I’ve been thinking a lot about September being this time of renewal, but also this time of transition. Moving from one ‘season’ into the next – whether that be in your whole life, or fragments of it. There’s this pull towards the end of the year. The ‘busy’ness starts to take hold and there’s a tendency (if not interrupted) to get swept away with it all.
The renewal part excites me. I love thinking of fresh new ways to bring in more lightness in my life, or to create new projects, or to just clean the slate and start again. And given I love many things, this has also meant in the past I’ve gotten carried away with all the new ideas, added them to my already long to-do list and then bottomed out and been disappointed in myself when I either a) couldn’t really fit it all in or b) just didn’t make stuff happen that I wanted to anyway.
Many of these feelings of disappointment, frustration, or even stuckness come from being caught up in a cycle, a pattern of behaviour, without a clear exit plan. Something happens to ‘trigger’ that feeling (my boss didn’t say anything about that report I did, that does mean I’m bad at my job? I didn’t get to go to my friend’s birthday party because I was working late and had promised to babysit for my cousin, am I a horrible person? I just skipped the gym, again, I’m so lazy, I’ll never…) and before we know it we’re in the loop. We think that one thing and then we generalise it to mean everything.
Sometimes it’s just the simple frustrations, like the lack of clarity when trying to finish a piece of work. Or perhaps it’s the bigger, circling ones – should I make this change in my career, move house, end this relationship? All of the time though we have the power to interrupt the pattern. To short-circuit that loop. Simple by: doing something different. The very nature of the loop – whether it’s got you tangled in your head or in your belly or in your emotions – is that it is the same pattern over and over again. Meaning that you keep getting the same results (i.e. you keep feeling stuck).
The only way to get unstuck?
Change the pattern.
Interrupt the loop.
And here’s the easy part: Anything will do.
Anything you can possibly think of that will get you doing something different is enough to create a change. Yes, there’s some ‘stuff’ that comes next in terms of sustaining the change, but ultimately your results change when you start doing something different.
So, here’s 5 really easy ways to short-circuit your loop, the next time you find yourself wound up in crazy self-talk, stuckness, frustrations for not fitting everything in, wanting to get out of the busy feeling. And yep, they’re going to seem pretty darn obvious. Or not ‘dramatic enough’. Yet that’s the whole point, sometimes the easiest thing is the only thing we can do when we’re in the loop. The premise or principle of the change is enough to create the leverage we need to shift our perspective. To lift the fogginess.
These are all the practices that have consistently supported me time and time again, to have a go-to interrupter when I find myself caught in the loop. Here’s the trick though, you have to follow through. As in, you actually have to do these things. There’s a distinct difference in results for those of us who will read through all the tips and feel for a moment some more clarity, some more energy and more balance creep in. Enough to feel like, yeah I can keep going now. I feel refreshed. And then for those who, read through the tips, feel a bit refreshed and do the work, take the action, follow through. That’s where the consistent shifts happen.
1) Take a break, literally. Step away from whatever you’re doing, go for a walk, get fresh air, fill up your water glass. Just whatever loop it is you’re in (even a thought-loop), stop. Step away in any which way you can. Then come back to it. Movement is awesome. I feel like it really does ‘shake things off’. Have a dance party in your kitchen if you like. Anything goes. 😉
12) Write it out. This is about getting those thoughts out of your head. Emptying all the circling. You can call this journaling, or free writing, or just thought-dumping. Whatever works for you! Just literally get some paper, a pen, and get words on paper. They do not have to make sense. You don’t even have to keep them or re-read them. It’s a process of literally clearing your head space and has a really cleansing power to it.
3) Talk. To a friend. To your dog. To a family member. Even if you don’t know what to say or how to say it. Even if the words don’t fully form when you open your mouth to them. Just give it a go. Take a step towards it. There’s this funny thing that happens when we’re forced to get out of our head, the answers and the clarity take shape without the other person even having to speak back. Or, simply, you can feel that sense of connection that we are all wired for.
4) Question yourself. Have a couple of really awesome go-to questions in your back pocket for yourself. Ones that get you to ‘think outside the box’ immediately in that moment. Like “what’s this really about?” or “what if this could be easy right now?”. I’ve shared more of my favourites previously, you can check them out here.
5) Create space for pause. While this one sounds similar to ‘take a break’, there’s a couple of core distinctions. This is about making it a practice to create space for you in your diary. Some reflection time where you can simply ‘be’. Maybe that means reading your favourite genre. Maybe that means sitting and staring at the clouds. Or journaling. When we’re on the go all the time, we forget to prioritise pause. Meaning that the loop just spins faster and faster. If you’ve created the space for pause then at least you know at the bare minimum there’s a spot for you to catch your breath. I guarantee though that over time, this space will become a must for you and you’ll nudge it to be even more spacious. 😉
Looking for even more ways to get unstuck in your life? Join us for our FREE Soul Spruce Online Workshop – we share 3 tools you can apply immediately in your life right now to get more clarity, energy and balance. You can register here, starts 24th September.