Let’s face it – life is a rut. We all do the same thing every day: we get up, we get dressed, we eat breakfast, we go to work or school, we come home, we eat dinner, maybe watch some TV, we go to bed; and we do this every single day. Pretty boring, huh? While we can’t change the basic structure of our days, we can do things to change how we live out our daily lives, and get more out of each day than just basic survival.
Here are five things you can do to get the most out of every day and add enrichment to your daily routine:
“Out of chaos comes order and complexity.” Lucretius, On the Nature of Things
The phrase “Out of chaos comes order” is often attributed to Nietzsche, but it originated from Lucretius, in his work titled “On the Nature of Things.” The concept as used here means to build order from the chaos of your life. To do this, you need to organize yourself; as Edmund Burke said: “Good order is the foundation of all things.” To quote a more modern-day reference, “That Burke – he sure knew his potatoes.” Big Max Calvada, the Dick van Dyke show. Burke did indeed, “know his potatoes;” ordering your daily life allows you to keep a handle on it.
Organize your work, your workspace, your home; as Benjamin Franklin said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” The time you spend hunting for things you need is wasted, and is gone forever; keeping things organized lets you work and play efficiently, and allows you to accomplish more out of the effort.
Organization does not mean rigidity; you can plan your daily life, but spontaneous, spur of the moment activities are still very much a possibility.
Daily Devotionals and Meditations
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Steve Jobs
Spending some time in daily devotionals or meditation gives you peace, calm, and perspective. It’s much easier to live your own life if you know what you want, and you need to spend some time figuring this out.
Being grateful for what you have gives you perspective on things like money, work, and your position in the world. While it’s not as devastating as the Total Perspective Vortex (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), it does give you grounding in what’s really important to you.
What’s important is different for everybody, and you need to learn what really matters to you. Spending time with motivational quotes is a good way to start your day.
Laugh – a lot!
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Laughter, according to the Reader’s Digest, is the best medicine. Being able to laugh in the midst of your trials and tribulations means you’ll make it through and come out stronger for it. Laughter has all kinds of benefits – it’s a stress-buster, it keeps your blood pressure under control, it helps your mood – the list goes on.
As Robert Frost said, “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” Jimmy Buffet referenced this quote in his memorable song on coping with life – Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes – and it gets the point across: roll with the punches and laugh your way through to the other side.
Laughter is necessary to us as humans – why do you think there is an entire entertainment industry devoted to comedy? We need to laugh; moreover, we need to hear things we don’t want to hear in a humorous way: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh; otherwise they’ll kill you.” George Bernard Shaw; it’s much easier to hear an unpleasant truth when it’s told to us in a joke.
Laughter is truly the best medicine, and you need to take a daily dose to keep yourself sane.
“To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub.” Shakespeare, Hamlet
In our modern world, sleep is the sacrificial lamb to our frenetic lifestyle. Demanding jobs, extracurricular activities for our kids, keeping up with the daily chores of life – all of these things demand time, and we carve it out of our days somehow; unfortunately, we carve it out of time we would spend sleeping. In the words of Martha Stewart, this is a bad thing.
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem; most of us don’t understand this until it’s too late, and we’ve broken our health by not sleeping enough. You can repair your health by returning to good sleeping habits, but it’s far better to maintain good sleep habits before you hit bottom; you know, the old “it’s easier to scramble eggs than unscramble them” philosophy.
As Homer says in the Odyssey, “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” We need to take this pearl of wisdom to heart, and establish good sleep habits; sleep is necessary on so many levels – for your bodily health, for coping with the next day’s stressors, for maintaining a positive attitude – the list goes on. It’s really hard to be a cheerful, positive person when you can’t keep your eyes open during the day. And being a cheerful, positive person should be your goal.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
“Everyone has their own definition of a healthy lifestyle, and mine has come to mean making health a priority, but not an obsession.” Daphne Oz
Living a healthy lifestyle is a common mantra these days, but Daphne Oz sums it up aptly; everyone has their own ideas about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, and very few people have the same ideas. Live your version of a healthy lifestyle, and be at peace with it; taking care of your health means you’re taking care of your life, and, as Martha Stewart says, that’s a good thing!
There are so many versions of what a healthy lifestyle should be there isn’t time or space to enumerate them – just do your research, find what works for you, and stick with it. You’ll be better off in the long run if you choose a lifestyle you can truly live, and not try to follow the latest fads, be they in diet, exercise, work habits – whatever.
“I think everything in moderation is the key.” Jessica Lowndes
That phrase pretty much says it all – everything in moderation. Use these five techniques to get the most out of every day you spend on this planet, and you’ll have a rich, full life – who could ask for more?