How To Break Out of a Couch-Potato Rut

published Jul 1, 2015
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(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Has your couch been seeing a little too much of you lately? There’s nothing wrong with spending quality time in your home relaxing from a hard day’s work. But if you’re feeling like you want to get out more but keep getting snapped back into the same butt-shaped spot on your sofa’s cushions, you might need a little self-pushing to get out the door.

Have a plan

That sounds simple enough, and yet many of us come home too pooped to think all the time. Even if you have the intentions to go out, if you don’t have specific plans and your brain is fried from too many meetings (that should have been emails), you might easily just decide to do nothing — the path of least having to make a decision. So before you get exhausted or worn down by the day, make specific plans to do something that involve specific locations, specific activities and specific times…and hold yourself to it.

Don’t let yourself come home to a messy home

This one requires a little thinking ahead (and some work), but it’s worth it. Shoving a pile of laundry to the side as you open the front door and throwing your shoes on a stack of stuff about to tumble over isn’t exactly the kind of welcome wagon that will make you want to delve back into the world again. In fact coming home to a mess might just make you feel overwhelmed and like you can’t go out (’cause you have to get this stuff done) — even if you end up saying “later” and plopping down on the couch again.

Don’t let yourself go home

Oldest trick in the introvert’s book. Skip going home after work to instead go to specific plans (see above) and never get caught in your couch’s tractor beam (well until you get home later).

(Image credit: Elissa Crowe)

Get active

You know what you might need to jolt yourself out of couch-surfing rut? A healthy dose of a good workout. Bring your workout clothes to change into after work, head straight to the gym, and use that post-exercise glow to get into after-work adventure.

Lock up your tech distractions

Facebook, Instagram, Reddit…whatever your online poison, we all know the time-suck phenomenon of sitting down to one more email, post, etc. and then looking up five minutes later to see that four hours have gone by. Instead of spending that precious time after work in front of another screen, get off that couch and out into the world!

Keep your clothes on

Whoa where’s this post heading? (You might be asking yourself.) If anyone else is a member of the “work clothes off the moment you’re through the front door club” resist the urge to get “comfy” and slip into clothes that have long since lost their elasticity and have stains chronicling your last five meals. Not allowing yourself to lose your outside world veneer might help you make it out the door again for fun and activities.

Have you ever found yourself in a couch-potato rut? How’d you break out of it and out into the world?