Dealing with monotony can suck the life right out of you. It’s a genuine cry for help — not just another kind of complaining. Like depression, when you’re stuck in mindless routine, the simplest tasks can feel monumental. And suddenly, brushing your teeth for the millionth time makes you want to pull the covers over your head.
Well, take heart! These tips have helped me, and I’m sure they will help you too. Get ready to break monotony, and put the pep back in your step.
Before you learn to hit “refresh” let’s clarify one thing. Feeling bogged down by mindless routine does not indicate ingratitude. Boredom — with the same food, same toothpaste, same schedule, same route to work, same people, same mind-numbing tasks — isn’t a moral failing. Even good things, received with a thankful heart, can become burdensome when variety is lacking.
PRELUDE TO YOUR BREAK FROM MONOTONY
The quick fix for monotony begins in your brain — with re-framing this moment. But, sometimes the brain needs external stimuli to jump-start its refresh button. Here are a few things you can do to welcome your day and prep your mind for its break from monotony:
1. START WITH A SHOWER
This is no joke! It really works! Sometimes it’s hard though. But if you don’t give this a shot, you just might be grumpy all day.
My Mom always said, and her Mom always said, that when you’re feeling sluggish or depressed, force yourself to shower. Don’t overthink it. Just do it.
If you don’t think you can get into the shower yet, at least turn it on. That’s a big motivator, because now you’re committed. There’s no option to turn the water off until you’ve done the deed. ???
2. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
This is your next step. Grab an inspirational book, the Bible, or a devotional on your way out the door. And don’t forget the highlighter and pen!
If you’re on your way to work, leave a wide time margin — in excess of thirty minutes. If you’re already late, oh well. Hello monotony. Just kidding! ? Try revisiting this article on your coffee break.
And, tada! You’ve already succeeded in two major things: taking a shower and getting out of the house. Big things when you’re stuck in a rut.
3. FORAGE FOR SUSTENANCE
Got time? Grab a quick bite to eat somewhere. Why not try a new place? Sit and allow your brain to wake while sipping that hot bevie. ☕ Starbucks can work in a pinch. At least you know what to expect. But is that good when the goal is breaking free from the predictable?
Next, eat something yummy! ? Pick the first treat to catch your eye. Don’t hem and haw over it. Commit and enjoy. Spending too much mental energy on minor decisions is exhausting — not to mention, overthinking leads to the predictable. Bor-ing! ?
NATURE’S CURE FOR DEALING WITH MONOTONY
There’s no other way to put this — nature must be part of your day. In some way. Even if there’s a raging blizzard outside, you can invite the natural world indoors. Light a few candles, smell some lavender essential oils. These are little things, but they bring natural wonder.
And here’s the key. Nature is unpredictable, beautiful, and absolutely beyond your control. Even if you visit the same park, you never know what the air will smell like or where a bunny will cross your path.?
Unpredictability is the enemy of monotony.
TUNE IN TO YOUR SENSES
Do natural excursions sound boring? Then perhaps it’s time to for some brain-tuning.
It’s time to engage with your environment. Get outside without media. You can:
- Eat some snow. ❄️
- Make a campfire and roast marshmallows. ?
- Find a forest and walk through the trees. ??
Once you’re outside, breathe. Make a conscious effort to smell the air, the grass, the flowers. Even bad smells break monotony. Like skunks and such. ?
THE SPIRITUALITY OF DEALING WITH MONOTONY
Remember that inspirational book you brought with you when leaving the house this morning? Well, it’s time to dig in.
Maybe you return to that coffee shop, or it’s somewhere new for lunch. Wherever you go, it doesn’t need to be pricey. You don’t have to eat out all the time to break routine. But when you do, find cheap places.
Grabbing a cup of coffee, as long as it provides you with a place to sit (that’s not at home) can afford the necessary change of scenery. You’ll find your brain more receptive, your body refreshed from nature, and now your spirit ready to connect with God.
BE TRANSFORMED BY RENEWING YOUR MIND
When it comes to reading the Bible, or a devotional, the length of time isn’t really that important. What matters is that you do so regularly. This has become my favorite part of the day. And, here’s where your pen and highlighter come in handy. ?️?
Interact with your text. Underline, write questions in the margins. Take notes! And always start by welcoming the Creator. God is a part of anything good that happens.
Here’s what I’m reading today. You may have heard of Sarah Young. Her classic, Jesus Calling, is full of wisdom and Scripture. The entries are short and written with warmth — as though Jesus were speaking personally to you.
Jesus Calling — August 27th excerpt:
SPEND TIME WITH ME for the pure pleasure of being in My company. I can brighten up the dullest of gray days; I can add sparkle to the routines of daily life. You have to repeat so many tasks day after day. This monotony can dull your thinking until your mind slips into neutral. A mind that is unfocused is vulnerable to the world, the flesh, and the devil, all of which exert a downward pull on your thoughts. . . . The best remedy is to refocus your mind and heart on Me, your constant Companion.
If you’d like a copy, just click the picture below, and you’ll be taken to the Amazon store.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS — AND YOU’RE DEALING WITH MONOTONY — TAKE A NAP
Your heading home, after some quiet time reading at the coffee shop. Do what you must — throw in that load of laundry, wash the dishes, and take care of your family’s needs. But if the urge hits you, and it always hits me — take a nap! There is nothing better than a cozy, cuddly time in bed. Maybe your cat will join you. ??
In conclusion, try adding just a few wild cards to your daily routine. This helps combat monotony.
Sometimes bigger changes are needed. Like a different job. Or a vacation! It’s not always possible, but when time and finances permit, a tropical getaway might be in order. ?️?
However you try to deal with monotony, be sure to invite God into it. Spending time in His Word isn’t a cure-all for life’s problems, but it does lift your gaze to the One who holds the answers. The One who is, in fact, the answer.
Not every problem or weakness will be remedied this side of heaven. Until then, God’s grace is sufficient. Seek to know Him more. Invest time in what really matters. Though some monotony is par for the course down here, Jesus offers you the strength to persevere — to press on — and finish well. ?♀️?♥️
Ali here! Do you find yourself trudging through monotony? Share your questions and comments below, and I’d love to lift you up in prayer. Let’s support each other. ?