I spent the past couple of months feeling very slow and I tried hard to create new routines that would work for me.
After vacations with family, therapy, and a good cleaning in my physical and mental environment, I noticed part of my boredom and low energy was due to … not having enough fun.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you would have fun easily? Try new things in the snap of a finger, laugh, fall and get up quickly? Just jump into everything with a lot of optimism? Smiles and no fear?
Then life happens, we grow up with limiting beliefs, we receive family and social conditioning, we close up, we get tight and our inner child slowly shrinks.
Until that day, when you wake up, look at what your day is made of and realize that you really have zero fun in your life. You are not dead, you have good things for you but you have no fun. You just jump from a task to another, checking the boxes off your to-do list and then, go to bed and start everything again tomorrow.
I noticed how little fun I had when I had to re-think entirely my routines.
How everything was about being productive, getting things done. Adult responsibilities only. So boring. Wow.
I started to re-organize my days so I could both do what is necessary but what was also important for my pleasure and my happiness. Because no one else is going to take care of that for me. I will always have bills, duties, and obligations to do. But it’s also part of my responsibility to make sure that I relax and enjoy my life.
Following advice from my holistic therapist and a couple of Youtube videos, I started journaling. It is a great tool to analyze our behaviors, emotions, and how to adapt. I wrote down all the things I used to do as a kid that would make me happy and that I could do again today.
Here is my list of things I do now very consciously on a weekly basis to improve my mental health and personal growth. Take whatever resonates with you.
- Walk: uhuh. Seems too easy and dumb … but not really when you think about it. I don’t know about you but I work all day long sitting in a chair in front of my laptop. So going out for a walk when I get a chance is a great way to let my brain breathe and move my body around. It’s also a moment of meditation: I look around me, breathe slowly and listen to the sounds without being on my phone. I also take this time to connect with my dog (which brings me to my next point).
- I am a nature lover. Since I can remember, I always loved animals (wanted to be a vet) and nature. I take care of it as much as I can and spending time outside with my dog is one of the most relaxing and fulfilling activities I ever did. Your pet or the time you spend outside feeling what is around you is a great form of grounding. You connect yourself to the moment present and you just be you. You stop running and do things. You are. Contemplate the nature around you, feel it, breathe it, touch it. Sometimes after just a 30 minutes walk with my dog at the beach I feel like I disconnected from the daily rush for 3 hours. Find yourself a little piece of nature you can enjoy from time to time.
- A form of art: this is very broad and I am sure you can find some art-related activity that will make you laugh and lift up your spirit. I like to dance silly to my favorite song of the moment, it is a great way to start the day or finishing it. When I was younger, I loved to draw and paint. I don’t feel as attracted to it as before but I really wanted to start doing something with my hands again. I looked up online a few DIY videos to catch up on some inspo and I discovered about epoxy resin! And let me tell you that I am having so much fun with it! I do little art objects that I offer to friends and family. Besides the joy of making a gift, it makes me proud to be able to say “I made this”. But no, I won’t be the new contemporary artist of the year.
- Read and journal: I know nowadays people prefer to listen to podcasts or watch videos. If that is your thing, listen to something that makes you happy or stimulates your mind. But if you like to write, buy yourself a beautiful journal and write down a few lines about your day. It’s great to reflect and see what elements of your life can be improved and which areas are really working for you.
As I love to read, I am, of course, going to tell you to find yourself a theme of books you will like. Criminal, romantic, Sifi…there are so many themes that I and/or read a chapter of a book. Reading a book is a sensorial experience itself. When you read, you enjoy the smell of the paper, the texture of the pages, and the weight of the book in your hands, you forget about the noise around to immerse yourself into the universe of the story. Read a book! Or write one!
- Do some cleaning in your relationships. This one is very tough and it takes months to advance on it, so take it easy and be gentle with yourself. I heard a lot that we are the results of the 5 people we have around us. So that being said, now take a look around you and make mental notes. Who are your close friends, how do you interact with them? How is your relationship with your partner? Your coworkers? What is aligned with you and what things could you get rid of? It is extremely important to consider this aspect because even if we don’t notice it on a conscious level, the people around us influence us, always. We have to be careful about setting up healthy boundaries. And sometimes, to feel better and have more fun, it takes some relationship cleansing.
- Use your work as inspiration to create new things. I know this one is hard because it depends on what is your current job. If you love your job, use every bit of inspiration you can get to do something for yourself. If you cannot leave your job or not now, try to find inspiration for your free time: a new podcast to listen to on the way to the office, read a book, learn a new language, start a dance class, or maybe consider doing some volunteer work.
Relax and don’t pressure yourself, I don’t do every single one of these things every day.
But I do make a conscious effort to do at least one of them and do it well. You don’t have to spend hours on it, but you know, walking in the neighborhood or meditating 10 minutes a day is completely doable and can be a great help for your level of happiness.
Every day I read a chapter of my book, I listen to an energizing song, I spend time cuddling my dog without my phone. Depending on my day and my level of energy I work out, spend time outside and try to create things just for my well-being. I adapt.
Keep in mind you don’t have to be doing something every day. It is important to take time to do nothing too. Really rest, meditate, and contemplate is very important to reflect and progress. We can not all day long be in the action.
And don’t pressure yourself trying too many things at the same time or doing something from zero. You need to have fun! Make choices that feel right, light, and comforting.
Having a wellness routine/activity that just feels like another task on the to-do list is not the goal.
Finally, take time to consider what is it that you want to make a priority, look at your schedule, your duties, your stress level, and your budget.
When I started to reconnect with things I wanted to do, I felt stressed because I wanted to do activities that I could not afford. Be smart, start with little steps.
I can not do every month one sound healing therapy, acupuncture, a massage, 10 yoga classes, and try out new restaurants… One day I will, but not now. But I can select one or two things that actually fit my budget and make me happy.
So, now it is your turn.
Think about it. What is one thing that you used to do that you left but would love to go back to? Why? How does that make you feel? How can you make time for yourself in your day for this “me-time”?
Let me know what is this for you and how you implement it in your life ❤