Despite having done and continuing to do my own internal work, and having regular daily practices to support myself, getting stuck in a murky mental and/or physical state still happens from time to time. Finding the foothold or momentum to move back into a more a flow that feels more balanced can be tricky, and I will freely admit that I can be short sighted, very much so, in fact, when it comes to getting out of a rut.
When my daily movement and meditation isn't enough to keep me feeling centered, the first places I look to are nutrition, sleep, and schedule. Burning both ends of the candle was what I thought of as my super power for many years, and I'm prone to over commitment of my time and energy. Holiday celebrations, vacations, birthdays, and other times when my diet shift significantly, especially to include an abundance of sugar, it will often affect my mood and sense of vitality, as will not getting enough sleep, or stress - which can often be in abundant supply!
Beyond these basics, it's helpful to take an honest look at what's happening in your world. Is there additional stress or sense of obligation from work or family? Have you been sick or injured? Are you feeling isolated or lonely?
There are many variables that can affect our mental and physical state, and the process of moving yourself out of a sense of stuckness can truly be one of trial and error. Here are a few things that can be helpful in moving back towards balance:
Know how you feel when you are most centered, and out of balance - and the things that move you in either direction. You can write a reference sheet, I like to keep it in my notes of my phone and also a printed copy somewhere I can see it regularly like the bathroom or on the fridge. My reference sheet has 4 categories: What I Feel Like When I Am Centered (IE peaceful, light, open, aware, energetic, etc), What I Feel Like When I Am Off Center (IE agitated, heavy, hypervigilant, tired, etc), What Things Help Me Find Center? (IE time in nature, time with a friend, physical movement, a hug), What Things Move Me Away From Center? (IE lack of sleep, physical pain, arguments, packed schedule, diet changes).
It can be difficult when you're feeling low to remember what makes you feel GOOD. Having a list like this helps you remind yourself of things you can do to help shift your state and make you aware of things that you may choose NOT to do!
Move your body. If you can convince yourself to get up and MOVE, whether that mean a dance party for one, jumping up and down like a tantruming toddler, shaking your hands and arms, shrugging shoulders up and down, or a walk around the block - moving your body through space can help build momentum and get you flowing again.
Ask for help. Often we don't want to burden our friends and family, but this leads us to suffer needlessly and often feeling alone. Make a request for help, and most times folks are more than happy to be helpful - helping others feels good, and we are biologically wired to need one another! Maybe you ask for help in completing tasks, or for a friend to join you for a walk or a conversation. It can be critical here to be specific in asking for friends and loved ones to help you meet your needs - these folks care about us and often feel called to "help" or "fix" in ways that don't feel helpful. If you just need to talk, state that up front. If you need help in brainstorming solutions, you can state that too.
Ask for professional help. Sometimes it feels right to reach out to someone who is less invested. Professional helpers like therapists, counselors, coaches, clergy, etc. care about your well-being but don't typically feel obliged to "fix" for you like loved ones often do. We're here to LISTEN, REFLECT, and tap into what we've gleaned through education and experience to offer suggestions if that is what you want.
Personally, this early Spring was a sticky season for me. Mentally and physically, murky might be the best word to describe my experience. The steady flow of navigating life turned into more jagged ups and downs until I felt stuck in a low that I was having difficulty finding my way out of. It was all of these things, including seeking help from my mentor that allowed me to understand how and why I got stuck. This insight is what enabled me to make my way back to myself and back into a balanced groove.
Assisting clients in finding their flow is a big part of the work I do. If you could use a hand, I'm here for you.