This article was co-authored by Lucy Yeh. Lucy Yeh is a Human Resources Director, Recruiter, and Certified Life Coach (CLC) with over 20 years of experience. With a training background with Coaching for Life and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at InsightLA, Lucy has worked with professionals of all levels to improve the quality of their careers, personal/professional relationships, self marketing, and life balance.
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Even the most satisfied person can catch a case of the doldrums, finding themselves bored with the routine of daily life and seeking relief from it. The good news is that our modern world offers countless ways to spice up the day-to-day grind. Whether you find new ways to look at old habits, or start injecting new activities and interests into your old life, you can feel refreshed and reinvigorated about your routine with just a little time and effort.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Putting New Twists on Old Habits Download Article
- 1Spruce up your usual look. While you might think that clothing choice and hair styles are strictly superficial considerations, studies have shown that these small choices can have a big impact on your emotional state and sense of well-being.XResearch source Getting a new, sassy haircut or overhauling your wardrobe can make your whole life feel refreshed and renewed, so don't dismiss the importance of personal style when trying to change your life. Even a bright new accessory can make a difference.
- Consider dying your hair a fun, non-traditional color if you really want to shake up your look and the way others perceive you. The stigma of punky, bright hair has largely faded, but the bright color can still make you feel bold and unique.XResearch source Start off with a demi-permanent dye if you're hesitant and you won't have to worry if you don't like it.
- 2Liven up the non-negotiables. Some aspects of your daily routine are non-negotiable: just because you’re feeling bored, you can’t stop brushing your teeth, paying bills, or cleaning the house. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of drudgery, though. You can spice up your life by changing the way you do these daily tasks.
- For example, try listening to music while brushing your teeth, getting ready in the morning, and sitting in traffic during your commute. This little change can make a huge difference to your day, energizing you for any challenges you might face as well as de-stressing and distracting you from the daily grind.
- Get yourself excited for household chores by listening to an audiobook or podcast, or arranging for an incentive like a yummy dessert or shopping trip after you’ve finished.
- 3Make time for things you love. You might be feeling blasé about your life because you’re not devoting enough time to recreational activities. All work and no play makes anyone a dull boy, so make sure to incorporate some time each day—even a half hour makes a difference!—to things you love. Not only will it make you feel more satisfied with life, it’s also been shown to have numerous mental and physical health benefits.XResearch source
- Enjoyable hobbies don’t have to be expensive or difficult. Little things like reading books, going for a swim, walking around the neighborhood, watching a favorite television show, or chatting with friends can make a big difference in lightening up your day.
- 4Mix it up at meal time. Experimenting with new recipes and trying new cuisines can make you feel like you’re traveling the world and being adventurous without setting foot outside of town.XResearch source Pick up a world cuisine cookbook and assign yourself a new country to ‘visit’ every week, or make a list of all the international cuisine restaurants in your area and try to check one off each week or month.
- If you’re picky about restaurants and rarely find a new one you like, mix up your routine by ordering new things from your favorite place. You’ll be surprised how many things you’ve never tried on even the most familiar menu, so add some tasty variety to your life by simply changing up your order!
- If you love to cook at home but don’t have access to some of the more exotic ingredients new recipes require, consider trying a subscription cooking box that sends you original recipes and ingredients every week.
- 5Establish daily rituals. Do things every day which you find relaxing, like having a cup of coffee or post-workday glass of wine. You can even build a special routine around it to make the moment feel really indulgent. Studies have even shown that daily rituals can make someone perform better at work and cope with personal problems more quickly and effectively.XResearch source
- For example, if you enjoy your morning cup of joe, buy yourself a French press and a novelty coffee mug and wake up fifteen minutes earlier each day so you can relish the activity even more than usual.
- If one of your favorite ways to relax is taking a long bath, pick up some bath time accoutrements like bath bubbles, a waterproof media player, and aromatherapy candles. What was once a simple, largely utilitarian part of your day will become a luxurious appointment devoted to "me-time."
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Trying New Things Download Article
- 1Start a new hobby. Any new hobby will add a much-needed dose of variety to your life. Think about things you’ve always wanted to try, or, if nothing comes to mind, try browsing a YMCA catalog or online forum for suggestions. Your hobby could be an organic outgrowth of things you’re already interested in: for example, if you’ve always loved Saturday morning cartoons or anime, consider trying your hand at cartoon artistry.
- It can be especially rewarding to pick a creative hobby that yields tangible results, such as knitting, painting, or preserve-making.XResearch source Not only will you feel interested and engaged in a new, unfamiliar activity, but you will also feel productive. You’ll have a self-made scarf, portrait, or strawberry jam to concretely display your accomplishments. And, as a bonus, you can use these products of your new hobby as personal gifts for family and friends!
