When I arrived in Rotorua, I was full of energy and hope. Finally, I had a chance at a job that isn’t waiting tables. Back in Auckland, I had spent the previous weeks going to fruitless job interview after job interview. Then one day while scouring BBH for new postings, I saw that a hostel in Rotorua was looking for a worker and was willing to train new staff. I decided to give it a shot and sent in my resume and cover letter and got a response in just a few hours. The next morning I hopped on the first bus of the day and headed down to Rotorua for my last minute job interview.
Stepping off the bus, I wasn’t hit with a cloud of rotten egg smelling gas like I had been lead to expect. It was a sunny day, the air was clear, and I was on my way to an exciting new beginning. After a surprisingly relaxed interview I was lucky enough to get the job. I moved in and got ready to start training. And that’s when things began to slide downhill. Normally when this happens in my life, it is a slow slip down to the bottom. But not here. No, this time I managed to hurdle to the bottom in record time and have been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to drag my way back up the hill ever since.
After a few weeks of struggling, I realized I had gotten trapped in a rut. I was miserable all the time, which just made me mess things up more, which made me more miserable, and on and on and on. I wasn’t exercising or eating well, had a hard time focusing on things, and had completely lost all creative drive. I had a big plan for my blog and channel at the start of this trip, and I just let that all slip down the drain. I think this is something that happens to all of us at one time or another: you feel bad, so you don’t do anything, which makes you feel worse, so you end up doing even less. And the cycle continues ad nauseum until you figure out a way to put an end to it.
So that’s what I’ve been working on this past week. Not trying to become ultra productive and perfect, just trying to break my way out of the downward spiral and start working towards doing anything but sitting around doing nothing and felling terrible. A few of the steps I’ve been taking to achieve this are:
1. Make short and long term goals
Setting goals, both for now and further off in the future, helps to give you direction and keep yourself on track. Setting some simple short-term goals is a great self-esteem boost because reaching even small goals always makes you feel at least a little bit better. Over time, these smaller goals should also help you build up to your larger, long-term goals. For example, I have set a short term goal of making at least two blog posts and videos every week, which in turn will hopefully help my long-term goal of growing my blog and vlog channel by the end of the year.
2. Accept that not everything is going to go well, and sometimes you are going to fail
Failures, even minuscule ones, always suck. But they’re even worse when you are already feeling down. When you’re trying to pull yourself out of a rut, you can’t let every little set back throw you completely off course. Just accept that not everything is going to go your way and that sometimes it will be your fault. And that’s okay. Move on and try to make things better next time. This has been a big problem for me over the past few weeks. Every time I would feel like was finally getting the hang of my job, there would be something new that I screwed up and got in trouble for. This is unfortunately still happening (actually had my boss come in and mention something I might have messed up yesterday while I was sitting here writing this post, yay ☹), but I have just had to learn to learn from it, let it go, move on and do my best to do better next time.
3. Make (positive) time for yourself
When we’re down, we often make a lot of time for ourselves, but in a negative way. Lots of time to sit and mope and internally berate yourself and feel terrible. Not so much time for positive things, though. So if you notice you are starting to let go of a lot of things you like to do in lieu of sitting around, staring into space and being sad: stop it. It’s hard, but you have to force yourself back into the groove of making positive time for yourself. Rekindle your love for your creative projects, go out and do fun things that you enjoy or take up a new exercise schedule. You’re never going to climb back up the hill if you don’t get out of bed.
These are just some of the things I have been applying to my life in an attempt to drag myself out of this rut and start loving life again. I’m definitely not all the way back up the hill (not even close, honestly) but I have definitely been improving. And that’s all you can hope for, really. Little boosts here and there until you finally reach the top.
Have you ever had to drag yourself out of a major rut? Let me know how you did it in the comments!