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Keep things interesting?! How?

First off, I can’t believe it took me this long to follow up from my last post. Nothing like saying “here is a simple list to help” and then not expanding on the list. Sigh.

In my previous post I talked about a simple list that I use to help myself when I am in a funk that I can’t shake, like 2020! I swear the 2020 funk (and not like in a cool funky kind of way) is the longest most vomit-inducing rollercoaster type of funk that I have ever been in and I am probably sure that most of you feel the same way. Time after time it seems that just when I am getting my feet back under me something gives and I have to start again. During those times I honestly used this list to help me jumpstart myself and keep moving forward. I call the list Tips to improving your performance in LIFE and on the top of that list is Keep things interesting by trying new things daily!

Try new things DAILY? What! Is she nuts?! Maybe, but I know that when I do something new each day during these funks, or something that I haven’t done in a long time, I feel much better, and it usually puts a smile on my face. So, what are the things that I like to try? The good news you can do most of them at home (which is a bonus because everything is shutdown right now). I personally like trying the following 7 things and in no particular order. This doesn’t mean I only try these but when I am in that funk and I need a kick in the ass these usually do the trick.

1. Play a game

This can be a board game, a game on my phone, a puzzle or make one up with the kids. I find that trying out a new board game can challenge my way of thinking and can even help me think differently. I especially enjoy playing games with my family. Not only do we spend quality time together, I also get to watch my kids develop strategies, use critical thinking and being creative, and we always end up having fun.

2. Read a top (whatever number) funny list

Social media can be whole that is hard to crawl out of. There is so much out there and it can be very overwhelming, but every once in a while I find myself getting distracted with top funny lists and realize that after reading them I am laughing pretty hard and am sharing them with my husband and kids (if appropriate). I try to only read animal or funny texts, funny pictures or interesting facts; those sorts of things. I find that Bored Panda has some very funny ones as does BuzzFeed. If you don’t like reading those sites then I found a Facebook group the other day called Dad Jokes Everywhere. It is a public group and I guarantee that if you spend 5 minutes scrolling through the posts you’ll walk away with a smile of your face. It is all Good Clean Humour!

This gem Brough to you by Dad Jokes Everywhere!

3. Go for a walk

This isn’t a new activity for me or my family, we walk lots but, when I’m feeling crappy, I stop and listen. I listen for the birds, the quiet, the traffic etc. I focus on the colours, the shapes, how the sun is streaking through the trees. I look at the vegetation and look for animal tracks. It amazes me how quickly I can forget about what is getting me down when I focus on my surroundings. We are fortunate to live close to a beautiful trail system but you don’t have to walk trails. Walking around new neighbourhoods can be fun too. I especially love looking at the houses and building my dream house from all the ideas I see. Regardless of where I walk, I always make a point of saying “Hi” to everyone I pass. Not everyone says hi back but when they do, or when they smile, it makes me feel better.

4. Find a new recipe and try it

This one always makes me laugh. My husband and I have been together for almost 18 years and I have tried a lot of new recipes during that time, and many that I don’t have to ever make them again. Yuck! But there was a period of time before we had kids that I would try new recipes regularly and when we were having people over for dinner. Thank goodness our friends are good sports because some of the recipes were not very good. My three favorite memories are, once I basted a turkey in raspberry wheat ale and the meat was a colour of pink that was very unsettling, second was the pork chops that were so spicy not only did we scrape the seasoning off, no one finished it, and third was the fluorescent green chicken (don’t ask). I have since learned to try for us first before making them for friends, but my husband always double checks that I am not making something new when we have people over. “Trust me darling, I have learned that lesson” 

5. Try a new workout (or one you haven’t done in a while)

Those of you that know me know that exercise is one thing I really like doing, but it can feel so repetitive sometimes that it becomes harder to stay motivated. This is when I pull out old classes I used to teach, bring out a piece of equipment I haven’t used in a long time or hop onto YouTube and look for some new moves. Moving my body in a new way just makes me feel better, all over. I always feel stronger, younger and more energized. I may only do the workout once but it is a nice way to shake a funk.

*Note* be cautious when using workouts on YouTube or other providers. Anyone can claim to be a personal trainer (there is no regulating body to make sure people have the right education) and many times moves that are being shown are for high level athletes or people with decades of experience and lots of strength. Try and find someone who offers modifications and that explains how to properly perform a movement and also explains what to watch out for and avoid.

6. Listen to a new playlist

I love music! And almost all types of music, so I really enjoy listening to new playlists. This doesn’t mean that I will like them but I usually end up hearing songs I haven’t heard in a long time or discovering a new artist to add to my search list.

7. Eat something new for breakfast

I am a die-hard Cheerios, banana and milk kind of girl, and yes, I know that breakfast makes me sound like a kid but I don’t care. I love it and it doesn’t bother my Crohn’s. But every now and then I try to find something new. Breakfast is one of those meals that is hard for my family and I to find new recipes that we all like, so when I find something that is delicious, easy and that everyone likes! Well, that just sets my day off on the right foot. Those days typically are awesome!!

So, there you have it, some new things to try. It’s not an exact science, these are things that I have tried over the years and found they helped the most. There have been items added and removed but these are the ones that have remained on the list. I hope that you get a chance to try one and I hope it helps. I would also love to hear what new things you have tried. Drop me a note or send me a message because this list is never complete. I am always looking to add to it.

Stay tuned for the next tip, Take time for Yourself.

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