Daily routines can quickly become a daily grind when they continue on without changes or anticipated development. For many of us switching up our daily routine can be an important part of mental and physical health.
Thriving on Change
The brain is a complex and developed organ designed to address fluctuating circumstances and yes, even times of stress. Whether the stress is good or bad our brain is equipped to handle these changes and it can be argued that our brain is designed to – and will thrive on – changes and challenges.
When the brain falls into a routine or a “rut” as we often call it, development stagnates, performance weakens, and a variety of psychosomatic symptoms can begin to emerge.
These symptoms can include:
Agitation, jitteriness, or anxiety
Restless leg syndrome
Pervasive feeling of boredom
These symptoms are typically mental unhappiness manifested physically. They are vague and often people struggling with routine burn-out can appear depressed or lethargic when in fact the brain is signaling it’s time for a change.
Is it All Mental?
It is difficult to determine what the differences are between depression, anxiety, and sheer boredom of one’s routine. It can be dangerous to assume it’s all in your head and fortunately the process of elimination can help determine what the source of these symptoms is.
Use these steps to determine whether your physical, mental and emotional symptoms stem from routine boredom or an actual underlying condition.
If you come home from work and head straight to the gym, try varying your exercise routine with swimming at a local pool or talking a walk or run through your neighborhood.
Are you a weekend warrior? Don’t be afraid to sneak in recreation during your work week. If work gets you physically or mentally exhausted, catching a movie at the local theater is a great way to get out without burning the candle at both ends.
While not everyone will be allowed to completely redecorate their office, simply updating your furniture or rearranging common areas can make a significant difference in how you view your home or office space.
Still feeling the blues? Boredom, anxiety and depressive symptoms can be signs of an underlying problem and if changing up your routine provides no relief it’s time to follow up with your primary physician.
Four Reasons You Should Switch Up Your Daily Routine
If you’re not convinced changing your daily routine is necessary, consider the following reasons and benefits:
It makes you more productive at work and at home. When the brain is challenged with various tasks or new experiences it quickly begins to categorize and reformat its structure to absorb as much new information as possible.
It makes you smarter. The same new or varied experiences and tasks that invigorate your brain also make it grow smarter, more sophisticated, and more able to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously. Puzzles, complex tasks, and hands-on tasks all challenge the brain to work outside its natural comfort zones.
Changing your daily routine prevents burn out. While some people refer to it as a “mid-life crisis” the truth is burnout can happen to anyone. Radical and sudden changes in personality, demeanor, and satisfaction can and do happen as a result of the daily grind. The mind and body lash out of a constricting environment seeking new experiences. Prevent it by satisfying your urges for new and different things. Get your significant other involved.
The change improves your interpersonal relationships. Relationships get trapped in routine just as people do and for families or intimate relationships, this kind of stagnation can cause serious unhappiness and discomfort. Seeking out new and engaging experiences with the people closest to you will bring you closer together and help you to discover new things about the people you love.
Changing your daily routine sounds simple and like common sense but many people fail to realize what an impact it makes in our day-to-day lives. Don’t be surprised to find it’s harder than you thought. Our bored and tired minds will often gravitate to familiar experiences because it’s hard to expand and grow. But like all change, it is possible and can make a significant difference in your happiness and long-term successes in life.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
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