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How To Get Out of a Rut in Addiction Treatment

Feeling stuck is common in addiction treatment, and often people feel like their productivity levels decrease when they are in an addiction treatment center. It’s easy to fall into a rut when you feel as if you’re stuck with sporadic emotions that you can’t control. Running out of ideas, inspiration, and energy is common— but you don’t have to let yourself stay feeling stuck.

What is a “Rut”?

A rut is when you are feeling stuck in a situation or mindset. People often feel as though they are stuck in a rut when they have been in the same mindset or situation for a long period of time. Many people who struggle with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression can feel like part of their life cycle is feeling stuck at times.


Addiction recovery provides so many learning opportunities, as we teach guests a different way to live through various skills and tools with intensive therapy. At Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights, we encourage guests to cultivate new interests during their recovery process, so that they can experience joy in each moment of rebuilding lives rooted in happiness, health, and meaning.

What To Do

When you first notice feelings of being stuck, it is important to begin by holding onto that feeling and evaluating it. Ask yourself how long you’ve been feeling this way, if this feeling is something that has recently appeared or something you have just noticed, and what emotions are being brought up as a result of this feeling and shift in thinking. Focus on different areas of your life to see where the problems lies, so that you can restructure as necessary. Some categories of your life that you can take a look at include: physical health, emotional health, personal goals, social goals, work and career goals, relationships and friendships, spiritual growth, financial goals, and mental health.

It’s important to identify where in your life you feel discontented, so that you can formulate a plan of action to change this feeling of being stuck. Many people fall into a rut as they feel stagnant or underproductive, here are a few ways to get unstuck:

• Start small
Working on a task by splitting it up into smaller tasks will help you stay organized and feel productive in addiction treatment. Decluttering your mind starts with a plan of action, and then working towards goals in small increments.

• Take a break
Take various moments through out the day to just check in with yourself. Reflecting on what you’ve done through out the day will give you insight and show you the things you need to work on or continue to work on. Taking breaks to check in with yourself will greatly improve your mental health also.

• Stay learning
Learning new things each day will help contribute to bettering yourself, and it will make you feel much more productive. Going to a meeting, listening to a speaker, or attending group therapy will teach you new things and you’ll hear something that you may need to hear. Actively learning will strengthen your recovery.

• Progress, not perfection
This phrase is used in recovery often. Instead of trying to do something perfectly, just try to improve the way you’re doing it. Small improvements will make a massive difference in your life. So instead of shooting for perfection, seek improvement.

• Talk to someone
If you’re feeling stuck, you should talk to someone about how you feel and why. Talking to a therapist about how you feel will help you work through your thoughts and feelings, and will lead to you seeing different perspectives and challenging your thoughts. If you are being down on yourself, it is especially important to share this with your therapist; together you can understand the way you act and react, what makes you feel stuck, and what feelings precede you feeling stuck.

• Redefine your big picture
Redefining your goals will help guide you by giving you something to work towards. If you have a vision for your life, you can continue to set goals that bring you closer to your vision. Inspire yourself by goal-setting with markers that set the path to achieving your vision.

• Read
Reading will provide you with inspiration and feed your brain. You’re not only improving your cognitive functioning by reading, but it’s also a great tool to use to de-stress and relax during the ups and downs of recovery.

• Recharge
Try taking a 20 minute nap to recharge yourself. A quick nap will give you a boost, and then you can feel restored to tackle the rest of your day productively. Taking a nap will clear your mind and reset your body, and you will wake up energized and ready to do things.

• Play a game
Some healthy competition can help you feel energized and completely change your mood. If you’re feeling down and stuck, trying gathering some friends together to play a board game. The competitive aspect will keep all of you engaged and will produce happiness and cohesion.

• Exercise
There’s no better way to get out of a rut than by exercising. No matter what type of exercising you do, it will help you feel unstuck and productive. Improving your productivity with physical wellness exercises will also improve your mental health and ability to focus. Exercising provides so many benefits, but in addition to all of those benefits it is extremely effective in helping you get out of a rut.

Bring Meaning Into Your Life

Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights encourages guests to partake in activities and hobbies that will make them feel fulfilled in life. We provide therapeutic opportunities like adventure therapy, activity therapy, and equine therapy for guests to explore and discover what brings them joy. Our approach to addiction treatment is holistic, as we focus on strengthening the connections between the mind, body, and spirit. Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights allows guests to discover things that bring meaning into their lives.

Our Programs

Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights has both a medical detox program and a residential inpatient program, which are short term treatment programs to begin the therapeutic work in overcoming addiction. Royal Life Centers also has treatment programs including: a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Our treatment programs allow guests to take initiative in their recovery process, collaborating with a case manager and their primary therapist to develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to meet their personal needs and goals. At Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights, you will never feel a lack a progress, because you will constantly be participating in intensive therapies that will bring you insight and new skills and tools to practice.


Chua, Celestine. “How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 13 Mar. 2019,

Jones, Lane. “Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life – A Total-Life Approach to Goal Setting.” Freshtake On Content, Freshtake on Content, 11 Feb. 2015,

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to our addiction specialists at (888) 907-0898. Our team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

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