The perpetual hamster wheel can be a brutal cycle. We wake up earlier than we want to, race around trying to accomplish a completely unrealistic to-do list, all while carrying unnecessary burdens and guilt that accompanies it. We’re trying to do everything, but it feels like nothing is ever enough and no matter what we do, we’re stuck in place: the proverbial hamster wheel.

With the COVID-19 pandemic heightening our stress and overall anxiety are rising. The pandemic has forced many to ask themselves hard questions like “Am I really living the life I want to?” Why do I feel unfilled and exhausted, especially since I’ve checked so many of my boxes in my life?”

If you have these nagging feelings they were placed within you for a reason and the answers will come more readily when you are able to get off your hamster wheel. Utilize these tips tips to remove yourself from the never ending wheel. Your self discovery process will aid in your passion for life and your purpose to discover YOU!

Understand Your Patterns so you can Move Forward – Make a list of what energizes and drains you. Many of us aren’t even aware of what these are and simply carrying a notebook around for a week and jotting down brief notes can help you see these patterns more clearly. Habits are hard to break, but the sooner you identify what energizes you and what depletes you, the sooner you can reclaim your power.

Fun, Joy and Play Isn’t Just For Kids – As adults we are often responsible for so many things that it’s difficult to find time for fun and play. Our minds are wired to believe that in order to do this we must go on vacation to escape. Try Identifying one way that you can add happiness to your day-to-day life today! Remember, these can be simple acts such as making a habit of no screen time during dinner, going on an evening walk with your children, or carving out a few minutes (or even hours!) of recharge time over the weekend instead of constantly running errands and filling a jam-packed schedule.

Ask Yourself The Tough Questions – What is it that I really want and why is it so difficult to get off the hamster wheel? What am I passionate about? Where in my life do I continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results?

Staying In The Present When Distractions Occur – When the text messages, phone calls and emails are piling up, it can be difficult to stay in the moment and enjoy yourself. While it might not always be possible to switch your phone or computer off entirely, there are ways in which you can remain in the moment while still keeping on top of other things.

Be Spontaneous – When you are on the hamster wheel you are doing the same things over and over. Try something new or change it up. This could be taking a new way to work, stopping at a new coffee shop, or calling in for a mental health day.