In the figurative ‘rut’ of most offices, life is but a drain. It’s a silent zone with trespassers jeering at your cold, knocked-out mien. There is no comfort, no momentary respite in this claustrophobia inducing trench. You are boxed-in for life, if you do not take steps to push out or cry for help.
Well, that may seem a touch too dramatic to explain that stuck-in-a-rut feeling, but that’s exactly how those who have been in that zone have put it. It’s like a quagmire; one that keeps pushing you further down. Unless, you see that the problem is within and learn to get a grip on things.
It might start as little niggling doubts about your work, your office and about the kind of work you are capable of doing. It could be a casual remark from a colleague or a stray thought about your productivity. It might have been simmering over a period of time or may have come without warning. And there, you have dug your rut.
What triggered that bout of lethargy may not be hard to figure if you can honestly appraise your job and work performance, but very so often the setting is just not right to sift through the monotony-induced stagnation. For stagnation alone, say experts, can push stress to dangerous levels. While only a few experience those hard to combat feelings of depression, most disguise the in-the-rut feeling with irritation or aloofness. The danger is when such feelings linger on and become a part of your life.
Here’s a helping hand…
Quit while you are ahead
Paradoxical as it may sound, that’s probably the sanest thought that you need to nurse and turn into a decision. It does reek of cowardice, but there’s solace in knowing you have marched to your own tune. For one, your chances of finding a niche in the job market is higher and, most importantly, you are sure of yourself and your confidence hasn’t taken a beating – which is the obvious casualty in the ‘rut’ zone. For the deeper you get into your rut, the harder it is to get out.
The burnt-out feeling evoked by the rut can cause fear and shred your self esteem. Even the everyday task of getting out of the bed in the morning can seem like a chore. Soon there will be a pall of negativity hanging over you and irritation will become the keyword to dismiss anybody and everything. And when left unchecked, it can lead to depression and even be a precursor to heart ailments.
So yes, quit while you are ahead!
Being stuck in a rut simply means doing the same thing every single day; donning the boredom cloak and letting life pass by. In the dog-eat-dog world, it is easy to lose perspective and forget to balance one’s life. That means hardly any ‘me’ time. And when such a pace of life continues for long periods of time, without any breather, burnout may seem inevitable.
Some of the symptoms of burnout are: constant tiredness, moodiness, impatience with colleagues and friends, frustration, non-communicative, depression, negative outlook, etc.
To tackle burnout, first identify the symptoms. Here are a few key indicators.
# You can’t seem to connect with life that’s going on around you.
# Something is seemingly missing, but you don’t know what.
# Something needs to be changed, but you don’t know where to start.
# Saturday morning blues spread through the entire week.
# You are constantly tired and weak.
# Life is a big chore.
# There is no clarity of mind.
If you checked all the symptoms above, you definitely need to do the following:
Scrap that routine: Monotony and boredom are synonymous and so is lack of motivation. This is why a change is in order. Induce little changes in your schedule – it could be something as simple as reading a book or taking a walk. Walks in the park would be invigorating too as nature can be a good healer. Even learning something new will be a good change to keep that mood on an upswing.
Pep yourself with positive talk: It is easy to spread negativity with one little negative talk. Make positivity a way of life and consciously move around with people who infuse positive atmosphere.
Begin goal-setting: A biggest boost to your self-esteem can come with just the idea of setting goals for yourself; goals that you will look forward to achieving. Goals will increase your sense of purpose and add to that excitement value of life.
Ensure healthy eating habits: One of the biggest concerns of any kind of ailment, physical or emotional, is food. Healthy food habits can bring about marked change in the way you look and feel.
Be responsible for yourself: This basically means YOU are responsible for the way you feel about yourself. You have the power to keep yourself happy and the atmosphere positive. Learn to control your feelings and your reactions to situations.
Next time somebody throws the question ‘what’s new?’ at you, have a positive reply ready.