A Break From Routine

Monotony. Dealing with the same challenges, the same tasks, the same routine day after day, week after week, can increase our stress levels.  We are Sisyphus trapped, more likely doomed, to experience the same thing again and again and again without finding success or relief. Redundancy without resolution in our daily work can dull our minds sending us into depression.

Can you relate?

I can.

sisyphusI had been in a bit of that negative groove this past August. Days were the same. The side work I do became monotonous and not challenging. Some personal situations were trying. Every day seemed like the last day. I was in a funk. Lidia helped me out of it.

Lidia is, of course, Tropical Storm Lidia who blew in to wake me up. After moving past the anxiety of the storm, what I noticed is that Lidia forced me out of my routine. Work stopped due to lack of internet. The personal squabbles that seemed important fell to the wayside. And most importantly I learned that doing physical labor, taking care of necessities, and helping others is, was, and ever will be what life is really about. In returning to the basics of survival – ensuring food, keeping clean, and repairing shelter – I returned to myself and who I truly am. Breaking out of routine, turning off the computer, and doing some honest physical labor switched off the negativity and brought me back to life.

You don’t need an extreme weather situation to get you out of your funk. Adding these few things to your week can help you break from routine and break free from the negativity of monotony.

Change It Up: Much of our life we are on autopilot. Do things a bit differently to break up the monotony. Take a different route home. Try a new food. Change the order of your daily tasks. See how the change of pace releases you.

Get Physical: So much of our current lifestyle is sedentary and cerebral. Get out of your head and away from the computer. Put your hands in the dirt. Take a walk. Cook. Create. In doing physical actions with your whole body, find relief from the negativity in your head.

Make It About Others: When we spend our days replaying our own challenges, we create a groove of negativity which is hard to break. By supporting others, we stop playing our sad story, breaking us free from its hold. Compassion towards others minimizes our own challenges.

Back to Basics: Much of our days are filled with worries we have created. – Why aren’t people “liking” my Facebook post? I can’t believe it has taken more than 48 hours for Amazon to deliver my iPhone. Why has Starbucks stopped service pumpkin lattes? – Stop. Take a moment to look at the core things that are really important in life. You have family and friends, a roof over your head, and nourishment. Being grateful for the small things can make a big difference.

Laugh and Love: When it comes down to it, laughing and loving are the most important aspects of life. Be sure you are getting – and giving – daily doses.

When your days feel heavy, boring, and redundant, try out these tips. By returning to what is real about life, you will find that the old boring routine holding you down has been reinvigorated.

2 comments

    1. Nice job breaking up the day. So often we think we have to wait until the end of our tasks to get a reward – like having to eat our dinner before dessert. Sometimes, little desserts throughout the day can make work go faster, easier, and better.

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