A change in season poses the perfect opportunity to take a look inward and assess your personal journey. Our contributor, Katherine Hilton, explains why she has decided to expand her comfort zone instead of getting out of it.
After a long winter, it can be normal to feel a little off balance and unaligned. I, for one, spent my whole winter anxiously awaiting the warmer, brighter days that spring would bring. I played it safe all winter, sticking strictly to my weekly routine and not venturing outside of it to do the things that truly bring me joy. I would wake up, work out, go to work/school, come home, do homework, watch Netflix, go to bed and then get up and do the exact same thing the next day. I did this all winter long.
One of the things that remains a constant mood booster throughout my busy life is working out, specifically, SoulCycle. Taking one to two hours a day to clear my head and turn inward to work on myself really helps keep me grounded. A couple of weeks ago, my favorite instructor was asking us to re-think the way that we approach our comfort zone. She asked the class to think about expanding our comfort zone instead of trying things that are outside of our comfort zone. After class that day, that statement really stuck with me. I’m such a creature of habit and once I get comfortable with my life and daily routines, it takes a lot for me to switch it up and get out of my comfort zone.
That day, I decided that I was going to start working on expanding my comfort zone. I wanted to be able to find more things that I love and that bring me joy without feeling anxious or guilty for doing them. I decided to start small and challenge myself to do one thing daily that would help expand my comfort zone. One thing daily that’s different than something I would normally do. It could be something big like going out to dinner with friends on a weeknight (big deal for me), or taking a new workout class by myself. It could also be something small like taking the scenic route to work in the morning, or stopping to get that cappuccino even if it means being 5 minutes late to the office. Instead of looking at these things as outside of my comfort zone, I challenged myself to look at them as a way of expanding my comfort zone.
Once I had done one of these small things, I planned to do that exact same thing again the next week or day. That way, little by little I started to expand my comfort zone until eventually what used to seem so foreign and scary to me, is now something that is normal and a part of my day-to-day activities. As I get more comfortable with these small changes, I continue to challenge myself to conquer some of the bigger, scarier things. It feels so good to accomplish and do the things that used to intimidate me so much. I have truly noticed a difference in my mood and overall happiness by switching up my day-to-day life to add a little more fun and discomfort into it.
This spring/summer, I challenge you to face your personal life challenges and discomforts in this way. Look at these things in a different light and know that at the end of the day, they are helping you expand your comfort zone.
Midwest-born and -raised, Katherine is currently a college student living in NYC where she attends the Fashion Institute of Technology while studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a focus in Public Relations. She tends to think of herself as a very non-traditional college student. She has a passion for health and wellness, home décor, fashion, city living and so much more. In her free time, you can find her scrolling Pinterest, hitting a workout class or watching HGTV.
Connect with Katherine on Instagram
You might also want to check out 4 Easy Ways To Increase your Sustainability This Spring and 5 Plants For Small Spaces That Promote Healthy Air Quality!