This is the first in a series of writings designed to get you going every Monday. You're welcome. :)
Ahh, Mondays. We know them and live them and dread them, but there they are taunting us with their promise of drudgery and reality. There is nothing we can do, because it's what must be, right?
Look, I wake up some mornings worried about how the day is going to play out -- what task do I have to complete in order to get through the day and to accomplish something worthy of routine, something that looks like I've been diligent and amazing, like picking up dry cleaning (I worked at a dry cleaners when I was 20. I've never dry cleaned anything since.) or paying all of those bills or making the phone call for a doctor's appointment or completing that data sheet (that'll just sit on someone else's desk for some time, I'm sure). Yes, I know these things MUST be done. I do not at all disagree with this, but I am in support of not focusing on any of those items at great length. The list above is technically simple (I know there are times when even these sorts of tasks seem overly complicated, but if you think about it, they are not.). These tasks should not ever be what you are thinking about continuously -- they have the potential to suck any joy out of life if you're only thinking about what you have to do and accomplish. I know you've heard it before, but you are not what you do. You are you, just because you are.
So instead of waking up dreading Mondays (this applies to any day of the week), try the list below:
1. Wake up to gratitude. Those of you who follow me on social media may have noticed that my first message to you is always a short list of gratitude. I have been doing this for years with friends via email and it has helped shift my focus to all of the good that is all around us all the time. ALL the time. I can't stress this enough -- it's always there! Write at least five things you are grateful for everyday. The list I create is longer than the five, but that is where I started. Gratitude comes naturally once you begin to notice and practice. There are times when some of the items feel too private to share with anyone, so I write a list just for me. It does not matter who or who doesn't see your list, just that you are expressing gratitude and really feeling it.
2. Don't rush. I know it seems counterintuitive, but rushing in the morning can just stress you out even more than normal. It appears on Mondays that everyone is in the-I-must-go-really-fast mindset. Traffic is more backed up and everyone looks miserable. It doesn't have to be so for you! If you give yourself some extra time on Mondays, it'll shift the tendency to rush. Better yet, prepare for your Mondays the night before as much as you can -- pick out your clothes, make your lunch, shower (I need to shower in the morning to organize my day and tame my hair, so I would never shower the night before.), put the coffee on a timer, put everything in your bag. You get it. Simplify your mornings by doing some of this stuff the night before. This will alleviate some of the stress and allow the space to feel peace and joy instead of dread.
3. Meditate. There are different ways to do this. There are days that if I'm feeling sort of on the grumpy and distracted side, I play a passive meditative mp3 designed to relax (like brainwave sounds with sounds of nature) and I drink my coffee at the same time. Days when I'm feeling great, I can just already be in a meditative state and listen to music. I also listen to guided meditation from different sources, not only in the morning, but at varying intervals throughout the day. This will come as no surprise -- the best way I meditate is by writing with no music, in the quiet of morning. This is the fastest way to bliss created by me.
There are so many ways to start your morning joyously (some more of them will be explored next week.). These three steps should help you get started with finding peace and even some happiness on Mondays or any day. Try them! It won't hurt; I promise! Make these steps work for YOU, in a way that best suits who you are!