Ever feel like your days are becoming carbon copies of each other? You get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, get to bed and then do it all over again. So boring! I know — it happens to me too sometimes. But I’ve made a checklist to make sure I don’t fall into the land of monotony:
1. Break your Routine: Try something different, anything! Take an alternate way to work, eat something new for lunch, read a newspaper you would never ordinarily pickup or visit a unique website. We are creatures of habit — but if you change just one thing in your day you will feel refreshed.
2. Create a No Cell Phone Zone: I do this whenever I walk into a park near my apartment on my way to the subway in the morning. When I walk through the gates I make a point to put down my cell phone and enjoy my surroundings. I learned this from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Really take the sounds, the smells and the colors around you. Just taking a few minutes to unplug and engage in the world around you is empowering. And you never know what you might see…I found a squirrel doing yoga one day.
3. Catch up on Something You Love: Read a few chapters of a book you’ve been wanting to finish, pick up your guitar and sing a few songs, write thank you notes and really craft meaningful messages. Any of these tasks or others you love will pull you out of your mundane day.
4. Surprise Someone: Sometimes you’ll feel better about your day when you make someone else’s. Stop by your significant other’s office with a cupcake, call a friend you’ve lost touch with. Simple acts of kindness can really boost your mood and get you out of a funk.
5. Find Some Inspiration: Keep a journal listing things you’re grateful for or a collection of inspiring quotes. You can even just write down your thoughts and think about activities you’d like to pursue or things you’d like to accomplish.
Each day is a gift and we should treat each one with care. If you seek out happiness actively you can really put your mark on the day. I once read about a woman who would reflect on the day by thinking about what the greatest high of the entire day was for her. That’s a great way of looking at and accessing your day to be mindful and let each one count.