The alarm buzzes, I flutter my eyes and think wow, I just went to bed 6 hours ago, but right now it feels like 5 minutes ago…
The routine begins, the coffee poured, the scramble to hit the pavement and go to the train. I stare at the sky like usual, trying not to spill my home brewed coffee shuffling through the busy downtown metro stop. Once I unpack my things and settle at my desk, I fire up the computer, and another day officially begins.
Does it sound familiar in some way? Maybe you have a similar commute but with a different mode of transportation, maybe you like tea, or going to the same cafe.
When I look at the clock, I realize, it’s time to go! I pack up, and run off into the sunset until I’m home, and go forward with my evening set of activities until I fall asleep.
The alarm buzzes, and it begins again.
Some days can feel exciting, like wow I have a deadline, wow I get to see my best friend after work, or YAY I can sleep later. Whatever makes you excited, it doesn’t take us away from the routine of the day that begin to wear at us after awhile. I’ve struggled with routines a lot in my life. I like to think of myself as a creative- someone who allows thoughts and feelings to pop in and spark me into the next project or activity, but it’s hard to do that when you have a routine. It almost feels like you’re a bot. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly activities and habits that are incredibly important to do during the day or evening (i.e. brush your teeth, have your coffee, eat, sleep).
But what if we are experiencing the day to day blues? That feeling when you are getting tired of the same types of activities and feeling of monotony.
It can start to show up in your life in different ways, and it may look like:
- Lack of creative and innovative thinking
- Sluggish mood and boredom with your days
- Uninspired thoughts, feeling a lack of passion
- Negative thoughts creeping in and making you feel bad about yourself and your choices
Now, this isn’t to say it isn’t other things causing it too- maybe you’re unhappy at your job too, that can certainly cause negative feelings and thoughts. These all add on and can make the situation even WORSE.
So, what if there was a way to excite the day to day again and feel creative, and PRESENT?
Only a couple of days ago I decided to stroll through downtown D.C. after a networking event, only because I felt like it. I didn’t think about much, only observed the people on the street, every time I moved my head left to right there was something moving, expressing, and catching my attention. It was a cool experience because I felt so present with the moment- there were no feelings having to do with reflection, or looking to the future. There was simply those 25 minutes where I wandered around and it struck me how impactful presence can be.
To be present, we sometimes need to get out of our comfort zone, try something new, see something that lights us up, challenges us, or even asks us to pay attention because we don’t have the physical or mental memory to pull it off without thinking.
To bring some of this blissful presence into your life, take a look at your current routine and ask yourself when’s the last time I:
- Swapped my morning routine around (i.e. going in a different order)
- Visited a new cafe or switched my home brewing method?
- Journalled in the morning while the sun was rising?
- Took the back road, or a new bus/train route to work?
- Invited a friend to grab breakfast?
- Swapped around my eating schedule?
Etc you get where I’m going :)
Your day to day routine can be flipped around entirely, or subtly tweaked to give you the “newness” you’re seeking. It could be changing your structure around, or even infusing it with activities that break you from the hamster wheel. When it comes to changing your routine, you’ll notice that new feelings and sometimes uncomfortable ones can emerge. That feeling is pretty standard- especially if you’ve built up a routine that has been working with you up until it recently. After time, even uncomfortable feelings become standard routines- think of where you were before you began your current one and it’s probably hard to remember being nervous about it!
Remember that the day-to-day may be draining, but don’t let your routines keep you from experiencing presence, happiness, and a chance to step back and admire where you are right now in your life & career.
p.s. have a routine you really enjoy? Share your ideas with us in the comments