Life happens. This we know. At times it seems like we're simply trying to keep our heads above water with the doggy paddle we semi-learned as children. We fall into routines, habits, and cycles that in the larger scheme of things may not be the best. When we start living life on auto-pilot, and push spontaneity, wonder and creativity to the backseat we run the risk of falling into a dark, monotonous, and boring hole. The longer we stay there, the deeper it gets.
"I don't have time to change", "Spontaneity is a luxury", "Not today, but one day..." These are all excuses we use to convince ourselves that if we endure one more hour, day, week, or year that things will be different. I'm sorry to say that things will only change if you make the effort to change them! The brain, above all else, is a muscle, and it requires use, constant use. Our brains light up when we introduce new habits, surroundings, or skills into our daily routine. This isn't to say that you need to stop what you're doing at start learning Dutch; however, there are small things we can do today that will help to move us out of the rut, the hole that seems too deep to ever escape. If you've been feeling a bit "blah" lately, this article is for you.
1. Clean out your Facebook friend's list (don't need no hateration, holleration in this dancery)
2. Stand in the sun (yes, for no reason. Just take it in for a moment)
3. Sing out loud, and as loud as you want (in the shower, on the way home, in your underwear, sing)
4. Moisturize your hands (seriously, try it)
5. Take a cold shower (yes, you read correctly)
6. Give someone a genuine compliment (it's lovely making others smile)
7. Learn the corniest 'knock knock' joke you can, and share it with a friend (or stranger)
8. Check something off of your to-do list (victory for breakfast, yum!)
9. Delete the apps off of your phone that you never use.
10. Click 'Unfollow'. It's liberating AF.
11. Breathe in deeply and hold for 10 seconds.
12. Invest in a foot and/or hand massage (thank me later)
13. Start a vision board.
14. Take some Vitamin C.
15. Book a trip to somewhere you've never been before.
16. Talk to a stranger.
17. Switch up your route going to / coming from work or school. Your brain will get a welcomed challenge.
18. Teach yourself a new card game.
19. Three words: Adult Coloring Books. They've been proven to reduce stress, and increase concentration!
20. Eat something green... or purple... or orange. Just up your color game in terms of variety on your plate.
20.5 Speaking of green, buy a plant! Watch it grow under your care. Hey, it's cheaper and less messy than a baby or even a puppy!
21. Listen to a song that really meant something to you in the past. Errybody loves a throwback.
22. Sweat... because of a workout, not because you're swearing, while running to catch the train.
23. Call your mom. Or your dad, or sister or brother. Do not however, call your ex or your toxic friend you've been meaning to drop.
24. Put your phone down. Leave it at home. Put it on airplane mode. Turn it off. Just leave it alone for a bit. Make it a goal to not touch your mobile device for X amount of time each day, and instead use that time to try one of the above things. Disconnect. Be present.
Again, these suggestions mentioned above aren't huge, revolutionary acts; they're small things that can provide you with an almost immediate boost in your mood, self-esteem and confidence. Although regardless of what we want bills need to be paid, taxes filed, and dinners cooked, life doesn't have to be simply lived. It can also be enjoyed, appreciated, and cherished! When you feel your thoughts running ahead of what your body is physically capable of doing, take moment, drink some water, close your eyes, and breathe in deeply. Instead of trying to find the quickest way off this train, think about riding the wave and appreciating the moment for what it is: fleeting, and temporary.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.