©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
“It’s Groundhog Day all over again,” said a friend about experiencing sameness when asked about her weekend. Her reference to the popular Bill Murray movie has a ring of understanding for many mired in monotony.
Breakfast. Exercise. Shower. Housework. Career work. Lunch. Zoom. Garden. Call. Text. Scroll. Cook. Clean. Read. Zoom. TV. Stream. Sleep.
Some add in pray, study, teach, takeout, grocery shop, internet shop.
Shuffle and repeat.
The lack of scenery changes, people interactions and spontaneous conversations affect our emotions. They can also impact our creativity and activity levels as well as our moods and reactions. But we can change that.
Are the days seeming monotonous?
Shaking off sameness is less about doing different things and more about doing the same things differently.
Reenergize with some of these ideas:
Go for a ride-around using different roads. Visit a nearby area you haven’t been in a while (or ever). Or just drive. Nix the focus on destination and enjoy the ride.
Look intently for what’s changing. Recent construction. New businesses. Innovative murals. At home mostly? Spot the changes in your yard (plant growth, flowers, turning leaves).
Strive to learn something daily. Lots of online courses exist, but we expand our horizons and shake off sameness by broadening and diversifying our selections.
Walk backwards for a block or two in your neighborhood. (But be very careful!) Skip up and down your driveway. Raise up and down on your tiptoes while talking on the phone or making dinner.
Stand up while Zooming (but make sure to adjust the camera height – please!)
When getting groceries, add a couple of items you haven’t purchased before to try. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite.
Read or listen to a different genre than preferred.
Explore an area in which you have limited knowledge or interest. Not STEM-oriented? Read a Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazine. A burner instead of a baker? Watch a popular cooking or chef show.
Switch up music choices. Normally a Country or Rock fan? Add a jazz or opera selection to soundwaves.
Plant bulbs you’ve never planted now. Enjoy the spring surprise.
Try a food that’s unusual for you or something that reminds you of a place you’ve traveled.
Photograph something you normally don’t. Recently I’ve been taking pictures of mushrooms, and I’m amazed at how many fascinating ones I’ve found in my local area (and my yard!)
Reach out to someone you don’t know well but would like to know better. Someone in your church, organization or neighborhood will enjoy a new connection too.
When social Zooming, make it a goal to learn something new about the participants or observe something in their surroundings.
Set the table with fine china and candles. Or create a picnic on the porch or in your den.
Change décor for the season. Spice it up with fall colors and decorative items.
FEEL IT ANEW
Has prayer become like a “To Do” item? Spin it back to the Source! Praise first. Start the morning with prayers entirely for praise and thanksgiving to God without any requests. Then dedicate another time for specific requests – or do rising prayers and praises throughout the day.
Journal about the times you’ve felt the most purposeful, the most joyful, the most thankful. How can you recapture those feelings? Identify 3 ways you can shift out of sameness, then pick one to start doing.
Pen a letter to your spouse or significant other, child or parent and express the ways they make you proud.
Write a love letter to God and tell Him what makes you happy about being in His family and why you trust Him.
Pray the Psalms. Read aloud.
September is International Women’s Friendship Month. Send a card, text, email or video snippet telling a friend why she is valued in your life. Make it more personal by bringing up a specific circumstance when she had a specific impact.
We break up monotony by moving – our bodies, our minds, our hearts in a new way.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:15-17 NIV
- What do you find most monotonous in your life right now?
- In what ways can you shake off sameness in your life?
- Identify a method to move your body, mind and heart in a new way this week. Pick an action for each area.
- Is your spiritual life staid? Is your love for God – your trust in God – deeper this year than last year? If not, what will you do to draw closer?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-3 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™