Feeling a little "blah" at the moment ? Let's get a bit of excitement back!
I’ve been feeling decidedly "unexcited" over the last few weeks.
In fact when I spotted a friend in the supermarket recently and she asked me how I was, my response was a downbeat “fine” and a quick sum up with “Things are just not very, well… exciting at the moment”. As I drove home I pondered on my statement. I mean what did I expect? We’re still in the midst of a lockdown. There’s heaps of uncertainty around, the global environment needs more assistance than ever and it’s turning out to be a decidedly chilly and icy winter up here in the North of Scotland. Even in regular times I’m not a high octane, thrill seeker type of girl. So, what is the “excitement” that seems to be eluding me right now?
This blog sets out to delve into a bit of this fascinating area to see if there’s anything that might lift the mood given our current situation. If you’ve been feeling a bit “blah” of late there may be something in here for you.
Wikihow tells us that excitement may be described as a state of exhilaration, enthusiasm, stimulation or emotional arousal. They go on to suggest that if it’s lacking then we CAN make changes to get more. So far, so good. They actually have 7 neat steps to getting it - tackling areas like facing a fear, getting out of your comfort zone and even getting a new job. Of course, some of the suggestions are only possible OUT of lockdown but there are still things we can do NOW.
Currently my excitement levels peak when I find a great “Netflix” series, witness a gorgeous winter sunrise or survive a Les Mills home “Grit” session on my 6 week challenge. I regularly practice mindfulness and enjoy many little things in my day but there’s still something missing.
Perhaps it’s excitement about future plans that’s missing. Maybe this explains a little of the hopelessness I feel at times. I am passionate about travelling. I love the planning, the waiting, the doing and the reminiscing about trips away. These don’t have to be to far flung places (Although a touch of warmth really does help!) I revel in a few days away walking the Fife coastal trail, a couple of weeks at the amazing sports resort Club La Santa and all options in between.
Maybe it’s the pleasure from trying NEW things that’s gone astray. I’m thinking a different café, a new exercise class or an alternative walking route. Interestingly, it appears that there is a region in the mid brain that acts as a “novelty” centre. When this part of the brain is activated by new images this sets off dopamine along the pathways and we feel a little rush of motivation. In a nutshell this element of novelty allows our brain chemistry to make us feel happy. So it’s no surprise then that during the restrictions the pandemic has placed upon us that we may not have been feeling as upbeat as previously.
I think when I’m feeling “unexcited” it’s because I’m thinking too much about the future and not enough about what’s right here in front of me. I’m craving the “new”!
So how can I inject a smattering of “fresh” into my days?
Some experts have suggested we rethink the way we view online gatherings. Instead of calling them “virtual” we can start thinking of them as “real” and NOT consider them a poor substitute for getting together in person. I’ve certainly “Zoomed” with some people over the last year that I hadn’t spoken to for quite some time and this was great. However, they’ve not been a regular feature for me. In fact the weekly group quizzes we had during the 1st lockdown have fallen by the wayside. Now I think about it, I’ve lost touch with several people I used to see (In-person) on a regular basis B.C. (Before Covid!) It’s easy to drift out of contact in this current situation but it doesn’t have to be like this.
For me the online options throw up another issue. As I work on a “screen” I don’t really want to add further extensive periods sitting at one. Well, I don’t have to! With a bit of creative thinking there are a multitude of possibilities. For example, I can easily prop the phone up whilst I’m preparing dinner and chat away. I do like this more “natural” interaction. I could gently cycle away on the spin bike whilst having a group call. And I can aim to learn something active like “Swing dance” direct from my tablet. I've been talking about this for ages and not done anything about it. Perhaps now is the moment! These activities do require a conscious effort to focus on the advantages of technology and to take action.
I could do more to connect with others physically. Whilst I’ve met up with a few people over the last month it’s been limited. Our local restrictions do allow us to take essential exercise outdoors and meet up with one other person outside of our household. The question remains - Is this going to add “excitement” to my daily life? I’m pretty sure it’s a big yep. I have not yet explored every part of my local hills and coastline however, I find myself revisiting the same easy routes each time I head out. I’ve gotten myself into a rut. With just a tad more planning I could delve into a different corner and invite a friend to power walk with me. If I could borrow some cross country skis then that could be another exciting alternative. Although it’s not for me, I’ve noticed soooo many people are wild swimming their way through winter, which is a fabulous way to boost the system and put a smile on your face. (At least once you’re out !)
I lurve writing blogs as it gives me so many insights into the “possible”. On balance I guess that I have become a little stale in my choice of activities which has led me to my state of weariness. There are plenty of things that are lighting me up. And I just need to act on those passions, switch off the news and enjoy the “different”.
"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change" - Wayne Dyer
Your story may be very different to mine but giving it some thought is the first step to regaining some excitement.
Notice what’s available rather than what’s not. Investing time into good friends and family is rewarding in so many ways.
Now what’s it to be for you and how are you going to make it happen ?
Did you know I work with people to support them to make the most of their time?
Do check out my “Retime” coaching package.