Managing Monotony

I’m sitting here thinking…wow another Monday. Life has been so strange lately because it feels like weeks fly by but nothing changes. It just all feels so monotonous. I think it is safe to say that we all assumed our lives would change for a few months due to COVID but then bounce back. While I have been starting to feel an incremental shift weekly, we are nowhere near to where I thought we would be at this point.

My life has changed significantly both career wise and personally. As a digital strategy consultant, I am used to traveling nearly every week. I spent around 1/3 of the year in hotels last year and when I wasn’t traveling for work I was often off traveling for fun. These days I work from home, have no coworkers nearby and could go days without leaving my apartment if I don’t give myself a reason to go out.

I know I am not the only one that feels like they are in a rut. I have chatted with multiple friends about this and have heard sentiments of boredom, anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression. Recently I have been making an extra effort to combat any negative feelings by making a couple changes in my daily life.

  1. Gratitude check. Most mornings I sit on the couch looking outside or on the balcony and do some reflection while I drink my coffee. It is a good reality check for me to take in the view that I love and sometimes forget to appreciate while thinking about the fact that although sometimes it drives me crazy I still have my job, I have not lost anyone close to me as a result of COVID and am actually beefing up my savings due to lack of social activities/travel.

  2. Morning routine. My morning routine has been key for me. The morning is my ME time. Each morning I get up and do a workout. Post workout I do some stretching and meditation using Headspace. I shower and get ready for the day before I get my coffee going. I try to read some news, read the daily excerpt from The Daily Stoic and do my gratitude check mentioned above.

  3. Get outside. Some days this constitutes a lunch time walk or a pre-dinner run. Other days it may just be sitting on the balcony. I do what I can to get some fresh air depending on how crazy my schedule is. On the weekends, I like to get a hike in or visit a winery as my escape. No matter which it is, I find that time outside really helps with mental clarity.

  4. Plan weekday activities. This one is MAJOR… I used to love to meet up with friends for happy hour or a workout class during the week. This year I have really missed weekday activities. They break up the week and give you something to look forward to throughout the week. Instead of wishing away weekdays to reach the weekend, I am being more purposeful with how I spend my time during the week.

    • If you are in Atlanta here are some of my favorite weekday activities:

      • Molto Monday @ La Tavola in Virginia Highland. $10 pastas…sign me up. Pastas usually are ~$18-$20 but on Mondays there is a dine in special where a few pastas are only $10!

      • Atlanta Botanical Garden. With the seasonal exhibitions, this is a great activity to do during the week. There is generally some kind of cocktails in the garden cash bar if you want to enjoy a drink while you walk the gardens.

      • Happy Hour. You can find a ton of happy hours everyday of the week in Atlanta.

      • Go for a walk on the Beltline. Get outside and get some steps on. When you need a break stop for happy hour or an appetizer.

      • Outdoor workout classes

I highly recommend taking sometime to reflect on how you can make small changes to make weeks more fulfilling instead of waiting until life goes back to “normal” because quite honestly that might not be for a quite a while.

xx Christie

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