Mind & Spirit



Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit


Ah, life. It sort of sneaks up on you, doesn't it? One day you're planning a year-long stay in a Greek villa, and the next, it's years later and you're so far into the daily grind that last night's souvlaki dinner is the closest you've ever come to the life you dreamed of.

So you didn't follow the path you'd imagined for yourself – no big deal. The big deal is letting happiness pass you by because the rut you're in is too difficult to get out of. When busting out of a rut, shaking up your non-work routine is the easiest first step, and the psychological benefits will extend to your work life. Make a small change, commit to something you've always wanted to do, and you just might learn something about yourself along the way.

Here are a few small (tiny, really) ways that you can rattle your routine and bring a little fun back into your life.

Become a domestic goddess
So many of us, exhausted from juggling work, family, relationships and, well, life in general, abandon the home front to creature comforts like takeout, maid services and potted plants. But when your job seems stale and uninspiring, digging in potting soil, creating a perfect soufflé or painting the living room ceiling can give you a real sense of accomplishment. It's real and tangible and you get dirty doing it. Getting your kids and/or significant other involved makes it even more satisfying -- a project you saw through and quality time spent.

Hit the books
When you were first hired, it seemed like you'd never be able to learn it all. Now that you're a seasoned veteran, it doesn't seem like there's anything else to learn. So learn elsewhere.

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Find out what keeping an active lifestyle can do for your bored brain on page 2.

Avoid getting trapped in one industry and one career by branching out and taking courses at universities, community colleges, or even art schools. You don't have to attend full-time, but if you're really looking to change your life, why not? And none of the old "But I'll be sooo old when I finish" excuse. Guess what? You'll be that old either way. Might as well have something to show for it. Pick something that you're passionate about, whether it's in your field or not. It will feel great to use your brain and be engaged in the learning process again.

Sweat it out
There are plenty of studies to prove the benefits of living an active lifestyle, but you have to decide on the right level of activity for you. If you're on your feet all day, walking the treadmill probably won't float your boat. Yoga, however, could be the trick for destressing while strengthening your back to take the pressure off those knees. If you're sitting at a desk, maybe a high-intensity cardio class is the perfect after-work pick-me-up. Setting a goal and pushing yourself to reach it will yield positive benefits, both physically and mentally. Working out is often the first thing we discard when time gets tight, but make it a non-negotiable, like brushing your teeth. Exercising is one thing that you do for you and nobody else. Don't you deserve it?

Changing your routine by challenging your body and mind can put you outside your comfort zone and make it harder to lie to yourself. Something as simple as a Pilates class or a communications course may give you the tools you need to change your life. Did someone say time-share in Greece?

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Mind & Spirit