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8 ways to stay out of a winter rut

What is a rut? It's this feeling I get when I am stagnant, when I've spent too many hours in the house and I feel like all the fun has been sucked out of the day. I personally hate ruts, especially in the winter; when the days are short, cold and the weather is ruthless. The stretch between January and April feels like miles long, with the occasional relief (hello, four day weekends). I think I automatically associate these months as being very rut-prone; I almost always find myself in a rut. It's because there usually are no major events or commitments, no big travel plans, and sometimes the cold seems to have no end in sight.

1. Work out  I don't know what is is (actually I do, it's endorphins) but something about running wakes me up and makes me feel not like a slug.

I admit it, I've already felt like I've been in a rut and once I got out to run, I felt more confident and vital and - should I dare say it? - alive. I hate running, especially in the cold. I've talked about what gets me motivated, so just sucking it up for a mile or two isn't that bad, when you actually weigh the benefits and costs.

Get outside.

2. Go on a photography date  Grab your camera and get out the door. The fun is in the search for a good subject. The more the merrier! I have yet to do this with some of my friends who also like to photograph. The best way to learn the ins and outs of your camera is to practice with it. You can turn this into as big of a production as you'd like it to be.

3. Create something  Try out the recipe you've been meaning to give a go. Get out your scrapbook and start cutting and pasting away. Go to the craft store and find something to paint. Make a terrarium. Make a video short. Creating something - whatever your interests are - gives you a rush of accomplishment and flexes your skills. It allows you to channel your focus to produce something. How cool is that?

I created a terrarium like this last year. It's thriving! See the DIY post :)

4. Turn a boring day into an event

Let's stay you're stuck indoors because it is snowing 5 feet outside (hello, last year). Make some fun of your situation! Have a movie marathon, complete with buttered popcorn and a roaring fire. Have a spa, with nails and facials and even little cucumber slices for the eyes. If you're unable to venture out and get supplies, make with what you've got in the house. In our house we have been known to throw Oscars 'parties' and Downton Abbey tea shindigs.

5. Get out of bed and get dressed

Netflix and pajamas does not cure all. Of course it is fun! But we all know that it sucks up the day, and by that I mean that the constant streaming of episodes perpetuates, one after another Before you know it, it's dinner time (or even bedtime) and what have you done today? I find that I have never ever once regretted getting out of bed early and slowly starting my day out in the world (or even another room in the house). Getting dressed is also an unexpected motivator, since it requires you to shed the PJs you associate with laziness, rest and sleep.

6. Go to a new place

You have work on Monday and there's no time or money for a short weekend getaway. You don't have to board an airplane or give away your weekend to visit a 'new place.' It can be a little local town, a new restaurant you've been meaning to try, or a drive down an unfamiliar road. I have found so many cute cafes by doing just this. It adds a thrill to your day, and who knows what you'll find. If you're in for a bigger adventure, inspo like this can set a fire under your butt to move.

7. Get off social media for a little while

Stop looking at last summer's instagrams. Stop being a twitter junkie. This also consumes a lot of time, while distracting you from something you wanted to check.......what did I wanna look up again? In small doses, social media can be awesome. But with too much, it can be a time-waster.

Sometimes social media serves as a platform for jealousy - I know that I have sometimes fallen prey to 'comparing' myself to others. It's something that might be hard to get out of, if it is something that you 'follow' or constantly check. I have unfollowed plenty of fashion bloggers because I realized that the only thing I was getting out of following them was their seemingly flawless wardrobes, skin, faces, hair...it's not real!

 Some accounts are based heavily on vanity; I realized that when all bloggers do is tout designer bags, advertise about their fabulous destinations, or post impeccable selfies, there really isn't anything I need to follow. Instagram is a huge example. When you zoom out and realize how you're spending your time on social media, its much more grounding and affirming.

8.  Clean out your closet and donate. 

This is a toughie, but sometimes, clearing out your closet for more space can be a very freeing thing. I find it hard to part with a certain piece of clothing ("I loved that sweater during sophomore year! But I paid so much for those jeans! This skirt reminds me of high school! Those were my lucky socks!"). I am the worst at this - but it can be healthy to purge. Maybe purge is a strong word - your pile of old clothes doesn't have to be (and shouldn't be) the majority of your belongings. But that old bag that has been sitting on top of your closet? Your first ever Abercrombie and Fitch tee that you loved, but wouldn't be caught dead in now? Put it in a trash bag and donate it. If you can't, then try to find ways to make a buck. But it shouldn't be something you put off - because if you put it in a special 'eBay pile' in your room, we all know you'll never really sell it.

Let me know if you try anything, or if you have your own way of keeping the winter time interesting! I really stand by these ideas, and would love to hear your own too! ciao, xo