The routine lifeI live a very normal life. I have friends and I’ve always gone to school. The part that’s not normal is that I’ve been working since I was 9 months old, but at the same time, it’s completely normal to me”. This statement by Ashley Olsen must be relatable to most of us and why wouldn’t it be? After all, it’s the same monotonous life most of us, if not all of us, go through.
I live a very normal life. I have friends and I’ve always gone to school. The part that’s not normal is that I’ve been working since I was 9 months old, but at the same time, it’s completely normal to me”. This statement by Ashley Olsen must be relatable to most of us and why wouldn’t it be? After all, it’s the same monotonous life most of us, if not all of us, go through. Now the question arises, is life just a monotonous routine/chore? Certainly not, I think. It largely depends on how we perceive it to be. For some life is nothing but struggle, work and progress; for others it is about philosophy or art or fun. For a philosopher like Aristotle life is about happiness and with this I mostly agree. But still we cannot deny that a significant number of people find life to be monotonous and devoid of purpose, and I think this is reflected in the rising problems with mental health as well as increasing suicide rates.
Yet, the question remains why is life so monotonous? It is largely because we need to follow a routine for most of the time. A routine is a set of customary and often mechanically performed procedures or activities but not all routines, lead to productive outcomes.
“How often do you log in to your Facebook for no reason and check the news feed?” I’m pretty sure most of us do. We feel the urge to do the things that doesn’t make sense, with the time we don’t have, for the pleasure we don’t get. It seems absurd but we are creatures of habit and subconsciously, we have probably been doing much such “useless” stuff as routine. “When was the last time you pursued your hobby?” It certainly must have been quite a while. With the passage of time and all-pervading technology, many have lost the sense of what we genuinely love doing. As a result, life has become boring and tiresome for a lot of us.
With less “me time” for the group transitioning from teenage to adulthood, suicide has been the third-leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24. About 20 percent of all teens experience depression. But how do we cope with this monotonous life? Well, it’s not as hard and boring as it seems to be. Firstly, make a sensible plan, a plan with tasks that is achievable. You can start by following small plans and accomplishing small tasks. This way you’ll be able to achieve more by doing less. Give yourself time and don’t be quick to judge, even yourself. You can also create a to-do list and a list of your top priorities and do stuffs on the hierarchy of priorities.
Secondly, stop procrastinating, this leads to inevitably increase the work load and thus increase the burden. Start by doing things straight away, even when you’re not ready for it. This way you’ll save time and have more time for yourself, and you can use this time for pursuing your hobby or having your own “me time”. Thirdly, you can reshuffle the ways you do things. For example, if you work out in the morning for a change go workout in the evenings, go and talk with new people at your workplace with different world views and attitudes; hanging out with the same people all the time may lead to a state of social stagnation.
At the outset, don’t subconsciously torture yourself by doing things that disturb your peace of mind, and in that time maybe go for a “bon voyage”? Basically, a trip with no plans except for making a reservation for the first night at a hotel. Don’t take the beaten path, find other ways and other things to do. That’ll bring an end to the monotony for sure.
Last but not least, be open to change; when you’re more accepting you tend to have a happier outlook of life. I know how many ups and downs we go through during our teenage years being a teenager myself, but believe me the change that worries you so much now is not the end of the world. Hopefully, you’ll be smiling if you look back at some point later.
Scientifically, it takes 21 days to break a habit. So, take some days to make a new routine that will no longer be so monotonous?
Budhathoki is an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering, Kathmandu University