Healthy Things To Do When You're In A Rut

by Kiersten Hickman
A woman with a long brown hair, in a blue T-shirt looking up

It's easier than you may think to find yourself in a rut. I mean, if you’re doing the same types of things for your body and mind on a daily basis, it can be totally easy to feel stuck in a small funk. Nevertheless, that rut ends now with these simple and healthy ways to take care of yourself.

Now don’t be alarmed; I promise you I won’t bite, or make you feel guilty about your current routine in any way. From personal experience, I know how easy it is to fall into a rut, and how it can affect your life in different ways. These healthy steps to combat that aren’t super extreme — like, I’m not forcing you to commit to a huge workout plan, or to do a juice detox or anything like that. Anything of that nature should be your decision, and your decision only. Instead, these steps are attainable, and simple enough to accomplish today.

If it isn’t already obvious, taking care of yourself is massively important. When you take care of yourself, not only will you feel good about your body and mind, but you will be able to reach out to others with more care because you're taking care of yourself well. So, today, take a big step and get out of that funk.

Psst! Check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017 starting Jan. 1. Right now, tweet @bustle about how you plan to make 2017 the best year yet. Use the hashtag #2017IRL, and your tweet could be featured on our app.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that pampering yourself is actually extremely helpful for your body. Sure, exercise and eating right are great ways to feel healthy, but treating your body with some much-needed love will make you feel refreshed. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that massages not only treat back pain, but also result in a cortisol (aka, a stress hormone) level reduction, decreases in cytokine proteins that cause inflammation and allergic reactions, and a boost of white blood cell production. Basically, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge on that hour-long massage you’ve always said you wanted.

Instead of substituting a healthy diet with a multivitamin, why not challenge yourself to eat foods that contain the vitamins you need?

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch posted a great meal plan that contains 21 different vitamins and minerals that will make your body feel refreshed and healthy. If completely changing your meals scares you, then try consuming some of their recommended nutrient-dense foods, including avocados, mushrooms, eggs, sweet potatoes, low-fat yogurt, almonds, dried beans, chicken, shrimp, and much more.

Did you know that in the same way your body has a hard time working out after a long stretch without exercise, your brain also loses its ability for serious mental tasks? Just like your muscle mass, your brain starts to show signs of slowing if it isn’t regularly being challenged. Instead of plopping in front of the television after work, why not try something that will exercise your brain, such as taking a class, reading a book, or even learning a new language.

Tired of eating the same meals over and over? Take some time to plan out your groceries for the week and change things up! You can either make a few simple changes — such as using different citruses, herbs, dairy, or bread products (for example, why not try oatmeal this week instead of cereal?). Or, you could change your grocery lists all together! Simplify your grocery list with this one by The Every Girl, or take a complete 180 with this ultimate grocery list by Shape.

Not only are there numerous health benefits to drinking water, but infused water helps you consume your fruits and vegetables, which will mean getting those necessary nutrients to keep you healthy. Also, they are freaking delicious. If you’re feeling up to it, grab one of these infusing bottles and try it out! Some great combinations include cucumber lemon, strawberry tangerine, peach mint, and mango ginger.

Did you know that habits actually take a serious toll on our health? Some habits help our health — such as brushing teeth, and showering. However, getting yourself stuck in a badhabit can lead to unhealthy results. In a study by the National Institutes of Health, turns out that humans actually aren’t creatures of habit. The reason to why we get stuck in habits is due to the brain’s need for “rewards,” aka, the pleasure we feel when we do something that we enjoy. Sure, some bad habits can feel quite heavenly – but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your body.

Some say that it takes three weeks to break a habit, but this particular study on Entrepreneur says you should take 66 days to break it. All it takes is a serious confession to yourself about the habit, tell others to call you out on this habit, find your triggers when it comes to giving in to that habit, and rewarding yourself with something much better for yourself.

Protein will seriously help you in the long run. Proteins (such as chicken, nuts, even greek yogurt) can help with your metabolism, increase your energy levels while reducing fatigue, help you to concentrate throughout the day, and even regulate moodiness.

Even if you don’t mind the mess, cleaning up your apartment/house/room actually has some health benefits that you may have never realized. According to a study by Rush University Medical Center, cleaning can help your respiratory system (bye dust bye), will prevent dangerous falls (slipping on that pile of clothes again), and improving your concentration (clean space equals clean mind).

Not only does enjoying a hot beverage cuddled up under a blanket sound like the perfect way to end my day, but enjoying tea can help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Plus, many blends of tea have less caffeine than coffee — which can actually disrupt your inner clock when consumed at night…even though Lorelai and Rory would never actually admit that. Plus, consuming a non-herbal or green tea (both very low in caffeine levels) at night can help reduce those late-night cravings!

Check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App starting on January 1 for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017.

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