Mandy Kloppers

Breaking the monotony of life


I don’t know about you but there are times when I really struggle with the routine and monotony of life. Another morning, another round of getting ready, doing chores, and getting through the day only for it to all start again in 24 hours’ time. Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day?”. Well, it seems to be that many of us relive the same old stuff day after day. Housework is a never-ending thankless job. Unloading and reloading the dishwasher, unloading and reloading the washing machine..and so it goes. There has to be another way…

Some parts just cannot be avoided but there are ways to reduce the mind-numbing monotony that pervades many lives:

1) Try something new at least once a week.

Whether it’s a new perfume, a new type of fashion, or a different type of food – make sure you are introducing something new into your life at least once a week. You exercise your brain and create new neural pathways when you try something new. The more adventurous you are, the more resilient you become.

2) Shake your routine up, if you dare.

If you have a strict routine where specific things happen on specific days, try moving them around a little. You may wonder why you should mess with a perfectly good routine and, if it works superbly, perhaps you can skip this step. For those of you who feel bored and need inspiration – rejigging your routine can help you to see things with fresh eyes and make changes for the better. When life isn’t automatic, our brain works different parts to process the world around us. It’s good for your brain.

3) Learn something  new every day

It’s easier than ever to teach yourself one new fact every day – just get on Google and look up something that you have always wanted to know. The psychological boost is worth it – instead of feeling that you are stagnating, you will feel that each day you are that little bit wiser. If you’re really feeling daring – sign up for a university course or a part-time online course.. see my post on free online education:

4) Travel

Try new places far and near. Take a different route to get somewhere or simply drive down a road that you’ve never been down before. Exploring the globe is all part of expanding your horizons and widening your comfort zone. Travelling abroad is great for mental health and for your confidence in the long run. Even if you get lost or have to problem-solve an issue along the way, you teach yourself that you can cope and will develop extra skills and self-confidence along the way.

5) Reject routine as a form of safety

Some structure (framework) is a good thing but it can become an excuse to remain rigid in one’s ways which end up affecting how we think about ourselves and the world. Rigidity encourages judgemental thinking and a resistance to change. Learn to be flexible – it will improve your confidence not derail it.

6) Resist planning too far ahead

Part of shaking off monotony involves feeling comfortable with the unpredictable nature of life as well as developing the skill of tolerating uncertainty. Research has shown that the more we expose ourselves to unfamiliar surroundings and situations, the more our brains stay active and ‘enquiring’. An element of surprise and challenge also helps with reducing the likelihood of dementia.

Excessively planning and preparing is a safety behaviour to feel safe and in control but it’s a myth because the world is uncertain and learning to cope with uncertainty is the secret to confidence and inner resilience.

Learning to live outside your comfort zone is the quickest route to self reliance and a high feeling of being able to handle whatever life throws at you. Learn to be flexible and adaptable and shake off the boredom that can so easily set in.

Mandy X