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10 Simple Changes to Break the Monotony

“A Change is as Good as a Holiday”. My husband loves to say this, whether he’s about to change the bedding or change careers. I always thrived on change so I couldn’t agree more, and change was easy to come by when I was backpacking around the world, swapping roommates often or taking new college classes each term. But now that I am ‘settled down’ and ‘married with children’ (well, child), there are times when I find myself getting restless, bored or apathetic. These emotions often lead to junk food cravings, retail therapy, and couch potato-itis; all of which take it’s toll on my mental and physical health. At these times, I find myself and other bored friends complaining that we really need a holiday. But then I remember the saying and realise I just need some change in my day, my week, my home, my activity, or my mindset to freshen life up again. Here’s a list of 10 simple, and mostly free, changes that you, too, can make to add a spring to your daily step.

Change is instinctual, desirable, motivating and healthy

1. Drive or walk a different way to work, school, or the shops.

We are often so concerned with getting from A to B that we don’t even consider the journey, which is also an important part of our day. Change your route and notice things on the way: the home designs, types of trees, interesting shops, and little parks. This may also lead to a change in the cafe you frequent, the shopkeeper you buy a book from or the view of the sunset on the way home.

2. Eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast.

We are so used to eating the same types of foods at certain times of the day, that simply having eggs and bacon for dinner can seem like a fun event. Steak and sweet potatoes for breakfast may be a great change to liven up your weekend morning.

3. Move around some furniture in your home.

You’d be amazed at how refreshing it is to suddenly have your bed or desk on the opposite side of the room. You’ll feel good from the exercise of moving the furniture, and the next day you come home and it’s like a new place. When you change the layout of kids’ rooms, it renews their interest in different activities and toys. It may do the same for you too.

4. Eat your lunch in a different place.

If you eat lunch out, try a different cafe. If you eat homemade lunch, find a new park bench, patch of grass, sitting wall, or area of your office or school building. If at home, find a spot somewhere outside your front or back door, or eat lunch in bed! Don’t stop at lunch – have breakfast in bed and a romantic or family picnic dinner on your living room floor. The kids will love it and it costs nothing more! Never underestimate the power of a change of scenery.

Eating dinner on the living room floor today was a simple but fun change!

5. Try a new type of exercise.

Both our bodies and our minds can get bored with the same type of movement every week, so mix it up once in awhile. Try a class at the gym you have never done; go for a swim instead of your usual run; try out pilates or yoga at home with a YouTube video or DVD from the library; do a free trial dance class; go climb on a playground. When you change your body movement, you not only fire off different muscles, but different brain receptors connected with new emotions.

6. Do a random act of kindness.

Whether for your loved ones, an acquaintance or a stranger, the simple act of doing something nice for someone else adds a magical spark to your day. Put a nice note in your child’s lunch or partner’s bag. Bring your colleague an unexpected snack or drink. Call your mother just to see how her day was. Let someone who’s frazzled or elderly go in front of you in the line at the shop. Compliment someone. See how many new random acts you can think of to do.

7. Be a tourist in your own city.

Even the weekends can get stale when we do the same things every week, or when we lose motivation to do anything. Going to new areas not far from home can feel just like being on holiday, so walk around an unexplored suburb, go to a different park, beach or shopping area, try a new restaurant, visit a tourist attraction.

8. Vary your everyday entertainment.

Check out a book, movie or music album in a genre different to your norm. Join a weekly community group or class in something you are curious about. Play a board game or do a puzzle instead of watching TV. For children, introduce a new activity like ‘painting’ concrete with water and sponges, or collecting different types of leaves to use with art activities. Google your interests to get ideas.

9. Add a new ritual to your daily or weekly routine.

You could light candles and play relaxing music at dinnertime, listen to educational or comedy CDs in the car, try a new fruit or vegetable every week when you buy the groceries, or make every Thursday ‘homemade burger night’. Even just one new ritual is enough change to give you something new to look forward to and delight in.

10. Make a change from within.

Start with the simple decision to consciously make a specific change to your attitude or mindset. Depending on your personality, this change could be something like: Ban pointless negativity or sarcasm; don’t be afraid to speak up at work about your ideas and opinions; stop complaining about your partner, children or boss to other people; think about how the world looks to your child so you can better understand their needs; be forgiving about other people’s mistakes. The change won’t happen immediately, but over time, when you change your mind, you change your life.

Use these 10 simple changes to spice up your day instead of letting monotony encourage unhealthy habits in your life, such as drinking your daily sugar and milk filled coffee, grabbing a candy bar every time you stop for petrol, or smoking cigarettes just for something to do. There may always be times in our lives when we feel stuck in a rut, apathetic about everything and slightly depressed. And that’s ok, but only if we soon realise it and respond to our instinctive craving for change. When boredom goes on for too long, it can often lead to total demotivation and depression, or seeking excitement from junk food, fast driving, alcohol and drugs, overspending, and other destructive behaviours. Go back to even just one change from this article as a base to start from, and soon you will be coming up with your own ways to break the monotony and enjoy every day of your life.

COMMENT : Tell us which of these changes sounds fun to you  OR  tell us your own simple change that breaks the monotony.



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