16 Ways To Change Your Outlook When Everything Around You Seems Stagnant

istockphoto.com / lechatnoir
istockphoto.com / lechatnoir

1. Picking a book that’s so good you get lost in it. When you feel like you’re waiting on things to change, and are exhausted by all the effort you’ve put into making those changes possible, sometimes the only thing to do is to turn to a welcome, good-for-you distraction. Find a book that absolutely engrosses you, that you don’t want to put down, and escape into it for a while.

2. Trying to meditate. And if you feel like you’re not getting to your prime ~~meditation levels~~, that’s okay. Don’t over think it. Just enjoy the practice of sitting silently, breathing and trying to be present.

3. Sleeping on the other side of the bed. Why not try giving yourself a different vantage point?

4. Skyping with someone in a different country. Talking to an international friend whose goverment, language, and day-to-day life are different from yours is an eye-opening reminder that there is so much more to the world than the space you currently occupy. It also reminds you that you can go experience a totally different environment, and it’s only a plane ride away.

5. Talking to a friend who is in a completely different industry from you. When it feels like work is all-consuming, break out of that monotony by learning about a field that is the opposite of yours. If you’re in marketing, spend 30 minutes listening to your friend talk about studying medicine.

6. Calling an ex. Just to remind yourself how far you’ve come.

7. Asking your grandparents for advice. It’s pretty much guaranteed to influence your outlook in some respect (even if it’s just solidifying your current opinions), because their advice will likely provide a different perspective from yours or your parents’.

8. Watching several hours of Al Jazeera coverage. Al Jazeera does fascinating and meaningful long-form international packages, and you can find older ones that are still topical and prevalent on YouTube.

9. Interviewing someone you admire but have never had the courage to reach out to. It doesn’t matter if they can only answer your questions via email, as opposed to in person or over the phone. Go with whatever they are willing to make time for. Not only will it be grounding to talk to someone you look up to, but they will likely have ideas that you haven’t considered or pursued yet, which will make you feel like you’re in motion and working toward something positive, as opposed to playing a waiting game.

10. Spending an entire day offline without a phone. I know everyone suggests it, but don’t knock it until you actually try it. No phone, no computer, no screens of any kind for 24 hours.

11. Watching a movie in a language you don’t speak fluently. On the one hand, this allows you to escape into entertainment after a long day, but it simultaneously challenges you and hopefully gets you excited about other languages and cultures and places far from home that you’d love to see at some point..

12. Spending some time apart from the friends you see every day. When monotony is sinking in around you and you feel restless instead of comforted by it, try changing up your social routine and seeing different people. You might not even be conscious of the fact that something one of your friends does is waring on you. Shake it up, and reach out to old friends or coworkers you haven’t seen in way too long.

13. Researching new jobs. And realizing that there are careers that you didn’t even know existed that could be perfect for you.

14. Finding new recipes. Challenge yourself to make a new recipe every night for a week. If you don’t feel like changes are happening around you, make positive changes in your own life, and focus on things that are in your control and will add to your quality of life (while hopefully being beneficial to your wallet, too).

15. Making a pact with a friend to try one entirely new thing every week, and then making a list of those things and a schedule. And then following through.

16. Volunteering. Fill one of your weekend days with a service project you’ve never tried before. Try to play to your strengths. If you love kids, volunteer with children. If you love animals, volunteer with animals. If caregiving and counseling is your wheelhouse, find an organization that can make use of those skills. TC mark

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