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5 Weeks to Break Out of a Rut

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Sunshine and green field

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Shake up your routine and get inspired with these five ideas.

At this time of year, the days and weeks seem to speed up. Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? Now Thanksgiving is already coming at us. It’s the perfect time of year to shake things up a little, as fall is a natural time of change. For this Healthy Habit, we have a challenge for you: 5 Weeks to Break Out of a Rut. Are you ready to become feel alive and more creative? Here we go!

Week 1: Paint Something Large

Start by a trip to the paint store. Maybe you’ve been meaning to makeover that wood chair you bought at a flea market. Or finally deal with the scrapes on your kids’ dresser. Perhaps the entryway to your home would have a lot more curb appeal with a brighter door, or planters. The cooler weather of fall is ideal for taking on a paint job, and an infusion of fresh color does wonders on mood.  

Week 2: Put Your Name Down  

Sign up for a 5K race. Or novel writing month. Plunk down for 10 sessions with a personal trainer—and plan them out. The goal is to hold yourself accountable for something out of your comfort zone. The more people who know about it, the better. And yes, buy the finisher tee-shirt in advance.

Week 3: Play the Opposite Game

Kids sometimes have “Backwards Day” at school, where they put on pajamas and then do their schedule in reverse. This week, take on that spirit and switch up every routine you can. Tea drinkers, try coffee. Always have a salad, order sushi. Drive the alternate route, read the other newspaper, flip to a new radio station. See what mental resistance you encounter; what perspectives you gain, and what unexpected delights you discover.

Week 4: Visit an Unusual Museum

Field trip time! You can enter the 1930’s, via a lovingly reassembled Ruddy’s General Store in Palm Springs, or dip into the macabre at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, where visitors can “understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body. I’ll be checking out the touring “Tattoo” exhibit at the National History Museum of Los Angeles, where they will have a working tattoo parlor as part of the show, but if I’m ever lucky enough, I’ll definitely pop into Arizona’s Mini Time Machine, which specializes in miniatures.

Week 5: Power Up with a Meditation Course

Look for a meditation series that focuses on rejuvenation and energy boosting. A good one to try: Respected author and teacher Sally Kempton’s new one, Short Power Meditations. The eight episodes range from 5 to 20 minutes in length, so even if you are busy, it’s easy to squeeze in.

How do you break out of a rut when everything starts to feel a little stale? Tell us in the comments section.


Kathryn Drury Wagner

Spirituality & Health’s Wellbeing Editor, Kathryn Drury Wagner, is based in Savannah. She’s been a contributor to the magazine for many years, and she loves sharing ways to build a healthy, mindful, and sustainable lifestyle. 


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