Does your everyday life seem boring?
Does it feel like you’re just trying your best to get through the ordinary? Or living for the weekend? Or longing for your next trip or adventure?
If you’re nodding yes, you are NOT alone. The regular days of life can easily feel mundane and even burdensome, when compared with exciting days like vacations, holidays, birthdays, special events—and especially when compared with other people’s happiest days shared on social media.
What’s more, the regular days tend to make up the majority of our lives. Who wants to live out that majority in dread or dullness? I sure don’t!
So, what’s the solution? I’m glad you asked. Here are several ways I shift my mindset to find more enjoyment in everyday life. I hope these help you, too!
1. Stop comparing your life to others’
You will never see or hear about every single moment of someone else’s life. Even those who share a lot, don’t share it all. I mean, 24 hours is a LOT to cover. Who has the time?!
All that to say, what you do know about others’ lives is limited. That includes friends and family. Everything is filtered by what people want to share, or even have time to share.
There are a lot of buzz word surrounding this topic, like “comparison trap” and “highlight reel,” and I know this isn’t a radical new idea, to stop comparing. But, it is one worth repeating. I don’t know about you, but my brain needs daily reminders for things to stick.
2. Be content with what you have
While this may include possessions, it really goes beyond that. “What you have” can also include your job, personal responsibilities, free time… your overall schedule. Whatever it is in your life that makes for a regular day.
What does it mean to be content?
Well, here’s the trick. Being content doesn’t mean you’re signing your life away to stay exactly where you are, never change a thing, and accept what you have. No. Being content is being fulfilled regardless of circumstances. If you’re a Christian, like me, God is the ultimate source of that fulfillment.
You can be content today, even if you’re in transition. Maybe that’s a career change, moving to a new home, working to set boundaries with your personal calendar, or growing in your relationship with God.
Okay, so how are you supposed to be content with the present when you know the present needs to change? Great question.
How to be content with your life right now
Philippians 4 is a great place to find the answer. Here’s what Paul wrote to the Philippian church:
REJOICE EVERY DAY
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; rejoice!”
The word “always” is pretty straightforward. We are to rejoice every day that we’re alive. And, if the only thing you can think to rejoice about is the fact that you are alive, rejoice in that!
BE CALM AND LEVELHEADED
Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Max Lucado does a terrific job of explaining more about gentleness here. To quickly paraphrase, the Greek word used for “gentleness” translates to having an attitude that is seasoned and mature. Or, levelheaded and “contagiously calm,” as Lucado puts it.
GIVE YOUR ANXIETIES TO GOD
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Being anxious certainly does not lead to contentment. Whatever is causing you to worry today, take it to God in prayer—and don’t forget to add some thankfulness!
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The word “And” at the beginning tells us that peace is a result of doing all of the above: rejoicing regularly, being calm in any situation, and letting go of anxiety. That leads to peace.
THINK ABOUT POSITIVE THINGS
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
It makes sense that the more we fill our minds with all of these whatevers, the less room there is for anything that won’t make us content.
BE CONTENT IN EVERY SITUATION
Skipping to Philippians 4:12, Paul states, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
If that’s not the ultimate statement of contentment, I don’t know what is. And, it comes just after all of the other points we just covered. Coincidence? I think not. Paul knew the secret to contentment, and it certainly still applies to life today.
3. If every day was exciting, it would be exhausting
Consider this quote from C.S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity.
If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?C.S. Lewis
Yes, it’s a quote on love, but hear me out. I believe this concept applies to our everyday lives, too. Imagine if something big and exciting happened every single day for the next year. How would that make you feel? Thrilled that not a single day was boring? Or, extra exhausted and unproductive by the end of the year?
The ordinary moments of life have a purpose. Instead of viewing them as mundane, think of them as steady days that allow for choosing to be thankful. Because, we all know it’s easy to be thankful on the best days, right? True thankfulness is being thankful on any given day, through the good, the bad, and the in between.
4. Embrace everyday adventures
This is one I’ve personally done for years. Here’s what I mean. Anything in your daily life can become an adventure with a fresh mindset. Need some examples?
- Listen to a podcast while you clean. Y’all, this is a game changer. I started doing this several months ago, 1. to take my mind off the drudgery that is cleaning, and 2. to fit more podcasts into my life. Next time you’re cleaning, put those earbuds / airpods / whatever you call them in, and GO. Here are a few suggestions, if you’re looking for a new one:
- Turn a grocery run into a treasure hunt… or a date night. This is exactly what John and I do every week at Costco. Since we both work from home, grocery shopping is a reason to get out of the house. And, we make it fun by looking for new products to try while enjoying each other’s company.
- If you’re like me and cooking is more of a chore than a passion, try putting a new twist on a basic food you eat. John and I love experimenting with random ideas, which has led to some new favorites—smoked eggs instead of hard boiled, grilled chicken marinated in pickle juice (aka. pickle chicken), and air frying ravioli to dip in a cup of pasta sauce (like chips and salsa).
- Use something you would normally save for a special occasion. Maybe that’s an article of clothing. Or fancy dinnerware. Or a candle you only burn when you have guests. Whatever that is for you, don’t wait around for life to be special enough. Use it today.
- Take an experience that’s pretty normal for you, and see it from someone else’s perspective. This may sound silly, but walks are so much more fun when I focus more on our Old English Bulldog, Gus, and his experience. Of course, I have no idea what he’s really thinking, but it makes our usual walking routes more interesting.
If you already love your everyday life, I’d love to hear your tips, too!
Or, if you feel like you needed these tips, which one resonated with you the most?
Let me know in the comments!