Are you alive or are you living your life to the max? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for about a year, maybe longer. There is a vast difference between drifting through your daily life wearing the same clothes, eating the same foods, falling asleep at the same time every night to the same Netflix binge show and waking up to the same alarm the next morning to repeat it again and then there is taking risks daily, trying new foods, new radio stations, a new route on your drive to work, and choosing things that make you happy and deciding to fulfill your wants and desires in the moment and seeing each new day as a new opportunity to ensure you don’t regret anything in the end. I’ve realized that there is no point in living for tomorrow when you’ve still got all the hours of today. Waiting can set a person foolish…
For the past few years, I have been in a routine. Most humans like routine because its comfortable and we have become spoiled; accustomed to comfort with all the amenities available to us. We can buy comfy beds, comfy couches, comfy sweatpants, and binge on comfort foods when we are bored, sad, angry or homesick. We can find someone to spend a comfortable life with and a job that gives us “enough” whatever that means but is that really enough? Is that what happiness is? I was in a routine. I woke up in the same bed every morning, in the same house, went to the same job, saw the same people, drove the same cars, ate the same food religiously, used the same shampoo, surfed the same websites, creeped the same Instagram feeds, you name it, it was the same on a daily basis. I started to take notice of the people who took risks like moving away, took a new job, went on trips. They were changing up their lives and I began to become envious. They all looked so happy. They looked like they had less stress and you knew damn well they would have awesome stories and memories to share with their grandkids 50 years down the road. That’s what I want. Sure, there is nothing wrong with the way I was living but again, it was only “enough.”
I’ve been in Australia for two months now. It was the change my life needed. I am not living my life to the max by any means, but I’m liking the changes that I’ve made. Just because I moved to a new country doesn’t mean I wake up every morning jumping out of planes, surfing, eating sushi and going on wild boar hunts. I’m not going out everyday trying new foods or new running routes or sleeping in different beds all the time but I’m slowly changing the way I wake up and the way I see things. I make attempts to live in the moment. I’m not worrying about what will happen tomorrow, in a week, a month, a year. It doesn’t matter to me in this very moment. The excessive stress isn’t worth it. In the past two months, I’ve learned that stress was to blame for a few health issues I’d been struggling with for years. I used to wake up with feelings of anxiety and stress. I’d wake up hitting the snooze button multiple times. I’d roll out of bed 15 minutes before I had to be to work, throw on some clothes and go. My job wasn’t stressful, but the overall buildup in my life was and getting out of bed pushed me to the edge of my comfort levels. Waking up stressed out and anxious about a day you haven’t yet faced is a feeling too many house and too many hide and it’s potentially the most unhealthy way to wake up. Having panic attacks mid day that weren’t caused by a specific problem was a problem I faced. It’s also something I didn’t really disclose to many. I got sick more often than most people. I struggled with digestion problems, ridiculous PMS, and many things that people just chalk up to shitty genetics but that wasn’t it at all. Since being here, I’ve reduced my stress almost completely. I’ve been able to focus on me and without trying, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight as a bonus and feel better overall. I don’t suffer with my health issues like I used to. I’m no doctor, but I’m fairly certain it’s because I’ve eliminated stress from my life.
I’ve focused the last few weeks on waking up positively. It’s easy and almost natural for me to wake up as a cranky shithead, blaming everyone else for the bad mood but putting effort into being happy; that takes work. It’s like relationship building, but with yourself. Everyone does it differently so whether you wake up to your favourite song or you take a bubble bath first thing or sip on your favourite tea when you get out of the shower or you do all of those things, you start your day on the right foot. Try waking up 15 minutes early to get your head in the game. Make a list of small goals you can accomplish during the day – the more tiny things you accomplish, the more accomplished you will feel, no matter if it’s just putting pants on and getting out the door once, do it and check it off the list. The best thing I’ve found is to send a message or something to a friend encouraging them to have a good day or a happy morning because if they’re good friend, you’ll always get one back and you’ll smile – I promise! You’ll also be making someone else’s day so do it while listening to your favourite song in the tub – that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s been doing me wonders!
Try it. I promise. Reduce stress. Be happier. Be a better person. That’s something you can do one day at a time. It isn’t something that has to wait until tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Just do it. You deserve to be happy.