I can be a creature of habit. As I have mentioned before, I eat the same things every week and pretty much do the same thing day in and day out. Sometimes routines can be comforting. It is nice to know exactly what to expect out of your day, no surprises. Routines can help to make life run smoothly. When you know exactly what to expect and what you are going to do each day it is easier to prepare and not be caught off guard.
However, routines can also make life seem so mundane. Same thing day in and day out. You just feel stuck in a rut. After a while you can start to feel like you just want to jump out of your skin, like you need to do something different.
There isn’t a problem with trying new things to break up your routine (as long as you are trying “healthy” options and not crossing any lines). Sometimes when you have been in a routine for too long it is hard to figure out what new thing to try or how to make a change.
It can also seem scary sometimes or like a lot of work. I can’t even tell you how many times my husband and I have either invited people over or made plans with people and then as the time approached we wished we were just going to be sitting on the couch with each other relaxing. But, once we actually are in the midst of our plans we are having a great time and are so glad that we did something out of the ordinary.
Here are 10 of my recommendations of ways to break up your routine:
1) Go to the library – I take my youngest once a week for story time (yes, this is somewhat of a routine, but still something we enjoy). She gets to hear stories, make crafts, and interact with other children while I get to visit with some other moms. It also gives me a chance to find some new books and movies to try for free. Try a different kind of book. A few years ago my husband got me to try a Louis L’amour book (western) and I really liked it. By going to the library weekly I have been able to find out about many classes and activities that the library offers for free. They have everything from business classes to Scrabble night. They even had Christmas crafts, cookies, and live reindeer in December.
2) Change up your menu – I have discussed this before. Trying new recipes is something that helps me get out of a food rut. I force myself to find a new recipe, buy different kinds of foods, and get to work in the kitchen. Sometimes it turns out great and other times we agree as a family that I will never make that recipe again!
3) Serve – there are probably a million ways that you can serve near your home. Take cookies to a neighbor, visit with an elderly person who can’t get out much, take goodies to the places you go often (like the library, post office, bank) or rake your neighbors leaves. Take a drive around your neighborhood or community and I guarantee you can notice areas to serve if you look for them.
4) Spend a day playing – if you have children spend a day doing nothing but playing with them. Don’t worry about the dishes, the laundry, pay the bills the day before, have your grocery shopping and errands done and just play. Get creative if it is outside of your norm. Play restaurant, beauty shop, dentist (this one can get a little scary), vet, or you could paint, color (I love this one), create with play-doh, use shaving cream on cookie trays to trace letters….
5) Start a business – the possibilities seem to be growing each day. Do you enjoy baking, cleaning, crafting, exercise, decorating? Start a cupcake business, cleaning business, make something and sell it on Etsy, become a personal trainer or home stager or decorator. There are tons of businesses that you can start and run from your home. My neighbor started making and selling cake pops several years ago. She keeps her full time job for the great insurance but does pretty well on the side with her pops and they are delicious. My husband started a commercial (and then added residential) cleaning business that we ran for 5 years before selling. My aunt was able to quit a job she hated by teaching piano lessons from her house and selling beautiful pillows on Etsy. I have seen some great Home Staging courses online at stagingdiva.com and homestagingresource.com . I became a Certified Personal Trainer through an online course (the exam was at a testing facility). Think about what you enjoy doing and then do a little research to see if you could turn it into a business.
6) Try a new hobby – again the possibilities are endless: painting, photography, jazzercise, wood working, write a book, start a blog, bake, or try renovating something. Years ago my sister taught herself to sew from a website and library book.
7) Join a team or fitness group – what sports did you like to play in school? Look around your area for a league. Join a fitness class. This is a great way to stay in shape and get out of your rut.
8) Join a Bible Study or a group like MOPS – a few years ago I was in a MOPS group while my scheduled allowed and I loved it. There was something wonderful about dropping my kids off the play with other kids and do crafts and then going into a separate room to eat breakfast while chatting with other moms who understand exactly what I am talking about. It was a great place to learn and be able to share those crazy embarrassing things from life and have someone else say that they had the same thing happen to them. I started a Bible Study a little over a year ago that gave me the chance to meet a whole group of women that I had never met before.
9) Have a craft day or game night with friends – get your friends together that you don’t get to see on an everyday basis and make something or watch a movie or play games. Our church had a night where they played the movie Moms Nite Out and had pop, popcorn, and candy for all the women. It was so much fun and I laughed until I cried.
10) Start a new fitness routine – so far I seem to like all the Beachbody workouts that I have tried. And no, I don’t get any money or free products for saying that. Trying a new fitness routine is a great way to get out of you rut and gain a little confidence. I enjoy P90x the most, but the time commitment can be hard to swing with a busy family. Insanity was tough – but my joints hurt a lot while doing this one. I am doing T25 right now. I enjoy the 25 minute workout, but I don’t think my results are near what I had with P90x. I use to do Denise Austin workouts and I love how positive she was during the videos. There are also tons of websites that will help you create a workout or give you one to follow for free.
What do you like to try when you need to shake things up a little?