The long days of winter can be a drain on your energy.
Especially if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut: work, Netflix, sleep, repeat — day in and day out.
Routines can be comfortable, but sometimes you just have to break free High School Musical style.
Here are some tips for finding freedom in your everyday life without quitting your job.
1. Plan an After-work Adventure
It can be so tempting to just rip it home after a long day, but when you get home you’re stuck wondering ‘what now?’
Most likely you’ll throw on a TV show, have dinner, and by the time you’ve done the dishes it’s time for bed.
By checking out a new place after work — like an interesting bar or bookstore — you’re spending some of that precious down time exploring your city. And it can really be great for your soul.
On the way to your destination, check out some street art, note new restaurants to try, and just let your mind wander.
2. Try Something that Scares You
It’s energizing to get out of your comfort zone, but you don’t have to do something totally crazy.
Start small: try a challenging new recipe, like baking bread from scratch; get a friend to pick out a book for you, something you’d never normally read; or take a spontaneous road trip to a county near you — little towns always have something cute and seasonal going on, whether it’s a winter festival or a farmer’s market.
Find a way to imbue your weekends with something extraordinary, and then at the very least you’ll have something to talk about at the water cooler on Monday.
3. Go on a Date
Nothing gets the blood pumping like going out with someone new. The anticipation of wondering whether this person could be the one is enough to put a little bounce in your step.
In a relationship? No problem. Take your partner out to do something you’ve been meaning to do for ages.
Exploring something new together is the surest way to remind yourself how much you love your comfort zone. All of a sudden you’ll be dreaming of that delicious routine again.
4. Go Out to Play with Your Friends
Take a cue from your younger years and go play with your friends!
A lot of the discomfort we have around routines is actually just regular old loneliness. Or maybe even envy?
If you’ve been comparing yourself to friends who always seem to always be up to something fun (according to their Insta Stories, anyway), it’s time to get out and join them. Then, at the very least, you’ll have a cool Insta story, too.
5. Volunteer with an Organization that Piques Your Interest
Volunteering, even just once a week, can be a great way to break up the same-old and get a new perspective on life.
You’ll meet new people, attend events you might never get to otherwise, and build those feel-good vibes you get from doing something good in the world. Will Netflix do that for you? Probably not.
If none of that works, sell all your possessions and move to Ibiza. It may seem drastic, but it’s the only sure-fire way to suffocate routine once and for all.