Try Something New! Five Ideas to Get You Out of Your Daily Funk

We all have funky days.  Sometimes, mine are funky in a rad way and sometimes I'm just in a funk.  For me, the funk sets in when I get stuck eating the same things, being in the same places, and doing the same things.  I love a consistent routine, but when it borders on monotony, it's hard to take.  As I age, I've found in some aspects of my life it is really difficult to (want to) alter my routines.  One way to break out of this is to try something new.  Anything.  I know what you might be thinking: old dog, new tricks...  It can sound a little sketchy, but if you embrace the idea, you might find that it's not as scary/ intimidating/ unnerving as it may first seem.

If you are open to the idea of trying new things in your daily life, you may find yourself more mindful and more open to other new ideas--things you've never considered.  It can be as large or as small of a concept as you'd like.

Here are five ideas to try:

- Take a new drive to work/ school/ daily errands.  You'll see new streets, buildings, scenery on this new route.  By switching up your commute, you can change gasoline use (or exercise, if you ride a bike), meet new people at a new stop, and possibly even alter your perspective.

my love, her name is Yar
(my Toyota Yaris)

- Put your pant legs on the other leg first.  By this, I am literally talking about your pants (but it could be a metaphor for the whole practice of trying something new in general...)  This may sound silly, but even switching something as minor as this in your routine can benefit you mentally.  By being mindful each time you dress, you can prove to yourself that you are capable of trying other new things.

This is similar to what we discussed in the unitasking post (like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand to encourage mindfulness).

- Wake up and work out. As we've discussed in many previous posts, daily exercise is essential to a healthy body and mind.  Studies have shown that working out at the start of your day provides the benefits of exercise throughout your day (see NBC, US News, and WebMD for more info).  Getting active is as easy as taking a walk, riding a bike, playing at the park, or popping in a DVD.  (This post has a few other ideas, too.)  The important part is to give it a try.  Making an effort to try something new will expand your mind and expose you to something you might want to take on as a full-time practice.  You will never know until you try!

yoga outside in the sunshine

- Try a new food.  This one is sometimes harder than you might initially think, but consider the last time you tried an entirely new food without predetermining why you weren't going to like it.  Whether you pick up an exotic fruit, a forgotten vegetable, an intimidating spice, or something from a new isle in the grocery store, expanding your palate will only help you to recognize that you may not have everything figured out and set in stone.

Pick up a [any] new hobby or practice.  When I decided green tea had too many benefits to miss out on any further, I went to the Carytown tea shop (in a cute, hip part of Richmond), found my Matcha tea, and jumped right into drinking it each morning.  And when Danny and I decided to sign up for the motorcycle license course, at first, it was scary, but it was fun, rewarding, and a great way to spend our weekend together.  Whatever it is you decide to begin, it's as simple as deciding what will work for you (consider: time it takes, costs, benefits, how it affects your day) and making it happen.

maybe give piano a try...?

The main point of this exercise is to encourage consideration of aspects of life beyond what we currently do.  We all have routines, preferred methods, and what we believe to be the "best" way to do things.  Getting out of your comfort zone will encourage growth, expansion, and progress.  You may not love or adopt your new practice, but simply being willing to try something new may itself be the new practice.  (woah.)

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