Every day, I wake up to the noise of my alarm clock. I would groggily rise up, quickly eat my breakfast and rush to get ready for work. I would roll my eyes at how terrible traffic can be, sit by my desk for hours as soon as I step foot in my office, and I am yet again glued to the bright glare of my computer screen. Sounds like such a snore? Well, I start my day the same way and end it like any other as I, admittedly, live for routine. Routine gives me structure, keeps me safe and comfortable, but most days, routine can get quite sickening. I am so familiar with it but then I am reminded of how life should be lived.

Recently, I have been struck with the realization that I haven’t watched the sun set in a while. I haven’t gone out of my own space for a minute or two to just feel the fresh air on my skin. I haven’t spared a time to put my phone down nor shut my computer off completely. I haven’t stopped moving around. I haven’t slowed down, at all, and I bet the same goes for everybody too. I bet we aren’t entirely living our lives the way we want when our “busy” daily routine are stuck closely with the demands of our own tasks. Some of you go to school and others like me, head off to work, normally preoccupied, usually restless and always in motion.

Here are things we can always try to do in combining mindfulness and grace in our daily lives.

1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than your usual wake-up time.

I know, we’ve all fallen into the temptation of hitting the snooze button for a few more minutes of sleep. How could 5 more minutes be so bad, right? While it may sound good, waking up earlier than the usual might be even better. You could actually spend a lot of time doing stuff when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Waking up earlier means more time for prayer, exercise, coffee or listening to your morning playlist. I tried waking up once an hour earlier and I witnessed how the sun rose up through my window.  Man was it priceless.

2. Take a break.

Things can get pretty busy in the middle of the day but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a little break. So leave the desk, walk around and move those aching muscles, grab some food and relish the changing colors of the sky. Remember, you’ve got give some room for yourself to breathe.

3. Get into meaningful conversations.

Whether you’re at work or in school, surround yourself with people who you can genuinely speak with. Get into great conversations or spark one. Give up the gossip, pull off some jokes once in a while and talk about the positive things instead.

4. Put your phone down.

We’re all so engrossed on our phones that we tend to neglect the more important things. Surely, that tweet, status and photo post can wait. Learn to live, have fun and explore without it. Some places and certain events in our lives are better experienced on our own and with people nearest to us, rather than sharing it to a thousand more others we’ve virtually just known online.

5. Do something out of the ordinary.

With routine almost dictating our daily living, breaking out of it can bring out some adventure in you too. Do something other than what your ordinary and usual tasks require of you. Write a book, compose a song, sign up for a yoga class with friends, run the tracks or learn something new. Think you’re too busy to do something that you (really, really) like? I beg to disagree. Doing something far from the ordinary gives you excitement and vitality.

While its easier to follow our typical routine in this fast-paced world, shouldn’t we be taking the time to slow down a bit and live a little?


Alve Jane Aranton is a 21 year-old writer from Cagayan de Oro, PH. She is a lover of words, coffee and cats. Alve blogs her feelings at  She Is The Paper Back Writer.

Photo from Unsplash

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