How to Overcome “Being Stuck”

Stuck in the Mud

What do you do when you’re stuck in the mud?

Whether you write it down or not, everyone has “that list” of things to do to make themselves feel good, especially with all the stress associated with the holidays.  Eat healthy, don’t put on too much weight, exercise, call or visit friends, spend time with loved ones, be thankful, go on a walk, listen to music, decorate, send cards, and don’t forget to make more lists!  Similar to the New Year’s Resolution every year, simply identifying what needs to be done is just one step.  Carrying it out, however, is the hard part.  

So what keeps us stuck and prevents us from doing the things we know we should do?

The Negative Insurgency:  We’ll borrow a phrase from Navy SEAL, David Rutherford, who owns and operates a motivational force to be reckoned with, Team Froglogic.  Negativity holds positions against each and every person 24-7.  It surrounds us with negative media, toxic politics, damaged relationships, and hope lost from dreams deferred.

How do you overcome it?   Apply weapons of mass positivity.  You shoot where you aim.  Even if you don’t feel like doing something, challenge yourself to display positivity as seen by action.  The “feeling” response will follow the action.  It’s not always easy, especially with mental illness as one of the factors. Set small goals that are easily accomplished and build upon those accomplishments. Celebrate the victories.

Newton’s 1st Law of Motion:  An object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.  Things don’t just spontaneously get better because you wait it out.  Although depression can come and go on it’s own, there’s usually a number of things you can do to decrease the severity and duration.

How do you overcome inertia?  Apply Newton’s 1st Law to your benefit through consistency.  Build a routine and build upon it until you’re successful.  An object in motion will stay in motion.  Start small and build on that.  That may mean getting up and stretching for 3 minutes every morning for a week.  Build up to going out for a walk or climbing an extra flight of stairs next week and so on until you’ve reached your goal.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up:  Fall forward and do your best not to be your worst enemy.  Self-criticism reinforces the negativity.  No one will ever get it right 100% of the time but everyday we can all celebrate success. Baby steps lead to miles, which lead to marathons, and life is a marathon.

Follow-through is hard, but worth it.  Building good habits promotes good health, both physically and mentally.  Sometimes, people need a little help overcoming the negativity or inertia, especially if trauma or mental illness is part of the equation.  Here at the PTI, we’re here to help set you up for success regardless of your circumstance or affliction.  As we close out 2014, we’re ready to help you close it out on a good foot so that 2015 can be the healthiest year possible.