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25 Ways To A More Interesting Life

25 Ways To A More Interesting Life

We all find our lives becoming a little dull sometimes, the days become can become mundane and we seek something more interesting. Nobody hopes to look back on their lives and reminisce fondly about how boring it was. Kentin Waits of Wise Bread shares 25 ways to create a more interesting life:

Variety is more than just the spice of life; it expands our experience and makes our lives more fulfilling. Unfortunately, many of us are bound to tight, overwhelming schedules that leave little room for novelty or adventure. The good news is that making your life more interesting is easy if you are willing to make small departures from the norm. Here are 25 simple ways you can make your life more interesting — starting today.

1. Greet the Dawn

Even if you’re not a morning person, plan to watch the sun rise. Prepare for this moment by picking out a view point and determining when the weather in your area will be clear enough to usher in a beautiful day. Brew some strong coffee and bring a friend along. As the sun rises, remind yourself of all the possibilities that a new day holds.

2. Take a Different Path

Give yourself some extra time to take the scenic route to work. Try side streets instead of the freeway. Make a conscious effort to change your routine travels once-in-a-while and discover new places and new people.

3. Plan a Mini Roadtrip

Explore new vistas right around the corner. Search the web for nearby points of interest or comb the countryside for vegetable stands and garage sales. You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of time (or money) to make the most of the miles you roam.

4. Move to the Beat of a Different Drummer

Tired of listening to the same old song? Applications like Spotify allow users to preview different artists and listen to entire albums for free. Spotify can also make suggestions for other music based on the genres you enjoy most. Who knows, your quest for variety might reveal a whole new musical interest!

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5. Turn Off Your TV

Watching TV is a passive activity at best. Why not turn it off for a day and actively search out your news and entertainment elsewhere? Read a newspaper, enjoy a play at a community theater, or simply revel in some rare silence.

6. Make Something Interesting

Try your hand at crafting. Explore making simple recyclable crafts for kids or try reconnecting with a skill you already have. Pintrest is a great place to search for quick and simple projects.

7. Find a Poem

Awaken your inner Shakespeare by penning a sonnet from words you find in newspapers, owners’ manuals, magazines, or even this blog post. For example, choose every third word from your found material and place them into a word bank. Next, choose words from your bank that fit into a Haiku format (5 syllables for the first line, 7 for the next, and 5 for the last).

8. Wander Down Memory Lane

Remember all those pictures you took at your last family reunion or vacation? What about that old diary tucked away in the shoebox? Find those memories and spend some time with them. As you wander down memory lane, reflect on what was interesting to you back then. Sparking a new interest can start by rekindling forgotten embers.

9. Visit With Children

Kids aren’t afraid to color outside the lines or paint the sky orange instead of blue. Spending time in their company will open you up to the wild musings of your inner child. The young folks in your life will revel in the attention and sometimes, as the old saying goes, kids say the darnedest things!

10. Make Your Own Value Meal

If you had only $2.00 to make a meal, what would be on the menu? Scrounge around your pantry first and complement your culinary findings with a $2.00 purchase (or less) at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

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11. Play Anthropologist

Grab a small notebook and a pen and situate yourself in a park, at a cafe, or in the mall. Write down your observations of the people you see and make notes of the tidbits of conversation you can’t help overhearing. This exercise takes you out of your own head and tunes you into the world around you.

12. Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Make your day more interesting by bolstering your positive outlook and giving someone else’s mood a little lift. Research in positive psychology shows that doing something unexpected and kind has benefits for you, as well as others. Try holding the door for someone, send a thank you e-mail, or try composing a “love letter” to a stranger.

13. Eat Outside the Box

Introduce your taste buds to a new experience. Maybe you’ve noticed a new restaurant or heard about an ethnic cuisine you’ve never eaten. Go ahead and give it a try — even if you only have an appetizer at first. For maximum effect, search out a recipe on your cuisine of choice and make it at home.

14. Have a Simple Scavenger Hunt

Have you ever noticed how focusing on one thing makes other things nearly impossible to see? Challenge your awareness patterns by going on a quick scavenger hunt in your home or office. Choose a simple trait to look for, like words spelled containing the letter “Q” or anything with the color green in it. Try to amass a collection of ten things that meet your chosen criteria. You might even find those long lost keys in the process.

15. Flip a Coin

Can’t decide between two items on a menu or what to do on a random Sunday afternoon? Call one heads and the other tails and leave the decision to random whims of chance. You might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

16. Discover Treasure at the Library

Visit your local library and wander among the shelves. Scan the titles for something that grabs your attention and then look at the books on the shelves above and below. Because of libraries’ organization system, there’s a good chance you’ll find something related, but just slightly different from what you originally found interesting.

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17. Volunteer

What better way to make your day more interesting than to be the change you want to see in the world? Consider the local groups who do good work in your community. Reach out to them and offer your time and talent. If you are unsure where to start, an online resource like VolunteerMatch.org can help connect you to the causes near and dear to your heart.

18. Spend Time With Pets

Animals can be an endless source of interest and entertainment for the people in their lives. Treat your dog or cat to a new toy and spend a little time helping them enjoy it. Don’t have a pet? Consider adopting one from a shelter or pet sit for a friend.

19. Revisit Your Childhood Dreams

What do you want to do when you grow up? Try to recall how you answered that question as a child. Did you want to be a nurse, an artist, or used car salesperson? If you’re not already living that five-year-old’s dream, take some time to read about the career you would have picked for yourself.

20. Stop and Smell the Roses

When did you last spend time enjoying a rose bush, bed of hydrangeas, or a beautiful bouquet at the grocery store? Flowers have been evolving for over 100 million years to bring you their enchanting looks and inviting fragrances.

21. Don’t Surf — Stumble

StumbleUpon is a free web-based tool that helps you discover new sites, photos, and blogs. Just select what interests you, and StumbleUpon will suggest random related websites.

22. Repurpose Something

Add interest to your day, save money, and help the environment at the same time. Find an everyday object and envision another use for it. Brainstorm reuse ideas for typical throwaways like paper plates, coffee cups, and plastic bags. What new and useful creations can you make?

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23. Say “Bonjour! Ciao! Hallo!”

Learn how to greet someone in a new language. It’s quick and easy to acquire a few simple phrases like “How are you?” and “Thank you” in another tongue. Once you’ve mastered some pleasantries, find someone to practice them with. You might make a new friend in a faraway place!

24. Switch Hands

Most people tend to prefer one hand over the other for writing and other manual tasks. If it’s safe and practical, try writing a short note or doodling a simple picture with your other hand. See if you can master simple tasks using your non-dominant hand.

25. Realize That Today Really Is Interesting

Maybe today is “National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day” or “Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day.” Find out what’s special about today or learn about what happened today in history.

You don’t have to do anything extravagant to experience a little variety in your life. Let go of the reins a bit and see where the ride takes you. Meeting new people, finding a poem, or a reviving a dormant talent carry benefits that extend far beyond breaking out of the mundane.

Kentin Waits: exploring and embracing the freedom of debt-free living, the high-art of personal craft, the value of working mind and body, and the enduring luxury of minimalism. 

25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting | Wise Bread

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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