When every day feels the same, you might be asking yourself, “Why do I feel restless and bored?”
This is where I’ve been for the last few years, and I feel like many of us are experiencing this right now. During the pandemic, I handled everything extremely well, but now that we’ve moved out of lockdowns and quarantines, things still feel very much the same. Like Groundhog Day or a time-loop on Loki.
If you, like me, are feeling restless in life, this is for you. I’ll go over why you might feel this way and what to do about it so that you feel more flow and movement in your life.
What is Restlessness in Life?
Restlessness in life is simply experiencing discomfort while staying still, discomfort when things are the same in life from day to day. It is often linked with anxiety, ADHD, and other psychological challenges.
It’s also linked with impatience, an inability to settle down, and issues finding certainty in uncertain times.
Symptoms of Feeling Restless
For me, feeling restless manifests as a desire to upheave my entire life and start over. We want to sell our house and move in with my in-laws. We want to move to England or New Zealand. I suddenly want to go back to school to change my career. I want to get my doctorate in my already established career.
You get the picture.
None of these things are inherently bad, but doing any of them simply because I feel unsettled in life isn’t a great reason and could result in some pretty bad results.
Here are some other things you might experience when you’re feeling restless in life.
- difficulty sleeping
- pain or achiness in your joints or limbs
- emotional eating
- frustration with life
- desire to change your life suddenly
- feeling out of control
What makes me feel restless in life?
Many things can cause you to feel restless and bored, such as day to day activities that once worked for you but now feel meaningless. You might also feel this way because of difficulty keeping track of everything going on. If everything is important, nothing is!
I often feel restless when I’m on the brink of change in my life, but I’m overwhelmed with choices and possibilities. This makes me feel overworked and overstimulated, and I have a hard time shutting my mind off.
I always want to make the best possible decisions in my life, but with ten really great choices, how do I know which one will truly serve me the best? This kind of uncertainty leads to doubt and frustration over my life.
9 Things To Do When You Feel Restless in Life
When everything feels the same and you’re chomping at the bit to see some changes happen in your life, here are a few things that can help you ease your mind and disconnect from that feeling of frustration.
And keep in mind that these things won’t necessarily help you get out of the situation that causing you to feel restless. It’s all about adjusting your mindset so that those feelings of restlessness won’t bog you down any more!
1. Stop having expectations
Do I have your attention? Yes, I actually want you to release your grip on some of your goals and expectations.
When you have expectations, you are actually setting yourself up for stress and frustration. So when you’re feeling restless in life, letting go of your expectations can help you live in the present moment and find more joy.
It’s really hard in this hustle culture to even fathom why you’d want to let go of your death grip on your goals, but there’s a difference between releasing your expectations and actually ceasing to work toward your goals.
Basically, you want to continue to work toward your goals, but hold them gently rather than with rigidity. This relaxes some of the tension that you’ve created in your life and can help you feel less restless.
2. Examine your priorities
A lot of times, when we’re feeling like life is monotonous or that everything is the same, it can be because we simply have too much on our plates and don’t have time for anything else. It’s time to make time.
I like to do one of the activities in this post about things to do when you feel overwhelmed. Basically, you do a brain dump. Get out a journal or a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to mind. When I do this, I like to write the word “LIFE” in the middle with a circle around it, and write things down in random spaces to make it feel more chaotic.
After you’ve written down EVERY SINGLE ITEM that’s floating around in your brain, then you go through and color them by the following:
- takes 10 minutes or less (blue)
- important (green)
- delegate (yellow)
- table (orange)
- trash (red)
This allows you to focus on what’s really important and make space for some other things that can help you break up the monotony.
3. Connect with others
If you’re feeling restless in life, chances are, you probably feel alone. So one of the best things that you can do is to connect with other people. (Preferably, of course, you want to find someone who is unconditionally supportive of you who won’t belittle you or make you feel worse.)
The best thing is that you don’t even have to talk about the struggles and restlessness you’re going through. Just spending time with others is enough to boost your mood or ease your troubles.
