Why You Need a Comfort Zone

Sometimes I’m showered and in my pjs by 5 pm. There, I said it.

During the week, I seldom veer from my routine. Weekdays go something along the lines of: wake up, post on social media for my job, go to class/classes, workout, do homework, blog, more social media for job, do more homework, and go to bed. Occasionally, I’ll get real crazy and run a few errands, attend a few appointments, or even treat myself to a $30 full body massage because #selfcare. However, most of the time I’m pretty boring. I used to get annoyed when my friends stopped hitting me up during the week to do things. I’m 100% positive that even if we’re not going to go or say yes, everyone wants to at least be invited. But then I realized that saying no got tedious and exhausting, and made me feel guilty, so now I’m glad my friends respect my weekday routine.

It’s not that I don’t like getting out of my comfort zone. I’m just one of those people that needs routine in order to thrive. I need to-do lists. I need structure. I need zero distractions when doing homework, blogging, or working on social media. I need to say no to grabbing dinner with a friend to stick to my goals and be kind to my bank account (because let’s be real, I definitely do spend $7 on a latte 4+ times a week). I get distracted easily by friends and having fun; I know this about myself. That’s why I make the disciplined decision to be a little “boring” during the week and focus on school, working out, and grinding towards my personal goals.

Even though this way of life does me good, I often have to remind myself that it’s okay to let loose every once and a while; it’s actually paramount. You’ve heard the saying, “a comfort zone is beautiful, but nothing ever grows there.” Yeah, I used to want that yatted on me. Luckily, I’ve grown out of that phase. Even though I don’t live by that anymore, I still think it’s important. Doing things outside of my daily routine allows me to grow as a person and in my friendships. It allows me to find new inspiration, learn new things, form new opinions, and develop. But the main reason I love getting out of my comfort zone is because it reminds me how much I love my comfort zone.

When you’re going through the motions of a routine on the daily, it can sometimes feel tedious. I find that after about two weeks of structure, I get stagnant and feel antsy. My lecture notes turn into summer bucket lists, and I start daydreaming of an adventure or a vacation. But every time I go on a vacation, I’m itching to get home- to get back into a routine, by the last day. You see, getting out of your comfort zone teaches you the things that you like and don’t like. The things you need and don’t need, in order to succeed. Eating all of the yummy food on vacation teaches me that I need to eat a vegetable when I get home. Taking a week off from the gym makes me feel excited to get back in there and get stronger. Doing things that are outside of your daily routine will make you appreciate your daily routine.

Getting out of your comfort zone might also bring to your attention the things that aren’t suiting you in your day to day life. Since my roommates went abroad this semester, I would sometimes go 3 days without seeing my friends during the week. Like I said, I go to class, workout, and then do homework and social media work at home. Getting out of the house after a long day is hard for me. However, after making it a priority to see friends one week, even if it was only for an hour or stopping by to say hi, I realized that I needed that social interaction in my daily routine. You know, so I don’t actually go insane. I got out of my comfort zone, and realized that I needed to make some changes to my comfort zone because of it.

“A comfort zone is beautiful, but nothing ever grows there.” I used to live by this. I used to think the only way to grow was to put yourself in new situations, do things that might feel uncomfortable, and seize the day. While I do think those are good ways to grow, I don’t want people to think routine and comfort zones cannot and will not foster growth, either. Because they do. Again, I’m the type of person who needs routine and structure to be productive, succeed, and achieve my goals. I’ve made physical growth in my body composition from a comfort zone. I’ve gotten A’s on papers from being disciplined. I’ve achieved growth mentally and physically by sticking to my comfort zone and routine. But I think people need to understand that a comfort zone and getting out of a comfort zone both have their time and place. It’s important to realize when you need structure and when you need release. Too much of one or the other is never beneficial. It’s an ebb and flow and, once you figure out your best pattern, your life will feel a lot more balanced.