Is Variety Really the Spice of Life?

This entry is part 23 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

This post was originally written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge (April 25 2018). Because I did the challenge on this, my 2nd (niche) website, Rise and Soar, I want to keep up the momentum on the site without constantly having to come up with new posts. 

Rise and Soar

Rise and Soar is a website with a blog, that I broke away from my main website, Write to Inspire, years ago, to concentrate on inspiring and encouraging those in the cancer valley, whether as patients, survivors, caregivers, family or friends. 

However, it was never meant to be a health site. It is meant to encourage folk. When I tackled the A to Z challenge I reasoned that these posts should apply to everyone who cares about what is happening to their bodies, be it through age or through cancer. 

Now the challenge is over:

Now the challenge is over, it’s my intention to revisit each of the posts and invite folk who didn’t read them at the time to visit them now. And if you did read them before, if you were reading at the speed I did during the month, chances are you will find new thoughts to  encourage you.

Please add your comments and share the posts on social media. 

I plan to post one “letter” a week only, and will commence with those who saw the least amount of attention during April. Once the official Road Trip commences I will link to that.

For this week, I invite you to explore with me the saying, Variety is the Spice of Life. Is this true? 

When routine is broken:

Some people will try and tell you that variety is the opposite to routine, and routine is important to keep life turning over.

In a sense, I can agree to that. My husband and I have a daily routine. Every morning he makes us a glass each of freshly-squeezed fruit and vegetable juice. That starts the day.

When he brings the drinks through he also brings our morning medication. He takes a tablet for cholesterol and I take blood pressure medication, plus we both take multivitamins and omega 3. During the April challenge, we went to visit our son and family for three days, and because it was a short time we didn’t bother to take the juice extractor. 

The inevitable happened. We were out of routine. So guess what else didn’t happen? That’s right. We missed two lots of medication and I ended up spending a night in the local hospital with my blood pressure out of control. 

Life without routine can easily become chaotic. Click To Tweet

Not what I would call a good spice of life!

The importance of routine

Life without routine can easily become chaotic. Routine keeps us organised. However, the opposite can make for a very dull life. We need to take a break from that routine sometimes. Just a little change can be like spice tossed into a stew. Life can have more flavor.

How can you add variety to your daily routine, without causing chaos? 

Here are a few suggestions:

Add some variety to your meals:

  • My husband and I sometimes take our breakfast down to the beach. We don’t do anything elaborate. We simply pack some cereal into a bowl, and take along some yogurt and fruit plus a flask of coffee. 
  • Once or twice a year, we pick up fish and chips from the local fish and chip shop and we eat that straight from the package overlooking the sea. 
  • What if you’re not fortunate like us with the seaside just a few minutes away? How about taking some soup in a thermos flask for dinner to a scenic spot?
  • Look for specials and go out for a meal once in a while, or get yourself a takeaway. A local takeaway shop near to us has introduced a “Wacky Wednesday” where they sell two wonderful beef or chicken burgers with chips for the price of one. 
  • If you eat lots of takeaway food, plan a sit around the table with a home-cooked meal for a change.
  • Have an occasional family cook-party, where everyone works together. We introduced a pizza party tradition every Saturday when our kids were growing up. Initially, we all worked together. Then as the children grew more responsible (and adventurous) we bought the ingredients and left them to their own devices. One condition. They had to clean up after themselves. 
  • We also allowed the birthday boy or girl to select the main meal for the day with no interference from mom and dad. We had some unusual choices, but hey, it was fun. There were also some surprises, like the time the son who didn’t like vegetables ordered a full meal with cooked meat and a selection of roast vegetables!

Get away from home:

  • I had a recent writing deadline, so I decided to take a week away from home. I returned home to sleep, but I spent the day on a retreat and I got so much work done, plus I returned home feeling fresh.
  • Try and get away with your spouse for a few days break. This works really well if you have convenient and enthusiastic grandparents who may appreciate the chance to spend some quality time with their grand-kids.
  • Arrange a family holiday when you can. This doesn’t need to be an expensive trip to a luxury resort. We had friends who were in the ministry the same as we were. We lived in neighboring towns, about four hours apart, and we had kids of the same age. So a few times we swapped homes for the school holidays. It only cost us petrol (gas) to get there and back. Food cost the same, and the kids got to play with a new set of toys. 
  • At least once each school holiday, plan on a family outing. Take along games or go for a hike. Have fun!