Humans are not solitary creatures, as much as we would sometimes like to be. We need to know we’re not alone, to share in our grief and struggles. We need to laugh with one another and connect over the absurdity of life!
4. Change your habits
Usually shower in the morning? Shower at night instead. Usually have cereal for breakfast? Make yourself a breakfast casserole the night before.
Changing your habits can be a small yet effective way of breaking yourself out of your rut. Sure, maybe you can’t yet move to Europe or quit your job, but even just breaking your cycles can help you feel like you’re on your way.
And when you change your habits, try to opt for ones that are healthy, or ones that will help lead you to your eventual goal. Because progress is progress, no matter how small, and even those little changes might make a big difference in the way you feel.
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5. Focus on your mindset
If you’re saying to yourself, “Why do I feel restless and bored?”, THIS in and of itself is something you can address. This is reflective of a negative mindset.
You’re focused on the “restless” and “bored” you’re experiencing. It’s been proven time and again that what we focus us has a tendency to show up more in our lives. For example, if all you think a lot about red cars, you’re going to see a lot of red cars on the road.
The same is true for how we feel. When you focus on the negative aspects, your brain will start to see more and more opportunities to feel discontent and listless. But if you focus on the positive, your brain will start to see more occasions to feel gratitude, joy, excitement, or spontaneity.
RELATED POST: 20 Excellent Affirmation Cards to Try
6. Do the opposite
When life is feeling monotonous and you’re starting to ask “Why am I restless?” it may be time to choose something totally opposite of what you would usually do.
I just heard a tarot reader say, “When you’re faced with a decision, do the opposite of what you’ve always done.” I literally had this happen just the other day, and I decided to take the route I’ve never taken before….
It was thrilling! I truly surprised myself and it will be something I always remember doing!
Life feels a little less monotonous when you change things up. It doesn’t have to be big. Order a different sandwich for lunch. Tell that dude off when he mansplains things to you instead of quietly grimacing.
Just make sure what you’re doing is safe and legal!
7. Get plenty of sleep
When you’re feeling restless, the last thing you want to do is to rest. I get it. But making sure that you take time for sleep and relaxation activities can really boost your mood.
As I addressed earlier, that restless feeling can sometimes be caused by having too much on your plate. When your days are stuffed full and you don’t have any free time, this not only puts you in a negative mindset, but it can also wind you up and prevent you from resting.
But sleep’s importance in our lives is beyond measure. It helps support brain function, our immune systems, and motor function. Everything that occurs in our body is reliant on getting sleep to function adequately. As many as one-third of adults aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis!
So when you’re working on #2 above, make sure to schedule some activities to move your body during the day (which promotes restful sleep), and schedule some time to wind down in the evening without the use of screens.
8. Get outside
So many of us spend a huge portion of our days indoors. Especially in the winter, and especially during the week because of work. In fact, people in the USA and other developed countries spend about 90% of their time indoors!
Personally for me, this leads me to feeling trapped. When I get outside, I feel less confined and more free to do what I want.
Go do some yard work or gardening. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Head out to the local hiking spot or book a stand up paddle boarding class at a nearby lake.
Plus, when you’re outside, you’re more likely to be moving your body, which will also help with #7 above and you might find it easier to get some decent sleep when you’ve exhausted yourself!
9. Connect with the Divine
God, the Universe, Spirit, Goddess… whatever you call it, the divine did not create you to be cooped up and restless all the time. You were created in God’s image, to be so full of love and joy for life, unconditionally.
Whether you connect to Spirit through prayer, meditation, going to a church service, spending time with a Sangha, or brewing spells with your local coven, any of these are valid and worthwhile. The goal is see a bigger perspective than yourself (your ego) and allow Spirit to work through you.
This gives God the opportunity to give you the solutions you’re looking for. After all, he/she/they can’t give you advice or help if you’re not listening.
These 9 things are all activities that have helped me when life feels monotonous and I start to get restless. But make sure that if life really starts to wear on you, that you seek out professional help. It’s always worth it!
Let me know if these ideas helped you feel less restless!
Drop a comment below!