- 2Take a class. Over time, it's easy to get stuck in a rut where you feel like the whole world is made up of just your own friends, family, and job. If you get out of your comfort zone by learning a new skill or discipline, it can help you remember how diverse, surprising, and interesting the world around you really is.
- Many studies have shown that learning a language is one of the most rewarding educational experiences an adolescent or adult can do.XResearch source It not only teaches you a new mode of communication, but also a fresh perspective on the world: with every language and linguistic system, you’ll also learn about different cultures and social structures.
- Learning the "language" of music is another rewarding way to stimulate your brain. Take music lessons for that instrument you've always loved.
- Even though there are a wealth of online-based learning materials like YouTube tutorials and online university courses for all kinds of subjects and skills, consider taking an in-person class. This will provide you with interactive, face-to-face instruction, as well as the opportunity to meet new people and expand your social circle.
- 3Get active. Not only will a new physical exercise pump some variety into your life, but you’ll also feel positive effects on your general mood. This is because physical exercise increases your endorphin production.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School's Educational Site for the PublicGo to source To make sure you stick with it, find something you really enjoy, whether that's working out at home, joining a team sport, or getting active with a trainer.
- If you already go to the gym regularly, consider mixing up your workout routine with a new class, or you could register for a club sport that will make your gym time more social.
- 4Take advantage of your local arts community. Even if you don’t live in a major theater and live music capital, you’ll be surprised how many concerts, plays, and dance performances are offered in your area. Checking out these local offerings will add variety to your life as well as make you feel more connected with your community. Music even has numerous mental health benefits, including the reduction of stress levels.XResearch sourceXResearch source
- Live music doesn’t have to be expensive! For more affordable options, check out music calendars for bars and coffee shops that don’t charge a cover.
- 5Explore new music and movie genres. There's nothing wrong with knowing what you like, but if you feel like you're in a rut, try listening to artists or watching titles outside of your normal boundaries.XResearch source You’ll be surprised how stimulating and thought-provoking different genres can be: studies have shown that discovering new music outside of your usual stomping ground makes your brain’s chemistry work in different ways and can even deliver an intense, euphoric feeling.XResearch source
- If you want to broaden your cinematic or musical horizons and don’t know where to start, use an ‘All-Time Best of…’ list from Rolling Stone or the American Film Institute as an amateur music or film 101 curriculum.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Reevaluating Your Life Download Article
- 1Be thankful for what you’ve got. Often times you can feel bored or discontented simply because you haven't stopped to think about how much you love what you already have. Take some time to think about what and who you appreciate in your daily life, and ask yourself how you would be affected by losing them. Your reflection probably won’t resolve your restlessness entirely, but it will provide some meaningful perspective on your life and the changes you want to make, as well as afford you numerous mental and physical health benefits.XResearch source
- It can help to write down your reflection in a journal or blog. Making a list of things you’re grateful for can be a valuable therapeutic exercise in itself, and having this written list can serve as an effective reminder later.XResearch source
- 2Accept daily responsibilities. Make a list of all the things you have to do each day and which you can’t escape, such as paying bills, buying groceries, and washing your face. Instead of showing you how boring and routinized your life is, you can see it as showing you how much freedom you actually have: sure, you have to do the things on the list, but that’s all! Every moment in your life not taken up by these non-negotiable responsibilities is open to experiment, novelty, and excitement.
- If you feel like you only have time for work, ask yourself if you can cut back on your hours or work remotely one day a week. Get serious with your calendar and try to open up a day of each week that you can devote to new activities.
- 3Practice small acts of kindness. Studies have shown that doing good for others constitutes one of the most enriching and satisfying things for people from all cultures and ages.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School's Educational Site for the PublicGo to source You can do this in your daily life with minimal effort—for example, hugging a friend, opening the door for someone, or holding the elevator for a lagging stranger—or take on more official roles and responsibilities. Volunteering for a soup kitchen or animal shelter, picking up litter for highway cleanup task forces, or collecting signatures for a civic petition are all valuable ways you can contribute to your community while spicing up your day-to-day routine.
- If you live in a small town where volunteering opportunities are limited or you have mobility issues, you can still contribute meaningfully to your community and make a big difference in other people’s lives. Consider signing up for an online- or phone-based support network, sending emails for a charity organization, or raising money via mail or online campaigns for your favorite philanthropic group.
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- QuestionHow can I change my life from boring to exciting?Lucy YehLucy Yeh is a Human Resources Director, Recruiter, and Certified Life Coach (CLC) with over 20 years of experience. With a training background with Coaching for Life and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at InsightLA, Lucy has worked with professionals of all levels to improve the quality of their careers, personal/professional relationships, self marketing, and life balance.
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