Sometimes in life, we have those moments. Those ‘my boss just chastised me in front of everyone’ moments. Those ‘my second job is not bringing home much money, and we’ve got a ton of bills due’ moments. Those ‘my significant other just broke up with me for the mailwoman’ moments. We all have them. And you can’t help but feel down. Like, suddenly, you’re not worth it anymore, or what you’ve been doing for years isn’t what you should be doing. Sure, we all put on a good face, smile and nod while we turn on autopilot and navigate our day. And suddenly, you snap out of it, and it’s 8 pm on a Thursday and you can’t remember what you did Monday – Wednesday, much less what you did today.

We all get them. And we all wish we could get that time back. I know I have experienced that, much like my friends, family, coworkers. As a teacher, sometimes you think ‘the first day of school was how long ago?’ and realize you’re into December. As a writer, it can be even worse. You realize you haven’t written in a few days, but in reality, its been two weeks, and you have to reread what you’ve written (and, of course, half of it feels like rubbish).

Some of you may have noticed I’m posting weekly, but just once now. It’s an effort to not only give me something different to due during the week, but also allow me to schedule it and complete it early, so I can do something different. I want to be more productive. That’s my goal for the year. I find that many people turn to complaining to deal with this. I have, in the past. It makes me feel better short term, but not afterwards.

So I’ve taken a look at what does make me go into autopilot – television, computer games, ipad – and what prevents me from rising above my own concerns and fears – listening to other people complain, spending my time socializing in the lounge rather than prepping for class, reading comments about the novels on Amazon, etc. – and attempted to identify counters.

For example, television – I’ve cut back my television watching to just the news in the morning and evening. I even cut down on the number of channels I pay for to help me focus. I am going to the gym, eliminating some hours where I just sat and watched. I’ve tried to pick up more books (the library is awesome!) to help generate ideas and keep me engaged, rather than stuck on the couch. By not having a routine every night, I avoid feeling like every day is Groundhog Day.

TLDR: Sometimes we forget that the brain needs fun activities to keep it engaged. Plan some, do some, take time out of your day to do it. Don’t get caught in routine when you can avoid it.

What do you guys do for fun? Comment below or join me on the facebook page!