I've been feeling pretty stuck lately. It's cold. It's snowy. The right corner of the couch is so perfectly cozy that my butt has begun to put down roots there. Knitting is about all I seem able to accomplish.
I decided to go back to my old newsletters to find something to post here, because I just couldn't seem to work up the drive to create anything new. Here's what I found (from Delightfully Healthy News, vol. 3, issue 2):
Five Ways to Get Unstuck (serendipitous, no?)
Spring is just around the corner (no, really, it is), but the weather can still be harsh, wet and winter-like (um, yeah - see pictures in last post). This is the time of year when procrastination seems to take over, and we can feel like nothing's happening, like all we want to do is watch television, or read a book,(or knit) or take a nap and hope that when we wake up it will be warmer, sunnier, or we'll feel more inspired. However it manifests for you, feeling stuck is no fun. Here are five things to try that may get your juices flowing again.
1. Give in. Make being stuck a conscious choice. Acknowledge that you're stuck and decide to go with it. Instead of calling yourself names, like lazy or procrastinator, decide to do something else. Go to a movie, take a walk, read a book; and (and here's the tricky part) leave the guilt at home. Once you've relieved the pressure, you may find that that rut your stuck in isn't so deep after all.
2. Try something new. As a writer, when I'm stuck, no amount of sitting at the computer, staring at the screen, is going to help. What does help is shaking things up. Going someplace new, or trying a new activity, uses new parts of your brain, thereby waking you up. Even trying a new machine at the gym, or a new route to work, can help. What can you do? Make a list, pick one, and go do it!
3. Ask for help. Talking with a friend, or getting a professional opinion, can be just what you need to get a jump-start. When we put things into words for someone else, we may find the solution much faster. Sometimes all we need is that new perspective.
4. Be your own cheerleader. When we're feeling stuck, it can seem like nothing is working right, and we can start to be pretty hard on ourselves. As an antidote, get out a pen and paper and start listing your accomplishments. Get your friends to add to the list. It will be longer than you think! Then post it somewhere where you can see it every day, and acknowledge that you are a capable, creative, talented, (add your own adjectives here) person.
5. Begin again. There's a Zen concept called Beginner's Mind, that I find very helpful, especially when I'm stuck. It means, literally, look at things like a beginner would. Forget what you know, and just look at what is. How do things look from this perspective? Do you see something you can shift? Often, all it takes is a tiny movement to get things running again.
Okay, I'm off to take my own advice. I hope it helps you, too!