8 Ways To Get Out Of A Rut And Live A Bigger Life
A friend once said to me, if nothing changes, nothing changes.
As simple as it sounds, it makes sense: nothing will ever change in our lives if we don’t make a conscious decision to mix it up, grow, learn and develop. Whether you finally commit to that vegan cheesecake cooking course or simply decide to practise gratitude in your life, here are some un-yawn worthy tips we can all embrace to improve ourselves.
(And by the way, if my 95 year old grandmother can keep up her weekly Pilates sesh, I’m pretty sure we can smash this list!)
#1 Say yes more often
Women’s Empowerment Coach Alicia Aberley says many of us get stuck in a life of mundane routine.
“Don’t just do things from habit, do things from joy! Culling things that don’t serve us allows other doors to open, so say yes more often and choose things in life that set you on fire!” she says.
One person who did this was Emma Prineas, a marketing and PR manager. Stuck in a rut where friends were getting married and people were forging their careers around her, Emma was restless – until she received an email offering work at a yoga retreat in Sri Lanka.
“I didn’t even know where Sri Lanka was, I just knew there were leopards there!” she laughs. “After asking myself what would make me proud, grow and ultimately make my heart sing, I knew the answer. I quit my big corporate job and moved there to earn $20 a day.”
Although some times were tough, Emma says, “being out of my comfort zone set my soul alight and although there were times I wanted to quit, the opportunity to create and really live my life made every second worth it.”
#2 Curb your drinking
Maz Compton, media personality and author of Unedited, is big on self-improvement. Two and a half years ago, she kicked booze to the curb in order to become “a better human.” She had no idea her abstinence would positively affect so many areas of her life.
“My thoughts are sharper, I’m more creative and I’m better equipped to handle life’s up and downs. I honestly feel healthier and the strongest I’ve ever been in my life – in body, mind and spirit,” she says.
“You may only down a few glasses of wine with the girls on the weekend but have you noticed what that does to your food choices and your sleep patterns?” she asks. “ It’s surprising how much more you get done when you’re not ‘wasted’ –in fact maybe that’s why it’s called that, it’s a waste.”
#3 Go on, get into yoga
Any exercise is a beneficial practise when it comes to self-improvement but something like yoga or Pilates works on mental, physical and spiritual health all at the same time.
“Bikram Yoga is the ultimate mind and body practice. 90 minutes in a 40 degree studio sure does teach us a lot about ourselves; the beauty of being present, the power in letting go, and the importance of appreciation of self,” says Alicia.
#4 Practise kindness, practise gratitude
There are many ways to show kindness; to yourself, with your thoughts and to the people around you. Even if, as Maz simply says, they’re being a dick to you.
“If we all started being a little less entitled, the world would be far more pleasant. So show your parents that patience they showed you when you were unable to do simple things for yourself, and be kind to people that disagree with you. After all, differences make our world colourful and interesting.”
It doesn’t take much to be kind and gracious. It could be smiling at a stranger, using your manners or nurturing your friendships.
#5 Pursue a creative outlet
Artist Marnie Higgs has battled mental health issues for a number of years and has found solace in art.
“I think creating in whatever form; whether it’s painting or writing or even putting together a playlist, sparks something in our brains that really helps with overall wellbeing.” Marnie believes.
#6 Stop being defined by social media
With a life dictated by likes, follows and retweets, social media can easily becomes a skewed measure of our self-worth and success.
Being in the public eye, Maz knows this only too well. She admits how her anxiety levels would rise after finishing a radio show because she had nothing to post.
“After a slight panic attack, I came to understand that it’s ok if I don’t have a hundred thousand things to tell the world I’m doing. This was a new concept to me but now I live by it. I don’t do stuff to put on social media. I do stuff because it fills up my soul,” Maz tells us.
#7 Lend a hand
There are many statistics out there that show a direct link between wellbeing and happiness through selfless acts for others.
Volunteering Australia state volunteers are happier, healthier and even sleep better than others. 95% of volunteers surveyed say giving to others directly affects wellbeing.
A United Health Survey in 2013 showed 96% of participants believed volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life.
Emma Prineas gives up her time regularly. “Volunteering has become a place of deep healing for me. I get huge feelings of connection and contentment. It makes me feel grounded and reaffirms my priorities.”
#8 Chill out
There’s so much pressure on us in today’s society, Alicia says we need to learn to let go of control and practise a little self-love so we don’t burnout.
“When we let go of the way we think things should be, we allow space for things that could be. Regret is a gigantic waste of time, we need to move forward yes but also need to glance back at our past to remind ourselves how far we’ve come.”
Try practising a little self-care through meditation or “me” time – whatever calms you and helps you grow.
Maz lets her stress wash away with a simple mantra:
“I have this saying I stole from a Zen master, or maybe he was a Jedi, whatever – he was a badass and totally nailed it at life. It’s simple, ‘I am OK with whatever happens’. After a few major curve balls in life, trust me, it’s hard to live by but when you do, it’s so worth it,” Maz says.
A published freelance writer from print to online, Katy’s passion is honest authentic writing. From the mundane experience to a sensational observation, Katy always finds a way to voice what she sees. Relatable and quirky, she writes with warmth and familiarity. She also loves lists, matching socks and edamame beans.
Maz Compton is on Insta @mazcompton and on Facebook.