With the excitement of summer dwindling to an end, it’s easy to find yourself stuck in cycle with no motivation to break it. It’s hot. You’re tired. And you’re counting down the days until the next three-day weekend.
How can you thrive every day– even through the bad, sweaty, exhausted ones? While it’s impossible to achieve a perfect life, a simple way to get through the hardest days is to remember P.A.C.E.
P.A.C.E. yourself! Slow down, smell the roses, make a change, and remember: a positive attitude changes everything.
Here are some ways you can P.A.C.E yourself by reframing summer with a positive attitude:
1. Vent and journal about your struggles
Firstly, accept that you feel stuck and talk about it (even if it’s just with yourself)!
As Janeane Bernstein, author of “Get the Funk Out!” stated in her piece about life’s funks: “You must vent. Venting is good because you can laugh, cry, yell, analyze, and process whatever it is you are suppressing.” Venting is a foolproof way of getting over something.
Sometimes it’s even therapeutic to write down what’s bothering you. Buy yourself a notebook and vent to it like a new best friend. This is not only therapeutic, but will get your creative juices flowing and make you feel much more inspired than any Pinterest board could.
Building a habit like this can re-inspire you to think differently. It can also help you pinpoint habits to change or build upon. A notebook will be there for you when nobody else can be, and you never have to feel guilty about discussing your problems with a pen and a piece of paper or worry about any one else knowing your struggles.
Having trouble getting started? Try these prompts from our favorite Sanity Snack contributors:
Start each morning by spending two minutes setting your daily intentions, recommends happiness expert, Neil Pasricha.
- “I will let go of…”
- “I am grateful for…”
- “I will focus on…”
Professor of medical humanities, Marilyn McEntyre, suggests writing an arbitrary number of items for five to ten minutes until something noteworthy comes to mind.
- “Ten things that…”
- “Five words for…”
- “Seven ways to…”
McEntyre also shares five types of lists you can experiment with to acquire some peace of mind- from lists that deepen self-awareness to clarifying major concerns, and more.
2. Show gratitude for the so-called boring parts of your life
Okay, you’ve all heard the “sh*t could be worse” spiel. But it’s true! There are so many things in life to be grateful for. Unfortunately, gratitude for what we have every day is rare since it’s easy to grow accustomed to things we always have. But showing gratitude for daily occurrences, and even yourself can greatly improve your day to day life.
Sonya Looney, a world champion bike racer, also tries to build gratitude into her daily life:
“I make an effort to appreciate very simple things around me and always try to frame thoughts with a positive spin so that I can find opportunity in challenges. It’s a habit that rewires your brain so you don’t have to work at it as much.”
Take time to thank your alarm for going off, and then thank yourself for not sleeping through it. There are simple things which can make a day go from bad to worse, or from good to better. Take time to acknowledge these things – and be grateful for them! Take pleasure in the ordinary, because sometimes an alternative could be much worse.
3. Make time for yourself and try new things
In times when life feels repetitive and dull, it’s time for self-discovery.
Spending time alone is such an underrated act of self care, and it can really help you find what you’re missing in life. If you find yourself with little to no time alone on a daily basis– change your routine in order to make this possible for you. Try taking a walk first thing in the morning or meditating alone in your bedroom before you go to sleep.
Some simpler and long-lasting ways to revamp your life is to change up your daily behaviors, but only slightly. Try ordering a different coffee instead of your regular. Maybe go to a different coffee shop entirely, or try a new workout routine. You can also start a new show on Netflix or find a new podcast to listen to during your commute to work.
Perhaps purge your life a bit by doing some “spring cleaning” in the late summer. Get rid of the clutter, and clear up your mind. While these things are small– they can impact that “I’m bored” feeling, and make routined parts of your day seem new again.
Minimalist guru, Joshua Becker supports this notion by saying, “Minimalism is about freedom. It is about removing the burden of unnecessary personal belongings precisely for the purpose of freeing up our lives to pursue other things — whatever we desire them to be. That’s not restriction. That’s freedom.”
It’s natural to feel a sense of overwhelming sameness a few times a year when life can get repetitive. However, these negative feelings are easy to combat, and even avoid, when you can pinpoint them and reframe them with a positive attitude. Sometimes a drastic call needs to be made– such as changing jobs or moving out of town. That’s why these practical tips are perfect for getting through that day to day dullness we all encounter.