5 Steps to work day bliss!
It's Monday morning, you've hit snooze a couple of times and you are stumbling past your weekend wishing you could return to that Saturday morning glow. So what is it that makes you cringe on a Monday morning? Is it the thought of a long week ahead? Is it the emails and pressure you know are going to hit you as soon as you walk into the office? What if you were to create that Saturday feeling on a Monday morning? How would this change your day? Your week? Can you feel your shoulders soften slightly even by the idea of it? While a sleep in is probably out of the question there are ways to bring that lighter Saturday feeling into your week to help you create a more effective work flow.
Pause - Breathe - Release
No matter where you are or what pressures are upon you, you always choose how you respond to your day. Whenever you feel that sense of urgency to react and can feel the stress bubbling up inside of you take a moment to PAUSE, BREATE and RELEASE. Pause wherever you are. Take three controlled calm breaths allowing the breath to flow down deep into your lungs and then MOVE to release stress! You don't need to go for a run or dance around the office (although these can also be effective forms of stress relief). You can simply and discreetly diffuse and release your stress by clenching the muscles in your body for few moments ie. arms, shoulders, neck (abdomen if you want to get a mini core workout at the same time) and then releasing all the tension. When we are stressed we tend to hold onto the muscles of our body without realising it, which can leave us feeling uptight and tense as a result. Holding tension in our body can also lead to other related symptoms such as headaches and backache which only add to our state of stress. By actively tensing and releasing our muscles we bring awareness to the tension held in our body and actively let it go. We are also back in the control seat of how we are responding to our day.
One of the best parts of a weekend is being able to connect with those we care about. How many times during your week do you feel disconnected from the rest of the world? Whether you work alone or in an office full of people. When life gets busy it can be easy to lose real connection with the people we care about. Start your workday by making a meaningful connection with at least 3 people. It can be a simple text message to wish a friend well through their week or a message to your Mum just to say I love you. It could also be a smile to a stranger or a work colleague. The only rule here is that is it meaningful and done with an intention to connect and make a positive impact on someone's day. Notice how this in turn makes you feel.
Write an effective list!
Yes, you have so many things to be doing but writing all of those urgent matters down on a piece of paper gets them out of your head and into actionable steps. Most of us stop there and then feel totally overwhelmed by how much there is to get done, prioritise your list and then next to each item quantify how long this task should take you. Action the shortest task first and get it done. It may be down as the last in priority but we are focusing on creating momentum for your work day. The chances of your starting that big project are significantly increased if you have just powered through a few mini tasks first up?
It doesn't matter what you are doing and how laborious the task, you can choose to do it with gritted teeth and a feeling of angst or you can choose to do it with love. The choice remains yours but both directions will lead you to completely different outcomes. This is not a positive feel good repeat to yourself a thousand times "I love this" while you are secretly hating every moment, this is an opportunity to genuinely take a task on with a real sense of joy. The ultimate test? Choose the task in your day that you avoid the most and challenge yourself to completely immerse yourself in it. Whatever you do, be authentic. Faking joy won't make this work, you have to genuinely embrace the challenge. Notice how this shifts your workday lows and you can begin to apply it to other areas of your life (yes, washing dishes can actually be done with joy as well). It is about being present in the moment and removing your pre-conceived ideas about what the task means. Focus on the goal of just doing something joyfully and watch it create miracles in your day.
Be Kind you yourself
Do you hate the amount of pressure that you feel on a Monday morning when you get into work and your boss is breathing down your neck with a deadline?
Take a step back and have a think about the kind of pressure that you put on yourself. If you are reading this article it is likely that
you are not the kind of person who does a half-hearted job of anything in your life. It is likely that your self-critique is far more intense
than even the most demanding boss. Many of us put ourselves under immense pressure to perform far beyond realistic expectations in this fast
paced world. It is likely that you are playing a huge part in your own stress. If you are constantly repeating phrases like "I am not working
fast enough" " I am never going to get this done by deadline." "This job is killing me." are you surprised that you suffering from a severe
case of work-day anxiety? Stop!
Write three helpful phrases that will see you master your your day like a boss. "Each problem is just a challenge thrown forward that I can master." "I am focused and ready for whatever this week throws at me," "The work that I am doing is having a positive impact on the people that surround me." If you find it challenging to be kind to yourself, think of the advice you would give to a best-friend who does an amazing job but often gives themselves a hard time. It might take some practice but those kinder words that you speak to yourself may shift the way you act towards others as well.
Bonus Step - Share the love!
Actioning even one of these steps during your day is bound to have a positive effect on your stress levels as well as the flow on effect to those around you. Why not share these tips with someone else you know who could use it right now and help them create a positive impact for the week ahead.
Scheduling in regular breaks away from your life to rest, reset and recharge is the best way to look after yourself, reduce your stress levels and create healthy habits in your life.
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