How To Snap Out Of The Everyday Doldrums And Be More Present

Did you ever wish to be an adult as a kid only to grow up and realize that adulting wasn't as fun as you thought it would be? With work, chores, and having to pay bills, it's easy to clock out mentally and drift along each day mindlessly, just to wake up the next day and do it all over again. If this describes your life, you may have a case of the doldrums. While it's normal to feel blah occasionally, if you're stuck in a rut, it's time to give yourself a mental shake and be more present in life.


Being fully engaged is not only beneficial to you but to your loved ones as well. Inspirational speaker and author Tony Robbins states, "By being an active participant in your life, instead of a bystander, you'll feel a greater sense of purpose in your actions and connectedness to those around you. When you think about it, you realize that finding more joy in your everyday life is a reason in and of itself to start practicing being present." 

Shifting your focus to the present may take some effort at first, especially if you're used to running on autopilot. However, once you start practicing things like enjoying the little things and really taking the time to listen to a loved one, you'll soon find that life is much more enjoyable when you live in the moment.


Unplug for an hour each day

This advice may seem ironic, as you're probably reading this from your phone or computer, but hear us out — allot a time each day to unplug from all of your devices, even if it's just for one hour. When you're on the internet, chances are you have multiple tabs open and are hopping back and forth on your various social media accounts. All this frenzied activity makes us forget to slow down and be in the moment.


If you're having dinner with your family, keep your phones in another room. Take the time to talk and listen to each other without being interrupted by notifications. Do you have a night to yourself? Instead of mindlessly watching the latest episode of "Below Deck," make a nice, warm bath and read that book that's been laying around on your nightstand or take a nightly stroll. Unplugging from the outside world every day helps us connect with ourselves and others without any distractions, and will allow us to be more aware of what is going on in the present.

Listen to someone without thinking about your response

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and walked away without remembering a single detail? Chances are, you were only half-listening while thinking about how you're going to respond. Oftentimes, we worry so much about what we're going to say that we tune out the other person before they finish their first sentence. Or, you may be eager to contribute your own thoughts that you interrupt them.


Next time you're engaged in a discussion, erase your mind of all thoughts and simply take in what the other person is saying. Are you listening to a child blabber on about their day at school? Instead of waiting for their chatter to end, spend time hearing the joy in their voices and the excitement they felt over playtime with their friends. Pay attention not only to the speaker's words but also to their facial expressions and hand gestures. Active listening not only makes the other person feel special, but it also helps us become more empathetic and engaged.

Focus on one thing at a time

With so much going on in our everyday lives, multitasking seems like a necessity if we want to get things done. While it may make us feel superhuman when we hop on a call, check our emails, and do our daily squats at the same time, juggling too many things at once is a quick way to burn ourselves out. Having too much on our plates can actually counteract our productivity. According to Psychology Today, each time we switch gears, our brain needs time to stop and start all over again, making us more prone to mistakes.


Instead, try single-tasking. Focus all your energy on one thing and you'll see that you'll get more done. You'll also feel more connected to what you're doing and find meaning in your work. Even if it's an arduous task, such as filing your taxes or weeding your lawn, find joy in completing it and treat yourself to a reward afterward.

Spend time with your thoughts

Every day, we're inundated with outside stimuli from the time we wake up to when we finally hit the sheets. We're all guilty of checking our phones the second we wake up, and then we're on the go to work or an appointment. Even if we're commuting, we're probably listening to the radio or our favorite podcasts. How often do we just sit in silence and listen to our thoughts?


Clear some time each day to think about the voice in your head. What emotions are you feeling? Are your thoughts negative or positive? Practice listening to your inner voice and use it to guide you and be present in your life. A great way to do this is to journal every day and just write your stream of consciousness. Whatever words or sentences come to your mind goes on the paper. There are no good or bad thoughts — this exercise is simply a way for you to get to know yourself better.

Move your body every day

There's nothing better for beating the doldrums than exercise. We're not saying you need to go for a 5-mile run or hit your local SoulCycle. There are simple exercises you can do every day that will go a long way in bettering your mind and body. Even just a walk around your neighborhood and breathing fresh air will lift your spirits. Can't get outside? Do a 15-minute yoga flow or stretch out any kinks with a foam roller. While you're exercising, take the time to think about how your body is feeling. Slow down your breathing and really listen to your lungs inhale and exhale air.


Taking the time to focus on your health and well-being will do wonders in clearing your head and lifting your spirits. Exercise has been proven to lower stress and help you focus better. However, don't just work out to get it over and done with. Have fun moving around and enjoy the feeling of tension leaving your body. Getting started is the hardest part but no one has ever regretted a good sweat session.

Celebrate small wins

Sure, big achievements such as an engagement or a promotion warrant a big celebration, but tiny wins deserve some acknowledgment as well. As we go on about our everyday life, it may be easy to ignore little things that spark joy. Did you find a forgotten $20 in your pocket? Treat yourself to a manicure. If you checked off all the things on your to-do list for the day, give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe you got the Wordle on the second try — that's quite an accomplishment! Take the time to congratulate yourself on the roses of your day, instead of the thorns.


Acknowledging small wins each day will keep you feeling positive, and the boost of endorphins won't hurt in chasing away the doldrums. You'll also learn to appreciate all the great little things that life has to offer and will be reminded that being in the present is not such a bad thing after all.