Stuck in a quagmire? You know the feeling… your feet, ankles, back, neck, whatever. You try to move, but nothing seems to be moving. You’re not even sure if you’re stuck yet. Here’s some advice to help you get unstuck:
First, don’t panic. Stuck doesn’t equal death to you yet. Stuck describes something that is fixed or frozen in one location and cannot be moved. If your foot becomes stuck in the mud, for example, it doesn’t mean you can no longer get out of your own muddy trap; instead, the object that is stuck is simply not going anywhere. The lid of an ice box can easily be stuck, and so can your car; both ways, however, the object that is stuck is not going anywhere.
Second, calm down. Chances are you’re panicking because you don’t know what else you can do. In this case, the best thing you can do is to relax and stop panicking. This means taking a deep breath, making yourself take it easy, and closing your eyes. Doing so will allow you to focus on the present, which is usually enough to get you past a stuck car or an obstacle.
Third, dig. Digging yourself out is always a good idea, as long as you know how to do it. Try sticking your thumb and first finger into the mud; if they stick, that’s a sign you can go further, but if they don’t, you just dug yourself deeper. Keep doing this until you have reached the depth you were stuck at; once you reach that point, you’re already past the “stuck” part of the problem.
Fourth, use a stick. If you’ve already used your digging stick to try to get yourself unstuck, great. Otherwise, use something sturdy to help pull you out. Try sticking your thumb and first finger into the mud; if they stick, that’s a sign you can further dig, but if they don’t, then you just dug yourself deeper.
Fifth, give up. Don’t keep trying until you give up. Sure, you may have been stuck for quite some time before finally getting yourself out, but chances are you’ll be stuck again soon. Why fight it? Give up and move on. Besides, there’s no point in getting stuck any more than you already are.
Sixth, avoid all mud. Your body was not meant to be submerged in mud and your body will not enjoy being stuck in it for any length of time. Also, your shoes will not appreciate being stuck in mud. Get yourself some new shoes!
Seventh, if you’re stuck in the mud, take a break. Seriously, go ahead and take a break. Whether you want to walk around a bit, rest somewhere or just sit down and catch your breath, do so. Doing so will help you get your bearings, and it will prevent you from getting stuck in the same situation in the future.