Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky. — Rabindranath Tagore
Do you ever find yourself simply going through the motions day by day? You wake up in the morning, your mind goes blank, and the next thing you know, the day has ended. You find yourself going back home with no recollection of how the day went or what your thoughts were.
Given the current circumstances, working from home can make our current lifestyles even more monotonous, to the point where our minds automatically “shut off” and we simply go about our day in a state of blankness.
A satirical short story called “The First Emotion” by Octave Mirbeau cautions us of such a lifestyle — a lifestyle that runs like clockwork. In it, the man goes about his day the exact same way, with a robotic regularity. His mind is then in a state of auto-pilot, to the point where even the most trivial change in his routine results in absolute internal chaos.
"If you think there’s something missing from your life, it’s probably you." — Robert Holden, the Happiness Project
By living your life on autopilot, you’re missing out on everything wonderful that the world has to offer!
If you find yourself constantly blanking out and gradually sinking into monotony, here are some ways for you to break the sequence and get out of your rut!
Where’s Your Head At?
Our brains are wired to forget things it deems boring. Especially if we’re performing mundane tasks that we’ve done many times. Hence, if you leave the house knowing you brushed your teeth, but you can’t seem to remember doing it, you now know why.
Rather than see these routine tasks as tasks to merely complete, try to rewire yourself into viewing them as tasks to cherish and enjoy.
After all, we can only ever truly live in the present. What existed in the past has already happened and what you foresee in the future are vague intangibilities at best. If you spend too long being lost in your thoughts, you’re going to end up feeling extremely disconnected, anxious and restless at how much time has flown.
When we are absorbed in the present moment, contentment happens by itself. We need not look for it. It is a by-product of being present. — Richard Paterson
What is Mindfulness, Really?
Mindfulness is a term that has been talked about a lot in self-care, but what does it really mean?
Mindfulness refers to a type of meditative state you allow yourself to be in, with the specific purpose of feeling all the emotions and physical senses you are feeling in the moment. Mindful practices can help you ground yourself and relax. It can also help you learn to cherish and be grateful for small things in your life that you would otherwise overlook.
How to Mindfully Enjoy Your Day
Here are some quick and easy mindful exercises you can do on the daily .
1. Force Yourself to Do One Thing at a Time
The next time you eat your breakfast, clear your mind of your to-do lists. Put your phone down and get yourself to focus on your food, how it tastes and how you’re feeling. Whether it’s the sweetness of your milk with your cereal, or the heat and fragrance of your tea, pause and learn to savour it. Look out of the window and notice how the sky looks that day.
Avoid multitasking, or thinking obsessively about completing other tasks you wish to do. Don't think about what you'll be doing next either. Divert all your attention and thoughts to the current task at hand.
2. When You Wake Up Every Morning, Ask Yourself, “What Do I Need?”
Do a check-in with yourself every morning and figure out what is it that you’re in need of for the day — your needs can change on a regular basis. Once you’ve figured out what is it that you need, acknowledge that need and do something about it.
Is your body really tense because you’ve been stressed? Do some quick stretching, or give yourself a massage. Did you not get enough sleep the night before? Fix yourself a hot drink with some ginger and lemon and deliberately set the intention of sleeping earlier tonight. Is there something you’re repressed and upset about? Let yourself vent for a few minutes in a journal.
These tiny acts of self-care will help you get through the day, even if they seem relatively minor.
3. Give Yourself Affirmations
Whenever we’re having a bad day, it’s easy to fall back into reliving your past, and getting reminded of your flaws and previous mistakes. However, having a pessimistic and defeatist attitude will only make it all the harder for you to improve your mood and situation
Instead of looking at past mistakes, look at your past accomplishments and strengths! Recall every obstacle you’ve overcome and allow yourself to relive how you felt pulling through! We’re not only shaped by the good things that have happened, but also the bad.
Remember how strong-willed, or adaptive and resourceful, or calm and measured you were. If you’ve pulled through before, you will pull through again.
We hope these tips have helped. Remember: even if you’re not always off to a good start, there are always ways for you to turn it around and derive contentment.