Are you hungry for adventure or longing for that rush of excitement that a first-time experience brings you?
Life with chronic illness, injury or disability can be pretty dull – with mostly unpleasant surprises instead of exciting ones. Unfortunately, backpacking through Europe, rock climbing or partying at festivals are probably not in the cards for you right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a sense of novelty and excitement to your day-to-day life.
When you break out of your usual routine, your brain releases the happiness hormone dopamine to store information in your memory and create new neural connections.
So if you have some energy to spare, boost your happiness by shaking things up with ‘mini adventures’.
- Change things up: sleep in your living room, have breakfast on the patio, host a clothing swap with your friends for a mini-makeover or freshen up your morning routine.
- Get up at sunrise to do yoga – even if it’s just one sun salutation or 5-minute meditation.
- Camp out in your own back yard. Sleeping under the stars can be a welcome change of scenery, with your own facilities just a few steps away if needed. So set up your tent, bring your thermos and flashlight, and tell ghost stories over s’mores and campfire banana boats.
- Immerse yourself in a new culture by eating its cuisine, watching subtitled movies or reading books about the country and its customs.
- Creativity can blow your mind and your world wide open. Why not try intuitive dancing, expressive painting or building a robot?
- Plan a surprise for your partner, best friend or mom.
- Love cracking codes and unraveling mysteries? Have a thrilling game night at home with escape room puzzles.
- Wish you could go to that festival? Have one at home! The main part of what makes a festival great (besides the performances) is having an awesome time with your friends. So find a great spot to hang out, put on some good music and have a beer and a laugh together. It’s not the same as watching your favourite band live on stage, but socializing and having fun beats watching re-runs of ‘Prison Break’ on Netflix, right?
- Visit a CreativeMorning breakfast lecture in your city to meet like-minded people.
- Try a different look: get a new haircut, paint your nails in a bold colour, wear statement jewelry or combine new outfits with the clothes in your closet.
- Have fun! Play miniature golf, go geocaching or take an improvisation class.
- Host a low-key food tasting party – for family and friends or just you. Choose a theme that ties your ingredients together, set up your samples in order and engage all your senses to taste your bites. For heightened sensation, you could co a blind tasting.
- For an evening of laughs and thrills, go to a comedy club, have a mystery dinner or do karaoke.
- Play tourist in your own town. Take a sightseeing tour, visit a botanical garden or go to a museum you’ve never been to.
- Even if you’re stuck in bed, reading can transport you to another world. Go on a vicarious adventure with a choose-your-own-ending book.
- Leave everything up to fate on your day of randomness. Take the first bus or train leaving the station and get out on the 3rd stop for a drink. Let your dinner partner order a dish for you. Make tiny decisions by flipping a coin or throwing a dice, or watch a sneak preview in the movie theatre. Surprise yourself!
- Go to a drive-in or host your own backyard movie night.
- Embrace your inner kid and play! Fly a kite, have a water fight, get a hand at finger painting or dig up your old Lego from the basement.
- Do you live near the woods? Go foraging food in the wild to learn more about the natural world around you. Just make absolutely sure you know which wild plats are safe to eat and which are poisonous!
- Too tired to go out at night? Dress up for a fancy champagne breakfast at home or a nearby hotel. We all deserve a treat every now and then!
- Step out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve been wanting to do but never dared to.
Which mini adventures would you love to try to spice up your everyday life with chronic illness?
This blog post contains affiliate links to resources I thought you might find helpful, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.
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