If you’re a person with responsibilities, then life is bound to feel a little monotonous sometimes. When you have rent to make, bills to pay, a job to go to, and maybe even dependents like pets or kids, there has to be a decent amount of routine to your daily life if everything is going to function. So don’t feel too bad if your days have started to blur together—you’ve probably just been taking care of business like a responsible adult. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take the occasional opportunity to shake things up. There’s a lot to experience in this life. There are a lot of places to go. While you may not have the means to be a nomad (nor would you want to be because you like making friends in one place and staying there), you can still add a little motion to your life. Here are ways to shake up your life if you’re feeling stuck.
Shadow a friend
Do you have a friend who owns a business about which you’ve always been curious? Maybe you have a friend who has a restaurant, food truck, dance studio, or beauty salon. Ask if you can immerse yourself in her world for the day. Shadow her. Just see what her day to day is like (and help out if you can). It’s a no-strings way to completely experience a different career and world for a day.
Help someone who needs it
If you know someone who could use help moving, a new mom who would probably love some help prepping food while she changes diapers and chases toddlers, or someone who speaks English as a second language and would love some real life experience practicing it, call that person up. Ask if you can help today.
Start a self-defense class
Whatever type of self-defense you choose to take, from Krav Maga to kickboxing, I promise it will get your adrenaline pumping and give you a new lease on life. Making yourself stronger—mentally and physically—and learning how to defend yourself in high-octane situations makes you feel alive.
Rearrange your home
Sometimes simply changing your surroundings can change your mindset and make you feel as if your days are different. Could it be time to move the bedroom to the office and the office to the original bedroom? Do you want to put your kitchen table and chairs in storage in favor of a low table and floor cushions, practicing a Japanese style of eating that’s very grounding.
Go for a sunrise hike
Wake up early, and go for a sunrise hike or jog on the beach. Just seeing the sky change from night to day is invigorating. If you always sleep the exact same hours, then you miss seeing what goes on in the world at certain times. Which animals are out during sunrise? Which neighbors? How quiet can your city be?
Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Volunteer to teach a writing class at an arts center for low-income families. Volunteer to walk dogs at a shelter. There’s nothing like seeing how good you have it, and helping those who don’t, to get you out of your rut.
Set a goal and start documenting it
Do you have a goal you’ve been procrastinating? Finally organizing that closet? Finally losing those last 15 pounds? Cutting artificial sugar out of your diet? Create a daily plan, and start documenting it via photos and videos for social media. Waiting to see how people respond to your progress is exciting.
Go to the highest point in your city
Whether that’s the rooftop bar of a skyscraper hotel, or a park at the top of the city, go to the highest point in your city. Something about being high up there with a view of everything gives you a new perspective on what’s happening internally.
Treat yourself, just you, to a night out
Is there a fancy bar you’ve wanted to try? An upscale restaurant? Coordinating schedules with others, and working within the budgets of others, may have made it difficult to visit these places for years now. So just take yourself out. Get all dressed up and dine at that restaurant, table for one. You’ll likely wind up talking to strangers and having a very interesting evening.
Plan a trip
Just do it. Stop making excuses. Whatever your time or budget constraints are, you can probably plan something. Even if it’s just to a destination that’s within driving distance, staying in a room within someone’s house on AirBnb. You don’t need a lot of money to enjoy the thrill of exploring new places.
Take a rather random class
Have you always wanted to learn how to fix a car engine? Code? Make your own beer? Take a class that’s purely for enjoyment, or for a skill you’ll probably never use, but feels good to know. Learning new skills does something good for the chemistry of our brains.
Try something that will get your heart racing
Is there some physical activity that’s always terrified you like skydiving, rock climbing, or bungee jumping? Reach out to a licensed company with professionals who can safely help you finally take the leap—perhaps literally.
Join a local dancing meet-up group
Dancing is so good for our bodies. It gets endorphins pumping without making us feel like we’re exercising, while letting us listen to fun music that perhaps makes us nostalgic and excited, while interacting with others. It’s the perfect marriage of elements. Find a meet-up group that, say, goes to different Salsa bars each week and dances.
Is there a performer in you? There likely is. Maybe you write poems or short stories. Maybe you’re a singer. Maybe you’re a comedian, or a magician. Find a local open mic and perform. Yes, you will probably fall mostly flat on your face, but honestly, even that feels good because you went for it.
Pick a book and a special spot
Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, find a special spot in the city—an old chair in the corner of a charming library, a bench in some gorgeous botanical garden—and make a date with yourself to go there, and read your book, at least once a week.