Two hands reaching out with a jar of hearts in the middle.

Creating a Break From the Mundane

A big frustration that many people with Parkinson's experience is that daily routine can become mundane. When each day begins to cycle around medications, doctor appointments, and schedules, it can take the energy out of life. When this happens, it is time to find a way to spice it up! Work the fish-bowl technique into your agenda and you never know what the day might hold!

Supplies needed to break the Parkinson's daily routine

  • Fishbowl, vase, or mixing bowl
  • Computer or notebook paper
  • Pair of scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Your imagination


  1. First, we have to create our fishbowl. This can be a mixing bowl, a vase, a planter, or in many cases a real bowl designed to hold a goldfish.
  2. Cut paper into small pieces.
  3. Now here comes the fun part! I want you to think of activities that you are able to do with very little preparation or planning and are going to be fun. Examples are walking in the park, getting a cup of coffee, FroYo, or going to see a movie… it’s up to you!
  4. Write each of those activities on the small pieces of paper we just cut up.
  5. Fold those pieces of paper into small squares and toss into the bowl.
  6. When you’re feeling up to bringing a little spontaneity into your day, reach in and pull out a piece of paper.
  7. No matter what that paper says, you are committing to the chance of breaking out of the mundane, so engage in whatever activity is on that paper.

Helpful hints

If you notice that every week, you pull out your partner’s idea for an activity, it is probably because each person has put in different amounts of activities. To remedy this issue, create two fish-bowls and then rotate who gets to pull out of their bowl each week. Voilà!

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A romantic spin

You can also put a romantic spin to it and make it a date! Make a different set of activities that have a romantic tone to them, i.e. going out to dinner, picnic lunch in the park, etc. Chose a day during the week for some saucy, intimate time. Let's say Friday night... then during the morning of the date night, pull your fishbowl out and dig in for an activity. Then the other person who didn't get their idea pulled out of the fishbowl has to prepare for the date night.

For example, let's say Steve and Molly decided on Friday date night. That morning, they pull a suggestion from the fishbowl... this time it was Molly's activity of watching the sunset together. Now, it's up to Steve to set the mood... if you know what I mean. Wink! Maybe he searches out the best place to watch the sunset, gets a bottle of wine, and brings a selection of cheeses. Then he takes Molly out for her date night. It's a chance to ignite the spark that might have dimmed a bit after the diagnosis of Parkinson's.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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