In North America, Groundhog Day on February 2nd is a superstition where the weather forecast rests solely on the shoulders of a furry groundhog, which people believe can predict another six weeks of winter just by high-tailing it back into its underground home! If you’ve seen the Bill Murray film, however, you’ll also be familiar with the storyline of a man stuck in a time loop, forced to live the same day on repeat. If life is feeling a bit like that for you this month, it might be time to break from the rut and make some changes to give you a new lease of life.
Identify where you feel discontent
Unfortunately there’s not much we can do about Covid – a situation that has us all feeling like we’re living Groundhog Day – but take a look at those areas of your life that are within your control and consider where you feel you’re in a rut. Start by going through certain sections of life and ask yourself, “am I completely happy in this area?”
If you are, congratulations! That’s already something you don’t need to work on to get yourself out of your rut.
But, if the answer is “no”, take time to jot down ways you think might help to improve that area. For example, if you feel as though the work and career aspect of your life could be improved, maybe you need to look at achieving a raise, promotion or a shift in pace. Alternatively, you might feel you need to change your job completely.
Or, if you are sick of staring at the same walls, it could be time to make a move or spruce up your current home and give yourself a different view.
Whatever ideas and visions make you happiest, be sure to write those down, so that you can reference them later on when you start working towards what you want.
Take baby steps and don’t try to change everything all at once; particularly if you are struggling with motivation this month. Set yourself goals – realistic and attainable ones though, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. You could start small and set gradual goals, so that each little win spurs you on to do more and helps you achieve things step by step.
If one of your goals is to get fitter or incorporate more movement in your life, then begin by just going for a walk or trying a few simple yoga stretches at home. Try something fun like dancing; put on your favourite tunes or follow an easy routine on YouTube. When you’ve discovered what you like, the next step can be signing up to a class or local walking group, where you can take part with others and make it more of a social activity.
Time to give your home or garden an overhaul? Kick off with simple tasks that start to make a difference without having to commit to a major project straight off the bat. Dig over that little flowerbed in the corner and plant spring bulbs that you know will spruce up the place when they bloom, use filler to fix those annoying cracks on the wall that have been staring at you, or bring in some new home accessories to immediately update the look of a room without even having to whip out the paintbrushes.
This is also great advice when it comes to environmental choices. Faced with a climate emergency, many people are keen to make 2022 the year they start making a difference to the planet and reducing their carbon footprint but feel overwhelmed when they don’t know where to start. Again, take baby steps. Look at areas where you could reduce waste or make changes and look what you could do differently. Turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth, start recycling more, use your car less or join a car pool, and think carefully about the products you buy.
Avoid single-use plastic as much as you can and arm yourself with a re-usable drinking bottle. They are widely available now and are often made with eco-friendly materials. If you want to step it up a gear, the Rolls Royce of re-usable drinks bottles is probably Plastic Bank’s limited edition Ocean Bottles, which are dual insulated, made from stainless steel and Social Plastic, feature a handy integrated drinking cup and, even better, the sale of each bottle sold helps to prevent 5,000 plastic bottles from entering the ocean.
Don’t repeat your mistakes
Perfection is an illusion and you shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes because it’s what you learn from them that counts. If you’ve been doing something for a long time and know it doesn’t work for you, make a change, do things differently and move on.
Don’t limit yourself or continue in a cycle that frustrates you. This translates across work, relationships, health and your home. Simple things like, if you always play it safe and use neutral shades or white on the walls and then find yourself disappointed and feel your home lacks personality or looks bland, then experiment with colour. Start with one wall or one room and see where it takes you. You’d be amazed at the impact colour can have on your emotions and how you feel when you are in that space. It could well give you the boost you need to effect more change or even create the peace and calm you’ve been seeking in your sanctuary.
Equally, if your enjoyment of your garden or balcony is being ruined by mistakes you’ve made over outdoor furniture that can’t stand up to the elements, make a change. Don’t keep buying poor quality sets that fade or fall apart after one season and can’t handle frost or UV rays. Equally, if you’ve found yourself stuck in a frustrating rut with the work required to care for wooden outdoor furniture and just see a job that needs doing every time you look out the window, it’s time to break that cycle and invest in something durable but low maintenance.
LifestyleGarden®’s range of furniture is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, is hardwearing, and stays looking great with the minimum of maintenance.
If you love the aesthetic of wood but hate the sanding and re-finishing required, then opt for teak, which ages beautifully without treatment. The teak used in LifestyleGarden®’s ranges is FSC certified – either sustainably grown or sourced and recycled from buildings on the island of Java – creating beautiful furniture with minimal impact on the planet.
If you’re looking for minimal upkeep, try our Portals Dark collection, an elegant dining set that offers sleek urban style with black aluminium frames and FSC teak finishing, and linen-look cushions for added comfort. The best part; all of our cushions are made from Olefin and provide extreme colour fastness and durability in all climates, which means they are suitable for outdoor use throughout the year. The unique material takes on less moisture, which allows it to dry more quickly than other textiles. Furthermore, Olefin is resistant to abrasions, stains, sunlight, fire and chemicals. For something more casual and perfect for lounging or relaxed entertaining, check out the modular sofa set in the same collection.
Getting to enjoy your outdoor space – whatever the size – is a huge boost to mental health and can give you time to reflect on changes you have made or still want to make. Don’t deprive yourself of time in your garden or balcony because you’re in a rut with outdoor furniture you hate.