As we get older we tend to become fixed in our routines and habits. In many ways we need routine and habit to be able to function in society however it can also limit how we experience life. Routine and familiarity means that we revert to living on autopilot. Getting up at the same time, going through our day following the same steps we took the day before and probably everyday, it means we don’t really have to be fully aware. This is precisely why it is important to take a break from routine.
Taking a Break from Routine
Taking a break doesn’t have to be a big deal, it doesn’t have to be expensive or even take you too far out of your comfort zone. To be able to start break your routines a little you have to give up some control, you have to be able to start living more in the moment, in the flow of life. It takes time to do that, especially if you are not used to doing things that you are not comfortable with.
Why is it Important to Break from Routine?
To fully experience life, to be in the moment, in the flow allows us to experience life in a much more authentic way. When we are being more than just spectators we awaken our senses and bring life into our life.
How many times have you looked back at your life and wondered where all the years went? It can be pretty scary to see just how fast life passes. But we can slow life down by paying attention to it, to being present in our experiences and to sometimes kick it up a bit. Do something different, do something uncomfortable, take chances and yes let it flow without actually knowing what might or might not happen.
When I worked in London, I’d try to change things even in the smallest way. Take a different route to work, try a different cafe for breakfast and anything small that allowed me to carry on fulfilling my daily responsibilities but still changed things up a little.
I wanted to share a short video of photos taken this weekend. I like to just do random things, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. For me it is a vital part of feeling life, of expanding my experiences and taking in whatever may come without any preconceived expectations. So here’s a little snapshot of a short trip to Lille in France.
I want to inspire people. I love it when someone says to me “Because of you I didn’t give up” or “Because of you I made that change!” – Anna Zannides
So perhaps I can help you see that life is more than routines, habits and comfort zones. Of course in the end, we all have to make our own choices, I just hope to help you make better decisions for you.
Yesterday I completed a 6km run/walk. While that might not sound like much of an accomplishment to some, I am proud because when I look back to where I was two years ago this is an achievement. However when when I say my marriage was killing me, I don’t mean it literally. I am referring to the lifestyle I was living whilst I was married. A very complacent, sedentary life, taking my health for granted and just coasting along with no real passion for anything.
Unhealthy relationships affect our emotional and physical health.
I was reflecting on how far I’ve come since my last holiday with my ex-husband when we went to Santorini. We stayed in a lovely apartment overlooking the Aegean sea. Stunning views! However as I look back at that holiday I feel sad at how much I struggled to walk up and down those cliffs, my whole experience was limited because of my health at the time.
I thought I’d share a photo of me at that time to see how my marriage was killing me (no sorry my lifestyle!!). Yes that’s in Italy not Santorini, can’t find a photo in Santorini. Now my point is not just about the weight. It’s not just about what I looked liked, even though that’s important, it’s the affect that my lack of self care had on the quality of my life.
Taking Care of Yourself – A Fundamental Part of Life!
Although my marriage wasn’t the only reason I failed to look after myself, it was a huge part of why I just wasn’t taking care of me.
When you are busy taking care of everyone else, you forget to take care of yourself.
One of the advantages of being single again is having the time to take care of myself. And noticing how much my health was starting to deteriorate has made this a priority.
Healthy Lifestyle – The Changes
The first thing I did was to stop smoking. There is absolutely nothing I can say in support of this awful habit., one that I shared with my ex husband, supporting each others addiction. So as soon as I separated I ditched the cigarettes and took the first step to freedom.
Me and my friend David
Exercise – Getting Myself Moving
Now I move a lot more than I used to. I walk as often as I can, rarely use the car and train in the park twice a week with my personal trainer. Oh and I forgot I also do yoga once a week.
Still got more to do but it’s progress.
No More Eating Animals
This is a bit more extreme. I no longer eat animals. This is controversial, some say we must eat meat to keep healthy and others say we shouldn’t. I’m going with what feels right and it no longer feels right to eat animals. It’s a lifestyle choice and one that has a positive impact on my health. Also hoping it helps with my Karma.
It’s never too late to start again
Having Fun – Be Happy
Life is too short to waste on bitterness, anger and disappointment. Just because life didn’t turn out the way you planned doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around, take advantage of the new opportunities and start having fun. I don’t take much notice of age, it’s not how I define myself.
So I get out and have fun in ways I want. Our attitude to aging is what ages us. Does this mean I’m pretending to be something I’m not? Not at all, it just means I live according to me, we can only live our own life.
The minute you think you are old, you are old
I guess the message I am trying to share here is that if we want to have a fulfilling later life we have to take responsibility for our health. We must move, eat right and take care of ourselves. Our body is our vessel to carry us through to the end, love it, treasure it and take care of it.
It’s not really an option to continue abusing yourself and expecting to live a happy,healthy life over fifty.
Sir David Attenborough turned 90 this month, a true inspiration to us all. He is living proof that age is just a number. There is so much to learn from him, least of all that life should be lived to the fullest.
Your Attitude Determines The Quality of Your Life
Some people age before their time others seem to have ever lasting youthfulness. It’s less about external appearance and more to do with attitude. As a mindfulness practitioner I believe your relationship with your mind plays a large part in how well you age. The self talk, the limiting beliefs and generally your view of life is what determines the quality of your life.
If you think you are old, too old for this or too old for that, then that’s exactly how you will experience your life.
Life is an Experience – It’s Meant to Be Experienced
This video narrated by Sir David Attenborough captures the magic that is life, through the eyes of someone who has shared that magic with so many of us.
Life can not be watched from the back seat of safety and comfort, life can only be experienced in the moment, when we are in the driving seat. Fully aware, fully present.
Live Your Passion
People who live their passion really live life. Their work is not labour or a task, it’s what drives them, it’s what keeps them going everyday. If you spent more time in the flow, on your passions then surely retirement would never be your aim?
I removed the word retirement from my vocabulary a long time ago and replaced it with “living a life based on passion” – not looking to retire at 65 I’m looking to keep going until the gas runs out because life to me is still amazing.
Give it a go, remove that fake date from your mind and see just how many years you claim back. When you remove that expiry date suddenly you feel like there is so much more time.
Freedom in Later life is my passion, helping people to see that life doesn’t stop or slow down, we only slow down when we accept that we are too old.