Does your life feel bland? Do you feel like you’re doing the same things, wear the same clothes, eat the same food every day? Perhaps you’re due for a change of scenery.
Whether we go to school or go to work, we tend to fall into a routine. Our routines can keep us prompt and productive, but they can get monotonous over time. In fact, doing the same thing day in and day out can make us complacent.
As the fortune reads, “A new environment makes all the difference in the world.” Even a small change in environment can help a humdrum life. What we must recognize is that our environment is more than just a place. Our environment is who we are, our world around us, and how we interact.
Let’s take a look at these three areas and how some simple changes can spice things up.
Who We Are
You Are What You Eat
Nutritionist Victor Lindlahr published You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet back in 1942. And although the idea of our health is dependent on the foods we eat had been around for much longer, Lindlahr helped the phrase become part of our culture.
A varied diet is healthier than eating the same thing every day. One cannot live on coffee alone—although some may disagree. Instead, we need to eat various foods not only to improve our health but also to improve our emotions.
Trying new foods can be daunting for some, but experiencing new flavors, textures, and smells can boost our morale. Of course, we need to eat more healthy food and less junk. One study showed that “Increased fruit and vegetable consumption was predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being.”
We can shop at our favorite market, buy healthy foods online, or grow it in our backyard. Just remember to mix it up a bit if you want to add a little zest.
Dress For Success
What we put on our bodies has just as much of an effect as what we put in our bodies. Our state of mind can change by having a change of clothes. As much as we would love to work in our pajamas all day, getting dressed in the morning puts us into a productive mindset.
Scientific America highlighted studies that proved wearing more formal clothing lead to higher abstract thinking. They found that subjects dressing in lab coats had improved focus. They even found that athletes could lift heavier weights when they wore the color red as opposed to blue, for example.
It isn’t necessary to buy a whole new wardrobe to make a change in clothing. We can easily make a small change to give ourselves a boost. We could consider purchasing an article of clothing in a color that we don’t have. If a friend happens to be the same size, try a clothing swap. We gain the benefits of a new look without the cost.
Some of us are required to dress a certain way for work or school, but a dress code doesn’t have to be a prison. Even if we have to wear a uniform, we can discretely get a little wild with our accessories or even underclothes. No one has to know but us.
If we can’t mix it up at school or work, we can consider breaking out of the bland apparel when we get home. This change of outfit can give us a new lease on life. Even Mr. Fred Rogers changed into to relaxing clothes when he entered his imaginary world. He also had different colors of his famous zip-up sweaters.
Mind Our Minds
The books we read, music we listen to, and shows we watch can generate many feelings. Sometimes we want to get a thrill from a scary movie. Other times, we want the reassurance of romance from a love story. Most people enjoy a few different genres of media in their lives. Unfortunately, we also allow ourselves to get sucked into habitual media that can poison our souls.
If we spend too much time yelling at the television news anchors, cringing at the daily paper, or arguing with old friends on Facebook, we let toxic emotions rule our days. Yes, we need to stay informed and experience different viewpoints, but if we notice our blood pressure skyrocket, perhaps we need to dial it back a bit. Throw in some feel-good stories or your favorite music to lighten the mood.
Great music can improve our ride to work, boost our workout routines, and inspire us to create. The idea is to surround ourselves with positivity. Even looking at positive pictures can improve our moods and make a difference – kitten memes, anyone?
Our World Around Us
Sometimes the best change of scenery comes from taking a vacation. A little time at the beach or in the woods can rejuvenate the body and mind. Unfortunately, we can’t always ditch our duties for two weeks to soak up the sun. Don’t’ worry; just because we are stuck at work, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a change of scenery.
Take a look at your workspace. Is it cluttered? Is it monotone in color? Little changes here can make a huge impact in our lives. It can be as simple as a plant or picture frame. I find that moving the living room furniture into different configurations is great stress relief.
Not everyone has the freedom to modify their workspace. For those that don’t, move small things around if you feel unproductive. Tiding a bookshelf, filing some papers, even deleting unused shortcuts on your desktop monitor can help. Better yet, get rid of all the shortcuts and have an inspirational background.
It might not be a tropical vacation, but we can easily shake things up by doing some work in a new environment. I find packing up my laptop and heading to the park can inspire me to crank out some fantastic writing. It is also refreshing to get some sun, breathe in some clean air, and enjoy the view.
Still looking for a way to make some changes? When not at work, we can consider going to a different market, library, or laundromat. Sometimes taking a different route to the same establishments can give us a new perspective and possibly a discovery.
Unless we are a hermit, we all need to interact with others in our lives. We work with others, learn with others, and even live with others. Our interactions can become mundane if we forget that every person is a beautiful miracle placed on this world for some wonderful cosmic reason.
A “Hello,” here or a “Thank you,” there can make an enormous difference in our interactive environment. Even if we come upon someone that isn’t high on our friend list, we can make a change. It entails being civil.
If we all took a moment each day to be kinder to each other, even in small doses, our society would change monumentally. I understand that we can’t be perky people all of the time. We all experience hard times and grief at some point. For those of us that are having a bad day, week, or year, we can always try to be a little less…irritable.
If you really want to change the scenery with some interactions, consider joining others in sprucing up where you live. Volunteering with a local organization will get you out of the house, meeting new people, and doing some good work for your community. There are many to choose from, and you can always switch them up if one isn’t fulfilling your needs for a fresh take on life.
When we are feeling down in the dumps and looking for a new lease on life, we should consider some simple changes to our current environment. Be it mind, body, or space; we can change the scenery and explore a whole new world.