means you can also choose to stop feeling stuck in a rut or at least adopt a different mindset. Look at the positive side of things and set goals, and before you know it, you’ll start feeling better.
9. “I choose progress over perfection.”
Some would say I’m a perfectionist—I’m a Capricorn and a Type Three enneagram after all. Although I struggle to let go of perfectionism, I have learned that when I do, life becomes a lot easier. Not every day will be as productive or positive as the next, and that is OK. Choosing progress over perfection can be as easy as showing up to the workout class even though you fear not getting all the movements down. As long as we are trying to better ourselves, we can move forward despite the meh days.