I hear so many people these days talking about how tired they are. There are even several memes about this means we have achieved adulthood. Why is this such a common thing? Why are we so tired?
I started asking if it was a physical tired or an emotional tired. Sure, we have long, busy days that can leave us drained. I’m looking at you, young mothers. You are doing great, kids are exhausting.
But for most of us, it is an emotional tired. We are tired of the drama at work, tired of being underappreciated, tired of the stupid questions, tired of the violence and crime in the world, tired of feeling so much pressure, tired of the pandemic. The list could go on and on.
But you know what I’ve noticed? We are tired of the things that never seem to change. We are bored with it all.
This is highly ironic in the world we live in today, where we could have anything we want at the click of a button. Or can we?
What we long for as humans can’t be found watching Netflix, scrolling through TikTok, or really anywhere online.
We want something different in our lives.
Make A Change
Going through the same ol’, same ol’ gets dull, and we have nothing to spark any light or joy into our lives. There is nothing to refresh our souls the way sleep refreshes our bodies.
Try shaking up the everyday routine, don’t just live on autopilot. Drive a different route to work. Stop at a different cafe. Try not to look at social media for one day. Go for a walk. Find a nearby park to walk in.
If you are feeling really brave, do something bigger, like go to a zoo or museum, sign up for a dance class, pick up a paintbrush. Do one thing that brings you just a little bit of joy for the day.
Joy is that refresher to the soul the way sleep refreshes our bodies.
Have you ever noticed in the mornings, you don’t often think about yesterday’s problems or issues? It’s like a reset button, and each day starts fresh.
Joy can do the same thing. Feeling blissfully content and peaceful is a reset. That reset disappears when we bring back memories of problems or have to face them again. But it is just a little easier knowing we have those good moments coming.
That’s how many of us make it through the workweek. We wait for Friday because the weekend is at least a little different than a weekday.
So why don’t we take that into the day-to-day, rather than waiting a week for some kind of break?
We can give all the excuses we want, the most common being we don’t have time. But every person has 24 hours in a day. The difference is how they are utilized.
I recently lost my younger brother in a devastating manner. Suddenly, I had all the time I wanted. Life pretty much stopped. As I started to come back to reality, and there were demands on my time, some things I just didn’t have the bandwidth for.
While I would much rather have my brother back, and as much as I do not wish tragedy on others, it does help us to determine what is really essential. And on the path to healing, joy is essential.
Yes, so are certain mundane tasks, I’m not saying every moment should bring utter bliss at all times. But some type of respite during the day from those mundane tasks is key to waking up the mind and feeling less bored with life and the emotional exhaustion that comes with it.
Seek the Unknown
This one is scary. Our brains subconsciously try to protect us from the unknown constantly. The unknown equates to possible danger and we are wired for survival.
But there is a little bit of an adrenaline junkie in all of us. Chasing after something that scares us also brings a bit of a thrill. Physiologically, it is all the same. Our bodies receive a rush of adrenaline when placed in dangerous or scary situations. We then have to figure out how to use that energy, or we become overwhelmed by it.
What better way to get out of a boring routine and shake things up than by doing something that scares us just a little?
It doesn’t have to be some big, daredevil, life-threatening event. The biggest adrenaline high I’ve ever felt was the first time I hit “publish” after finishing my first book. It was absolutely thrilling, and I knew I had to do it again, even if it was also terrifying.
What if no one likes it? What if it’s terrible? What if I'm terrible? All flashed through my mind briefly. And I acknowledge that it is a possibility. Not everyone is going to like my work. But those that do like it have the possibility of loving it, and I have the possibility of changing someone’s life for the better.
How cool is that?
Trying something unknown and different is really the fastest way to get out of the same old boring routine. And if you don’t like it? You never have to do it again. But you now have a new experience that shows yourself that not all scary things are a threat to your survival. And it’s one less thing you have to wonder about and say, “What if?”
The unknown is a mystery. It’s unpredictable. And isn’t that something that we crave when every day feels exactly the same?
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. — Alber Einstein
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.” — Deiter Uchtdorf
Whether we realize it or not, we are creating every day. To create means simply to bring into existence something that wasn't there before. Whether that is a conversation with a friend, a laugh that came from a joke, or some form of artistic creation, we are constantly creating.
Everything you interact with every day at one point did not exist. The device you are reading this on, the very words you are reading, the clothes you wear, your bed, your home, the tree you sit under at lunchtime… all did not exist at one point in time.
Creation is like a form of breath, we need it to constantly keep the flow of life moving forward.
The best part about it is that it fills all of the criteria for removing emotional exhaustion and boredom. It shakes up your routine, and you venture into unknown territory to create something that never existed.
And that’s just the beginning of how beneficial creativity is.
Creativity is also a form of expression, allowing yourself to be seen and heard. Not blending into the background of a monotonous existence is validating. It shows yourself and others that you have a purpose. You have something to say. And while we tend to push those things down as “not important,” our inner creative self knows better. It is important and others need to hear what you have to say, too.
Expression is how we connect with others. It helps us and them feel less alone in the big, scary world we live in. You are needed.
Creation is powerful. So powerful, it can give us a sense of purpose. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think your ideas are good enough, when we create, it is for a sense of fulfillment and joy.
Take a Lesson from Children
Children are the best creators. They always have new ideas, new ways of seeing things, and are fearless when it comes to doing what they want to do. Everything is new to them.
All of us are just oversized children. We have the same need to love and be loved. We have the same need to grow and learn and with that comes the need to create and express the things we are learning, the emotions we are feeling.
I work part-time as an elementary school librarian and have students K-6. I once asked them if creativity is a talent we are born with or a skill that we learn. I was fascinated that K-2 and about half of my third graders all said it was a skill to be learned. The rest all claimed it was a talent we are born with. To the extent that the 6th graders even tried to fight me when I said the opposite.
Here’s the thing though, to the little children, EVERYTHING is a skill that has to be learned. Some learn faster than others and we see these as “natural talent.”
No, they had to learn just like the rest of us. They just had more passion, more curiosity, and spent more time learning it.
The older I get and the more I learn, the more I hear from others about how “smart” or “talented” I am. But I worked hard for those skills. You ask any artist how they got to be so good. 9/10 are going to tell you it was practice.
Creation is the same way. Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
And most of us fail to see just how much we create already every day, whether we mean to or not.
The quality doesn’t matter, just that we create. Because the more we do it, the better we get. Just like children, if we are willing to make mistakes, learn, and practice, we have the ability to create anything we want. Including the life we lead.
Pick one of the above options. Nothing is going to change unless we change. We are the creators of the life we lead. Yes, things may happen outside of our control. But we still control how we respond. We can choose to feel like a victim of the circumstances, or we can utilize them as tools that we use to learn from and build on.
Experiences give us a solid foundation if we know how to build on them correctly. And the best way to learn is to do. Make a choice and do it.
Need ideas on what to create? Want to get away? I love hosting retreats to help you unlock your creative side. Plan a quick get away, and check the dates for my next event HERE, or check out my site for other options at paulajeanferri.com.