I can admit I’m a creature of habit. I probably could tell you what I’m doing next Monday at noon (going to my lunch break at work), or any other given time. I have a routine I follow daily. After a recent bout of depression, I’ve realized I need a change in my life.
Becoming predictable in my life was easy. I know what I can do in a day’s time, how long it will take, what time I’ll have said task done. While that is efficient for a work environment, it really makes your life mundane. Because I rarely stray from my routine, I am also often bored to tears.
I’ve even become complacent in my diet and health care. I don’t go out, and don’t really need to impress anyone, therefore I eat what want and have become lazy. While I don’t know the health issues associated with three-fourths of my family (my Dad was adopted and my Mom’s biological mother/side of the family is missing from the family tree), the part that I do know are very hefty in stature. They aren’t all huge, but enough that I should worry and be more active in my life. I know I have health issues that should be addressed, but again I feel that “eh, I’m not dying, so…” feeling.
I’ve recently started going to the gym. Thus far, I’ve spent most of my time on the treadmill. But it is a step in the right direction (Step, treadmill, get it?….at least I make myself laugh). I’d like to break up the monotony that has become my life. I’ve made several claims of the sort before, but this time, I’m hoping for support in my plans. Recently I’ve been receiving the encouragement I need. It’s not how I thought I’d get it, but it’s there and I like it.
But back to my original point, getting stuck in a rut is something that happens to a lot of people. We don’t always see it coming, or even realized it’s happened until it is too late. The next thing you know, BAM, you are in a rut and not sure how to get out of it.
You think I need to do things A, B, and C today and everyday, so I will always do them at the same time, to get them out of the way. Every other day I need to do things D, E, and F so I will do them right after A, B, and C so I can ensure they are done. Once a week I need to do things G, H, and I…and so on. If something out of routine pops up, it throws you off unless it is planned ahead of time. These planned variations (at least in my case) get scheduled around your daily routine. And heaven forbid there be a spontaneous event come up, you just feel like your whole day is shot!
Next thing you know, you’re in a rut. You know what’s happening, when it’s happening, and how long it will last. But how do you get out of it? That’s the million dollar question!
For me, it was stepping out of my comfort zone. I’ve been going to the gym, I willingly went to a pool party in my complex where I knew no one. I’ve made it a point to start interacting with more people at work (working in retail, I see a lot of people. I’ve made it a point to learn one new name a week out of the regular customers, so I can be less “in the zone” and more personable at work). If I am out for a walk, at the gym, walking through a store, or any other time, I’ve made it a point to say hello to anyone who makes eye contact with me. It’s not really started a lot of conversations, but it’s a start.
Throwing a wrench into your own very structured day, is the best way to start. You still have some semblance of control, yet you’ve strayed from that rut. Gradually you get a bit more bold about moving out of that comfort zone and out of the rut you’ve just stuck to before.
Spontaneity is the key.
Throw out your old routines and live free.