Vary your exercise routine:

  • Do you have a dog? Take him on a different route for his walk. He’ll love it and you’ll enjoy the different scenery.
  • If you usually go to the gym, go on a hike instead one day.
  • Challenge your kids to a game of cricket. I have fond memories of neighborhood cricket matches which my dad and another father would organize on our quiet road with all the kids from the nearby homes.
  • Get yourself a fitbit (see more here!) and challenge yourself to walk so many steps an hour. See if you can figure out a different route every time for several days. 

Do something totally different:

  • Pick up a new hobby.
  • Colour in a picture. No, I’m serious. You know these adult colouring books? They look fun. If you don’t want to buy one, Google™ Free Adult Colouring Pages. Here are a couple of cute pictures to start with. 
  • Sit in a chair you never sit in. If you often sit upright, put a stool in front of you and sit with your feet up. If you usually do that, sit upright! Vary your sitting position.
  • Even our bodies have their routines. Try an experiment. Cross your arms. Now uncross them and cross them the other way. It might take some concentration to get it right. It doesn’t feel right because that’s now how you usually do it! Try doing this a few times. You’ll be amazed.
  • Try drinking something different in the evening. Used to a glass of wine? Try coffee. Used to coffee? Try fruit juice. 

These have just been a few suggestions.

How about making some more in the comment section below?

The point is that as you add variety to your life, you’ll find you’re having fun. And that is all about improving your life! As you tackle new ways of doing things, like crossing your arms, you will find you are stretching your mind. Your changes don’t need to be big. Just challenging. And fun. Enjoy improving your life and your mind!

“I'd rather be a little weird than all boring.” ― Rebecca McKinsey Click To Tweet

I hope you’ve had some fun and received some bright ideas while reading this post.

How about sharing with us ONE thing you can do this week to add a touch of the spice of variety to your life?

Please click here:

24 comments on “Is Variety Really the Spice of Life?

  1. Oh dear, sorry to hear you wound up in hospital! It just shows how easy it is to miss things like that when you change your routine. I like your ideas for switching things up a bit in daily life. I would like to eat outdoors and do some colouring more often.

  2. I enjoyed reading this post and the various ways one can include variety in their routine. Routine tires me and I crave to break free.
    One idea which I am definitely taking away from this post is having a breakfast or a tea/coffee outside of the home. I do not live near a beach but there are few scenic parks here.

  3. The tips you have provided are totally awesome ones.
    New food items, a vacation, adult coloring books. I like taking up new hobbies for a while like paper quilling or even signing up for online courses etc.

  4. That was scary – a change in routine landing you in hospital. But I know what you mean. As we get set in our routines, a slight change can throw everything out of whack. But equally it is important to add some variation to ‘spice things up as you say’. There is a fine balance between chaos and discipline….. thanks for reminding me of this.

  5. Nice list of ideas to have variety in the routine chaos. I completely agree that we need routine habits for good health and variety to spice up our lives. I love coloring and painting. It is refreshing.

  6. I can relate to this post. As a working woman, I prefer to stick to a routine but I customise the tasks in my routine. That way I get to stay on line with my plan and still get to experiment to break the monotony. I workout everyday but I keep varying my workouts. I eat salads but have a weekly timetable. I spend time reading, one day I read a book, and then I read articles or blogposts. Without variety, things can get pretty boring as you said.

  7. Pingback: Yes! Use this word to Improve your Life, Improve your Mind #atoz

  8. We do tend to get into a rut don’t we Shirley? I changed my morning routine and forgot to take my glucosamine regularly – my joints reminded me that I need to be less forgetful. I am also planning on trying some new things with the blog and for myself once we’re finished with the AtoZ Challenge – time to step it up and bring in some new variety to my life.

    Leanne |
    V for Visualise and Plan

    • Looks like we’re in the same boat, Leanne! When we go for variety, we need to build a safe-guard to our “normal routine” so we don’t drop our medicine schedules, right?

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