Routines, my how boring! Work, eat, TV, sleep- a few of which are many of our activities we practice pretty religiously. However, is doing things in such an everyday manner crippling our ability to allow our minds and hearts to grow? We get so used to the regular things we need or like to do that there’s little time to appreciate them. We’re all becoming brain dead so it’s time for a break. So how about taking time away for set timeframes from those things we’re so attached to? Try challenging yourself by taking a much needed break. Your sense of accomplishment and freedom will grow, your brain cells will have a chance to relax and you might even gain enough strength to quit some old, bad habits. This is all for your greater good and self improvement, so enjoy!
Cell phones. Yes, they could be very helpful in an emergency, but most of us are so glued at the hip (erm, hand) to our mobile devices that we can’t just use it for that. This is true especially if a bored moment strikes -the perfect time to check messages. So it’s time to leave the phone at home, not in your car, for an entire week. If you can’t do that try for say, three days. Then the next ‘phone fast’ you go on shoot higher. I guarantee you will feel a sense of freedom and relief. Perhaps you’ll find time to enjoy the silence!
Coffee. Oh boy, this is a tough one if you’re a true addict to the wondrously robust, caffeinated beverage. Doing a fast for a week or two from coffee has great benefits. If you find yourself really sleepy without it, not to worry because you should sleep better that night. Allow your natural body clock to get back on track. Another thing, is that when you start drinking it after this, it will be even more effective. The more used to caffeine your body is, the less intense the jolt of energy will be.
TV. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great shows on local stations and cable networks. Nevertheless, sitting in front of the tube each day isn’t beneficial to your brain, eyes or overall health. Try a different substitute during your motion picture retreat, such as reading, writing or some other hobby to keep your mind occupied. Perhaps even give some of your time to those in need, or spend time with old friends.
Sex. You heard it right. If you find yourself getting into a rut of mundane lovemaking with your other half, taking a rest from it will revamp your love life. Only you (and your partner/spouse) can determine how long you’re willing to give those parts some slumber, since each individual is different. Once you’re back on, it will be a delight for you two lovebirds to see each other after a long day of work or caring for kids.
Alcohol. You might enjoy that daily beer or wine. Or perhaps you enjoy more than just one. In any case, it’s a great idea to have some time to detox and learn to loosen up without a substance. Try substituting iced tea (alcohol free!) or water instead for a week, two or as long as you desire. You will feel refreshed and healthy after- guaranteed.
Complaining. Everyone complains. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. If you find yourself particularly low, or doing it more frequently -try to go a whole day without one grumble. Then add more days. You will start to see what truly matters in life and as a plus the people around you will be happier in your presence. Don’t forget to smile!
Sugar. Oh yummy and sweet. Sugar is one of the palate’s best friends. However, it is rough on your body. So try saying no to your sweet tooth for an entire week and see if you feel any different. If you get a bad craving, eat an apple or strawberry. Fruit does have natural sugars, but it doesn’t count in the processed sugar category we’re talking about here. If you feel comfortable with less sugar in your diet for this duration, maybe you could even eliminate certain items long term.
Get Productive! Now that you have some examples of some routine things you can take a rest from, it’s time to add good things into the mix. When you’re doing one or more of these fasts, try a positive activity in place of it. Some ideas are knitting, reading, word puzzles, exercise, taking a class or helping a friend in need. We grow older, but life doesn’t have to get boring! Keep yours alive and fresh by changing things up every now and then.