Health & Wellness mental health

10 ways to find your Zest again

February 19, 2024

Have you lost your ‘zest’ for life, your ‘joie de vivre’? It happens to us all and it happened to me one day last week. I also read a post from Marsha in the Middle suggesting that she was ‘over winter’ and asking the question: Are You Maxed Out? Long winters can certainly sap you of your enthusiasm and joy for life but there are many factors that can cause you to fall into the ‘can’t be bothered’ trap.

Living a life with Zest means we are thriving and enjoying being alive.  The British philosopher, Bertrand Russel, said “What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life” and suggested that having a zest for life is the mark of a happy person.

You might also want to listen to my Podcast episode with Debbie Harris from Deb’s World as we discussed Are you Thriving or Just Surviving? How to Thrive After60.

Normally I wake and do some form of exercise to get me started for the day and I’m generally an active participant in all areas of my life. On this particular day I just didn’t ‘feel’ it. I felt tired and lethargic, demotivated and just couldn’t be bothered. We’ve been renovating our bathrooms and doing some of the physical work ourselves. We’ve done well with doing the demolition ourselves especially as my husband is soon to be 76 and I’m 67 this year.

It has been a busy few weeks and whilst we have enjoyed the physical work, renovations are tough and can be mentally draining organising trades, purchasing items and deciding on interior design.

Reframing Your Attitude

I think on this particular morning it all caught up to me and so I just

let it go and went with the flow.

In the past, I would have scolded myself and pushed myself to do my workout, because exercising is part of my daily routine. As I’ve aged I’ve become wiser and kinder to myself and my body. I recognise the need to sometimes step back, relax and refocus. I’ve learned it is okay to step out of routine for a time. Reframing my attitude has certainly helped when times like these crop up. In the past I would have been so much harder on myself or felt like I was failing but not these days……because

I’ve learned it is vital to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND.

So, what did I do?

I eased into my day, I enjoyed a morning coffee on our patio with my darling and just let the day unfold. It was so refreshing and later on during the day I did feel like exercising which I did and enjoyed. This is so much better than forcing yourself to do something and hating every minute!

I also posted about my feelings on Instagram and it certainly resonated with many.

Losing your zest or motivation can happen to anyone, but you can do something about it to try to reignite your enthusiasm and get going again.

10 ways to find your Zest again

  1. Identify the Root Cause: Take some time to reflect on why you’ve lost your zest. It could be due to many things or just one big problem that is causing you worry. Stress, burnout, boredom, or a lack of clear goals can sap you of your Zest.
  2. Set Meaningful Goals: Establishing clear and achievable goals can provide direction and motivation. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks, and prioritize them based on importance and urgency.
  3. Find Inspiration: Seek inspiration from various sources such as books, podcasts, TED talks, or conversations with people who motivate you. Exposing yourself to new ideas and perspectives can reignite your passion and creativity.
  4. Reconnect with Your Passions: Revisit activities or hobbies that once brought you joy and fulfillment. Whether it’s painting, hiking, cooking, or playing a musical instrument, engaging in activities you’re passionate about can reignite your enthusiasm for life.
  5. Change Your Routine: Monotony can contribute to a loss of zest. Even making small changes to your daily routine can stimulate your mind and reignite your curiosity.
  6. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude by reflecting on the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small. Put the foucs on what’s abundant rather than what’s lacking
  7. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences: Spend time with people who uplift and energize you. Their enthusiasm and positivity can be contagious and help you rediscover your zest for life.
  8. Take time to reconnect with FUN – As children we had no trouble being carefree or playing.  I love spending time with my grandson because he teaches me how to play and have fun.  Just because we are adults, doesn’t mean that we have to discard playtime.
  9. Re-evaluate your lifestyle To have a zest for life means you need energy.  To be sparking on all cylinders you need to live a healthy lifestyle.  This means making healthier food choices, having some daily movement of up to 30 minutes doing some form of activity that you love. Making time each day for meditation or reflection and having regular check ups to ensure that there isn’t any underlying illness which could be affecting you.
  10. Just take time out – the world won’t end if you just step away for a time. It’s important to recognize when we need time to just ‘be’ and time to ‘do’.

