For many of us, feeling stuck in life can be very scary and a self-critical place to be. Stuckness arises when we are fighting off the omnipresent unknowns in life: Do I change my career path, move my home base, leave my relationship, try a new hobby, or simply let go of what is no longer serving me in order to embrace what does? Our 20’s are such a time of transition, it is incredibly common to feel stuck.
Throughout our lives, we are constantly on specific roads. They might be different roads, different schools, and different paths, but they are relatively laid out, with a specific goal in mind. Life was so much easier when the one thing you had to worry about was getting into your classes for college and graduating on time. Upon graduating from college, we meet the beginning of infinite exciting, daunting and overwhelming roads outstretched before us. It is one of the first feelings of true freedom many of us experience and our first opportunity to create the lifestyle we want to live. Along with this excitement comes pressured panic. The weight of the importance of our next decisions becomes something we are very conscious of.
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How will getting an MBA affect my progress of getting my dream job? How will it affect me financially? Do I even need my MBA to get my dream job? What do I want to do and how do I get there? When do I want to get married? Am I ready to even think about marriage?
There are so many different routes one can go with their career and life, but how do you figure out what to channel all your energy into? What is my five, 10, 15-year plan?
These major decisions can feel so immensely life-changing that many of us go into fight or flight mode—and flight starts to look way better. But this blog post isn’t about giving up or taking the easy way out—it’s to figure out how to get out of this life rut. Everyone in their mid-20’s is experiencing some sort of lull in their life; we’re all in the same boat just trying to figure it out to get to the next damn island.
Here’s a list of 5 tips on what to do if you are currently feeling stuck in life.
1. Carve Out Time For A Side Hustle
It’s exhausting going to your 9 to 5 every day and still trying to find time to do the things you’re passionate about. I go through weeks at a time where I don’t even write a blog post because I lose motivation to write and get so caught up with work and figuring out the “bigger picture.” Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, you need to dedicate “x” number of hours a week to that activity. Set a goal. Have you been dying to get certified for something? Start researching what it takes and create a schedule. Working on a podcast? Set a release date. Want to invest more? Start reading up on financial trends. Love creating content? Aim for a certain number of videos or posts a month.
2. Try A New Stress Relief Technique
Everyone has different ways of relieving stress and anxiety, but maybe it’s time to try something new and get out of your comfort zone with a new technique. Visiting a sanctuary for you to decompress and recover from the physical and mental stress of daily life and decisions can really help reevaluate certain things you’ve been indecisive about. I’ve been dying to try out “The Rage Room” or “The Break Room”—these stress therapy demolition centers legally allow you to break and smash all kinds of different items to relieve stress. If that’s too intense for you, I’ve heard great things about sensory deprivation tanks/float spas and “recharge rooms”—rooms illuminated with different colored LED lights to enhance your mood.
3. Share Your Stuckness
Human beings have a tendency to feel alone and unique in their experience. The truth of the matter is, every single person on this planet has felt stuck at one point or is currently feeling stuck in life. We tend to underestimate how much the people in our lives can be there for us. Allow yourself to share and be vulnerable with the people your trust, it can open up the door to new possibilities. Honestly, advertising your stuckness is a way of inviting change. Whenever I feel like there’s a lack of growth or learning in my current position, I take to Linkedin and my friend group to ask about what courses I should take or what I can do to keep myself educated with new tools in the Digital Marketing field. People are always willing to help, you just have to ask.
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4. Engage In WanderLust
When we are stuck and out of alignment with our own truth, we are often engaged in the same routine day in and day out. Wanderlust is a great way to give ourselves some time to break away from that routine. Wanderlust can mean something different from person to person—some choose to explore a new country and really invest time diving into a new culture and region. While to others, “wanderlust” could mean just venturing out on a road trip or exploring a new neighborhood with your phone turned off. Take a time-out, reset, and recharge.
5. Ask Yourself The Hard Questions
What is it that truly makes you feel stuck in life? Is your job making you miserable? Do you need to cut toxic people out of your social circle? Are you in a relationship that brings you down? I’ve found it helpful to target various aspects of my life in a journal and note down week to week how I feel about each aspect. If I’m feeling unhappy or not progressive in a certain aspect of my life, I take notes on what I can do to get to where I want to be. You can’t just sit around and be lost without taking the actions to figure out what you want to do. Reach out to a guidance counselor (yes, they have them for adults) or just anyone who can help you achieve the goals you want.
In a culture that celebrates progress, achievement, and forward movement, it is extremely challenging to give ourselves the space that is needed to understand why we are feeling stuck—no matter which stage. Feeling stuck in life is not a matter of the head—it’s the matter of the heart. You’re not alone, we’re all going through the same sh*t. So, what’s your game plan?