Our bodies follow a natural cycle; with hormone levels decreasing or increasing causing sleep or hunger, heart rate rhythms, body temperature control, excretion, concentration, and our life cycle in general. This gives us some context to the fact that our lives also follow a cycle, and we tend to find grounding and a sense of control in predictable routines and patterns of relating. However, what happens when one gets bored or feels demotivated by the daily repetition or experiencing monotony in life? According to an article by The Washington Post, ‘Boredom is a distressing emotional state that combines feelings of restlessness and lethargy, arising from situations that are no longer satisfying or stimulating’. Thus what can one do to break the monotony of life?

1.Even though we have recurring commitments, try to look at your schedule and see how you can differentiate one day from the next.

You can change the sequence of some things, or include something different between each commitment. For example you may opt for different routes to go to work; using the bike or listening to a podcast as you drive. You may also opt to put on some music as you’re cooking or completing the chores. The point here is to take the ordinary and try to inject it with something different. 

2. Include in your week things that you enjoy doing and give you not only motivation. Ask yourself, what are the things that I enjoy doing?

This means that you have something to look forward to whilst completing mundane chores / tasks. In some cases, these mundane tasks may also be the stepping stone to do the things you love; for example you may save some money to carry out a hobby; to buy artistic materials or subscribe to some interesting channel. This helps to keep a positive perspective too, rather than looking at your job as keeping you away from the things you love, it is a source of financing your passions. 

3. We mentioned perspective, another way to break the monotony is to reflect on your life, to be mindful of your existence and to put all your experience into perspective.

Mindfulness or meditation, taking a walk, being in nature, feeling grounded and focusing on your feelings, these are all ways to get in touch with yourself and to connect rather than moving from one task to the next without giving it too much thought. This doesn’t need to take up too much time, but it is quite important to be in touch with oneself and what is going on around you. 

4. Another aspect to perspective is to make sure that there is a transition from one activity to the next and to keep boundaries.

For example, if your work day is over, resist the temptation to keep answering emails once you get back home. Establishing clear boundaries helps your mind complete a task, and take on a new one. This shift helps you to focus better and to feel less overwhelmed. 

5. Self-care is another important aspect;

rather than rushing from one thing to the next or feeling like you have too much time on your hands and feeling aimless. Take some time to care for yourself; preparing healthy food, engaging in a skin care routine, choosing clothes that uplift your mood, having your hair done or updating your profile pictures. 

6. Caring for oneself also involves being physically healthy and active.

Going for a walk or a run, completing a workout, being physically engaged means that your body will release hormones that help you to feel happier and more motivated. 

7. Take up a challenge and get out of your comfort zone;

this could be through taking up a short course, reading a book, discussing in depth about current affairs or a movie you enjoyed watching. This helps keep your mind focused and it gives your routine a different edge since you need to do something out of the ordinary.

8. Look at the big picture, what meaning do you want to give to your life?

What do you want to achieve? By giving yourself an existential direction, you can help feel more driven and less bored about your life. You would be better able to make conscious decisions and choices that will lead you to your final goal. 

9. Make social contact and give time to your relationships and friendships.

Plan a coffee date with a friend, call someone for a chat, plan a holiday or a lunch date. All these interactions help to break the monotony of life and help you to feel less isolated. Connecting with others doesn’t mean it should be a big deal, especially if you don’t like big groups or particular social settings, however it makes your life more enriched.

10. Finally, the last set step is to find ways where you can contribute to others or to society.

By focusing on what you can provide and the skills that you have, you change your view from a passive one to a more empowered one. By doing so, you feel more in control of your life and this lets you tap more into the resources and potential that you have. 

Abigail Church is a Humanistic Integrative Counsellor who works with adults and children through counselling with Willingness. She can be contacted on abigail@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.