Do you perceive time as going by faster and faster? Do have little memory of what you did last week...or even last night?
If you answered yes and yes, you might be stuck in a rut, a place where your days are horribly predictable. When we do the same things over and over, our brains stop paying a lot of attention, leading to lack of memories and the perception that time is passing quickly.
Need proof? Think of your last commute to work. I bet you can't even remember what happened.
The cure is simple. Add novel experiences to your life.
Not only do novel experiences create lasting memories, they slow down time. [The longer an activity takes the brain to process, the slower time is perceived.] This means the more fun, novel experiences you have, the more you feel like you're living a full rich life. And don't we all want that feeling?
So make this month--and all the months to come--one to remember by breaking out of your rut and trying something new. Here are 10 big and small suggestions to get you started.
1. Take a trip to a new location (even for a day).
2. Better yet, plan a Monthly Novel Experience, like white water rafting, wine tasting, zip lining, or tent camping.
3. Learn a new skill. I recently participated in an 8-week mindfulness course for therapists. Not only did I deepen my mindfulness practice, I learned new ways to teach mindfulness to students and clients.
4. Mindfulness bonus: paying attention to the present moment also slows time down.
5. Throw an old school house party. Nothing says novel and fun like grown folks singing Prince's Purple Rain at the top of their lungs.
6. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Shut off all potential distractions and really catch up.
7. Go bowling on a mid-week morning. I do this at least once per semester with colleagues and always have a wonderful time (even when my final score is in the double digits).
8. Take yourself out to a nice lunch instead of eating at your desk. Eat slowly, attending to the flavors, textures, and aromas of the food.
9. Have a surprise weekday family game night. Buying new games to play ups the novelty quotient. Our family's favorites are Sequence, Clue (I'm the reigning champ!), Uno, Sorry, and Monopoly.
10. Take a moment to savor small unexpected positive experiences, like a compliment someone gives you.
If you have a novel experience you'd like to add, please share it in the comments below.
In peace and solidarity,