Monotony… Hours are slipping into days. Days are slipping into weeks… Weeks are now slipping into months. For those who find themselves working from home, the novelty of working from home has now worn off and for many, this is now becoming a common sentiment.
Why does this feeling of monotony feature so strongly in our lives at the moment during COVID-19?
Well, it has to do with Habits. Habits are subconscious repetitive behaviour patterns and form the very basis of our lives, our thought patterns, our decisions, our approaches, our feelings. Habits are so ingrained in us, that up to 95% of our decisions, thought or feelings in a day are habitual.
Let me explain this a bit further; up to 95% of the choices we make; our thoughts, our feelings; and ways in which we live are driven by our habits. In most moments of our lives, it is our repetitive behaviour, thoughts and feelings stemming from our previous experience within our subconscious taking over.
Let me ask you a series of questions:
- When you wake up in the morning, what do you typically do?
- When you go to work, how do you typically get there?
- When you are doing your work – how are you doing it?
- What do you typically eat? For Breakfast, For lunch, for dinner?
- The clothes you wear, what do you typically wear?
- Can you think of certain times that regularly make you angry? Sad? Happy?
Are there commonalities in your answers? What are you surprised by?
Before COVID-19, we perceived ourselves as having different days and experiences, however I'd like to put forward that it is the complex interplay of our habits within changing or varied environments that give rise to our perception of these different experiences.
So, back to what’s happening right now. For those who are now working from home; our environments have now become our work space, our play and recreation space, our rest space and our entertainment space.
The consistent sameness of our space is really putting on show our habits and the consistency of our habits. This in turn is driving the feeling of monotony. Living the same day like it’s groundhog day; over and over and over.
It is however relatively easy to overcome this feeling of monotony, simply by introducing one (or more) activities below and to create a point of interest each and every day:
- Work up a vision board. What would you like to achieve over the next month (or 6!)? It could be some simple items – for example simple practices could include writing what your grateful for each day; exercise for 10 minutes; meditate. Or it could be something much larger, like build a veggie patch.
- Seek out to connect with a different person each and every day. This could be online, text or over the phone. Seeking out our connections helps provide social support and inherent value to ourselves.
- Take a half hour walk (or ride) without any technology. Notice the gardens, architecture, wildlife. Notice the sounds, smells and feel of the air around you.
- Work on your own self development. What have you been itching to learn? It could be a new instrument, course, learning how to live-stream, draw or even how to write a blog! Now’s a good time to give it a go..
- At the end of the day, ask the question “What did I do that had an impact today”? This is a really powerful question to help make you realise the impact or change you have had today on someone's life, and creates a feeling of achievement.
What are your tips to help you have a wonderful, differing experience each day?