As you awake to the sound of the alarm, it’s not the blinking “7:00 am” on your digital watch that triggers a sigh. It’s the fact that it’s time to wake up. From here on, you tread through different parts of the day based on what task it is allotted for: time for work, time to go home, or time to go to bed and start it all over again.
Time is a social construct built to establish a routine. The pandemic emphasized how much of this is true. Without leaving one place, life goes on as long we stick to a routine. With its repetitive quality, routines have gotten a bad reputation.
But not rightfully so. Routines fulfill a purpose. Sticking to one doesn’t necessarily mean a life of tedium and monotony.
Why We Need Routines
Structure is the very essence of society. Daily life, a microcosm of societal living, is founded on a routine structure, even though the specifics may vary from one culture to another. An IKEA study may have found that Londoners tend to be slower in the mornings than Berliners, but the bigger picture looks similar everywhere. We all strive to stick to a schedule, no matter our preferences.
Humans have evolved to be creatures of habit. And science has tons of studies to back this up.
Behavioral science research has found that routines do help people cope with stress and anxiety. They provide some sense of control.
Another study stresses the importance of habits and routine in medicine. It notes that patient adherence is “one of the greatest challenges to lifestyle medicine” since lifestyle diseases require lifetime treatment. Thus, gradually incorporating health recommendations into a routine can encourage long-term adherence among patients.
What It Means to Break Out of the Monotonous Life
“Live your life.” It’s what countless rock songs and inspirational movies have been telling us to do. But to live your life, you don’t have to follow Julia Roberts and put everything at stake to have an enlightening journey across the world. To live your life, it doesn’t have to be a life-risking dramatic scene, preferably set to an uplifting instrumental.
To enjoy life, it only takes small steps to make every day exciting. Here are ways to find little surprises in life.
Fuel Your Passions with Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes are like gifts you pre-order for yourself. Each month, you’ll have some new merchandise to look forward to, delivered right at your doorstep. As these are tailored to satisfy niche markets, it’s easy to find one personalized for your interests.
For the artsy types, craft box subscriptions are an exciting way to discover new art media and build collections. By exploring unfamiliar supplies, you’ll never have to deal with a creative block again.
If you’re part of a fandom, there are many pop culture subscription boxes to choose from. Potterheads can subscribe to the Accio! Box for high-quality handmade items. The brand also offers cruelty-free and vegan boxes. Gamers can always have new epic Nintendo gear through Game Over Box. Meanwhile, every quarter, fans of The Office can have their exclusive goods by ordering from CultureFly.
Whether it’s arts and crafts or a TV show, interests and hobbies can boost your creativity and productivity. They improve both your interpersonal and intrapersonal emotions, as they are a source of enjoyment you can enjoy alone or in the company of others.
As such, it’s important to keep them alive through little things like subscription boxes.
Join a New Club
You don’t have to be stuck with only one hobby. You can always expand your interests by exploring something similar. It’s easier to learn about unfamiliar stuff by sharing the experience with other people. From jewelry making to dancing, Facebook has tons of special interest groups you can join.
If you’re still looking for a new hobby, you can join websites like Meetup, where you can try things out.
Change Your Look
Many of us define ourselves by a signature look. As such, a simple change in your hairstyle or makeup can be a powerful thing. It can improve your self-esteem and confidence, allowing you to present yourself anew. You don’t have to be unsatisfied with your current look to warrant a makeover. Simply, it can be a way to style things up.
Decorate Your Cubicle Differently
Studies have shown that our environment affects our mood. For example, temperature, lighting, and noise conditions in the workplace can affect an employee’s concentration.
Unless you’re the boss, you can’t renovate the entire office. But you can decorate your own workspace. The cubicle may be small, but it doesn’t have to feel cramped. By dressing up your desk occasionally with crafted art or pictures of loved ones, you get some visual breaks to make the hours more bearable.
Living in Excitement
Life should be enjoyed. While our habits and routines keep us grounded as functional members of society, it’s equally important to stay curious. By embracing a few changes here and there, we find the best things in life.