Accept that life can sometimes give you lemons

Zest is also the peel of the citrus fruit used for flavouring and sometimes life can throw us lemons (or curve balls), which give us a bitter taste.  It is what we do when we are faced with problems or the bitter parts of life that matters.

Some people will make lemonade, some will grab tequila and salt. 

Life isn’t always fun and we can’t always be upbeat, vital and energetic.  Accepting this and having the right attitude will make you stronger, more resilient and more capable of overcoming the bad times to enjoy the good.

What are some ways you rediscover your Zest and passion for life?

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

22 Comments

  • Reply Retirement Reflections February 19, 2024 at 10:38

    Hi, Sue – These are all excellent tips. I especially like Tip #7. That’s exactly why I like to spend time on this blog and with you! <3

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2024 at 17:53

      Thank you dearest Donna you always brighten my day with your comments. Have a beautiful week my friend and take some time for yourself. x

  • Reply Thistles and Kiwis February 19, 2024 at 11:02

    This came at the right time….I have definitely lost my zest at the moment!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2024 at 17:54

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost your ‘zest’, Barbara but it does happen to us all. Just give yourself some extra kindness and soon you’ll be bouncing back into life. Take care x

  • Reply Janine February 19, 2024 at 18:34

    Hi Sue – lots of great ideas here on how to regain our zest. I also try to just push on through but am learning to just go with the flow and listen to my body much more.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2024 at 08:09

      Yes, Janine, I’ve always tried to push through but as I’m aging now I find it more challenging. Giving myself some grace and time off helps and then I find I bounce back. x

  • Reply Toni Pike February 20, 2024 at 14:39

    Hi Sue, such good advice in this article – I think listening to your body is so important. You’re an inspiration with your remodelling.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 22, 2024 at 08:22

      Thanks, Toni. The Renovations are coming together nicely.

  • Reply Debbie February 20, 2024 at 21:51

    So much to love here Sue, recognising that sometimes we lose our zest for a variety of reasons is the first one and we don’t have to be upbeat all the time – life isn’t like that! Great tips, and I too like #7 and #8.

  • Reply ganga1996 February 24, 2024 at 10:42

    I wrote something similar this week, spicing up your life for a prompt. Loved your post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2024 at 10:33

      Oh I like ‘spicing up your life’! I will pop over and read it. Thanks for visiting x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 24, 2024 at 17:35

    These are great tips Sue. I think I might have used most of them at some time over the years without really giving it any thought. These days I’m a go with the flow type of person too. My days of whipping myself are gone. I love being about to make the choice to do not much really on those days that I can’t really be bothered. Usually before the days over, I’m back to my old self.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2024 at 10:38

      Hi Jen having choice is so important isn’t it? Now you are retired you can choose whatever you want to do with your time, especially now that you are recovering from your injury. It’s a great feeling when we stop ‘whipping’ ourselves as you put it. Life is meant to be enjoyed not feared. Have a lovely weekend. x

  • Reply Natalie February 26, 2024 at 07:13

    These are excellent tips, Sue. I particularly like #7 and #8. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 27, 2024 at 11:00

      #7 and #8 have been very popular, Natalie! Enjoy your week x

  • Reply Bernie February 26, 2024 at 13:22

    All excellent tips Sue. I am overwhelmed with a big project literally right now and am taking a mini break from it. Thanks for the perspective and the help with zesting it up! Bernie

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 27, 2024 at 11:02

      I’m sorry to hear you are overwhelmed with your project, Bernie. It does happen though doesn’t it? Taking a mini break is a wonderful idea and you will have your zest back in no time! x

  • Reply Gail Is This Mutton February 27, 2024 at 02:47

    I found your IG post very inspiring Sue. Sometimes it seems like the end of the world if we’re not feeling zesty and ready to tackle our long To Do list. I’m also trying to be a bit kinder to myself if I’m feeling tired and not up to exercising – particularly as it’s still winter. Thanks for linking!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 27, 2024 at 11:03

      Hi Gail, thank you for your comment. The IG post was one of my more popular ones because I think it resonated with everyone. We all feel this way at times and it is good to know others feel that way too. x

  • Reply Kirstin Troyer February 27, 2024 at 15:19

    Loved this post Sue. I think it can be easy to lose our “zest” in the seemingly mundane day to day living. I loved your list of 10 things. I’m pinning this post to go back to.

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