Are you craving novelty? As the pandemic wears on, I've noticed both for myself and my clients that novelty is becoming more and more important. Many humans thrive on some level of novelty, and many sources of novelty have diminished during the pandemic: museums, plays, movies, installations, travel, concerts.
There are clear signs that I’m craving novelty. Life feels a bit lackluster. I notice that it’s harder to motivate myself. I have thoughts like “Life feels like Groundhog Day,” or “I feel stuck and bored,” “Or [fill in the blank], yet again.” The bar for what elicits joy, surprise, or delight gets higher and higher.
The importance of novelty struck me when I entered a Japanese market during the pandemic after being sequestered in my house for months. I felt like a kid in a candy store: the colors, the textures, the different words, the smells, the possibilities. I touched everything I could get my hands on. I felt buoyant and alive. All of my senses seemed to wake up, and I was suddenly aware of how dulled they had become.
Some ideas for infusing more novelty into your life:
Read different genres from what you're used to
Switch up your wor
king environment: turn your desk, add a plant, put up a piece of artwork
Take for an "awe walk": go in nature and look at things as a child might: curious, inquisitive, open
Try new foods, reach out to different friends than you're used to, try a new hobby
Play with different textures: clothing, pens, fidgets, taking the time to notice how they feel
Experiment with what brings you pleasure, whether that’s sexually, sensually (as in your senses), who and what you’re surrounded by, the tasks you do throughout your day
Move your body in different ways: take a yoga class, try belly dancing, hula hoop, jump rope
The possibilities for novelty are endless. It’s a matter of recognizing that you’re craving novelty and purposefully infusing novelty into your day, week, month, year.
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