There are times when everyone can benefit from a change of scenery. When the comfort of my day-to-day routine becomes so mundane that I want to scream, I know it’s time to shake it up. I’m not talking about anything drastic—just enough change to keep life interesting. I know I’m not alone.
Of course, travel is one obvious way to change the view. There’s nothing like a trip to a foreign land to alter your perspective. I’ve had the good fortune to visit South Africa and parts of India. Seeing the Big Five (African elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and black and white rhino) from a jeep on an early morning safari or riding a took-took through the insanely crowded streets of Delhi are definitely effective ways to adjust your attitude and your outlook. When I look at photographs from those trips, I’m transported back to what I will always consider to be adventures of a lifetime.
If international travel isn’t in your budget, another option is exploring a nearby town. A few weekends ago, I drove three hours south and spent the weekend with a friend I hadn’t seen for a few years. Not only did we have a great time catching up, but we did what girls do best—shop. Saturday morning we went to the local produce market, and while we were in the cute downtown area, we checked out many of the local stores. Sunday, we went to breakfast and shared an enormous and delicious salmon-avocado-tomato bagel. By the time I got home on Sunday night, I was recharged and excited about the week.
Alter Your Route
Sometimes, as much as you want to get away, leaving town isn’t possible. Regardless, you can still change the scenery by altering your routine. Many of us are creatures of habit, and that can be a good thing. For me, a routine is what it takes to get things done. Most mornings are the same: coffee, write, exercise, and grocery shop. Afternoons are more flexible. Generally, they include more writing, phone calls, emails, cooking, and some socializing. Some days, I need to shake it up. Instead of the gym, I go for a hike. Instead of writing, I call a friend and suggest meeting for lunch, coffee, or a glass or two of wine. Instead of taking the freeway, I travel the back roads and explore streets and neighborhoods I’ve never seen before. Somehow, adjusting my schedule recharges my battery, improves my outlook, and adjusts my attitude.
Watch Movies and Read Books
The recent fires in California have filled my hometown with smoke, making outdoor exploration a bit challenging. Fortunately, I’ve been able to escape via movies on Netflix and by reading a few good mysteries. There’s nothing like binge watching and reading to change the landscape. Not sure what to watch? Rottontomatoes.com lists the best movies of 2017, the top 100 movies by genre, and the best movies of all time—and more! Looking for good books? Check out Goodreads.com. Read or write reviews, sign up for the 2018 reading challenge, and become a part of the community.
Adjust Your Attitude
Finally, for some of us, “Tis not a change of scenery you need but simply change the way you look at the scene you are in.”
Jan Fishler, MA, is currently co-authoring a new book, Don’t Stop Now, Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life (DontStopNow.us). She is also the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir), and has written several articles about alternative health and PTSD. You can learn more about Jan at www.JanFishler.net.