Say No to Miserable Monday Mornings

And I mean really say no. Say no to the tears, the tantrums, the frustration, the sinking feeling that the rest of your week is going to pan out in the same chaotic way. Just no.  You have to say no because your mood in the morning is going to reflect on your mood for the rest of your day. Say no because your bad mood is setting yourself up for failure.

Did you just catch what I wrote back there? Your mood in the morning is going to reflect on your mood for the rest of your day. So there is a way to turn things around if you want to avoid that downward spiral, even if your morning didn’t start off as smoothly as you’d hoped. (You can read more about how to cope with a late start here.) It’s just a matter of making some small adjustments to your morning routine. (If you don’t have a morning routine that might be part of the issue, which is why you should read this post here.)

I’m not a morning person either so trying to get back into the swing of things after the relaxation and freedom of the weekend is especially a challenge for me. However, since changing my alarm in the morning from a blaring alert to an upbeat song, I’ve found my mood improve dramatically from the moment I open my eyes. Giving up on the snooze button helped as well, as did my habit of setting myself multiple alarms. Now when I hear that song go off in the morning, I know it means business and I have no choice but to wake up. (Click here if bedtime is an issue for you too.)

Making bleary-eyed decisions stresses me out so I try to do as much as I can the night before to help my grumpy morning self: pack my bag, choose an outfit- anything that can help simplify my morning routine. Keeping things streamlined in my home doesn’t hurt either- I’ve made all of my accessories and toiletries easily accessible and I’ve been in the process of creating a drop zone to help me get out the door quickly. If you wake up and find your mind racing, you may want to include meditation, yoga, stretching, or journal-writing into your morning routine to clear your mind and get you motivated.

You also may want to consider what your schedule looks like Monday morning; I once had a client who took that time off to do his weekly review to get a clear picture of what the week ahead looked like. (In some ways it makes more sense than a Friday, no?)

More than anything, though, I’ve found that a change in my attitude has been key in making my mondays a little more manageable. I’ve tried to let go of the little things that used to freak me out (like having a bad hair day) and put things into perspective. At the end of the week, a lot of what I worried about Monday morning has already been accomplished. Why would I bum myself out about the things that I needed to get done before I actually had an opportunity to do them?

So when Monday morning comes around, I try to do myself a favor and take everything in stride: all my tasks will get done in a (probably) timely fashion by the end of the week, and all my little frustrations will (most likely) be gone by then as well. I changed my perspective, which changed my mood, and it kind of changed my Monday mornings. I hope it changes yours as well.

Do you have your own strategy for waking up Monday mornings? Tell us your secret to becoming a morning person- comment below or email me at keepingbusywithb@gmail.com and I may feature your advice in an upcoming article!

A Change Will Do You Good

KBB_beautiful_street

Some people can be uncomfortable with change, but sometimes (as Sheryl Crow says) a change will do you good. It’s easy to fall into the same patterns and habits and sometimes these behaviors are so ingrained into our daily routines we don’t even realize it until a change comes along and mixes everything up.

Naturally our first reaction is over-reaction. Someone pushes a meeting ahead at the last minute leaving you to wait in an unfamiliar place for half an hour. Traffic forces us to take a different route to the grocery store. It could even be something as little as Starbucks running out of your favorite latté topper. End of the world, right?

Except consider this: previous scientific studies have proved that changing up our daily routine can actually be stimulating to our brains. Forcing our brain to think beyond our normal range of daily activities can foster creative thinking and improve our problem-solving skills.

Take this as an example: try writing your name with the hand opposite to the one you normally use to write. Writing our names is something that probably most of us do on a daily basis. See how much more brain power it took to write it with your other hand? If we took the same logic and apply it to other things that we do in our lives, then you can come up with other changes in your routine that force you to think creatively and lift you out of that rut.

I recently tried this when I found myself staring at a blank Microsoft Word document for almost twenty minutes, willing words to type themselves onto the screen in a way that made sense. After my clairvoyance skills failed me, I decided that the next best thing to revive me would be to head outside with my dogs for a walk. Once we had started I decided, on a whim, to do our normal circuit backwards. Even though I have lived in the neighborhood I do for upwards of 20 years and have walked those same streets at least one hundred times, it still proved to be pretty difficult to follow the same route backwards. That time to myself, the fresh air and the increased brain power made my walk that much more invigorating. After that, I was excited to get home and finish what I had been trying to start for ages.

Try it sometime. Change the location you work, the coffee you order, what to have for lunch today. You may find yourself more energized and ready to pull yourself out of the rut you find yourself in, solve a problem you’ve been stuck on, or break through that writer’s block that’s been plaguing you for weeks.

A change really can do a world of good when it comes to being productive, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Even if it doesn’t help to jump start that project you’ve been pondering, you’re doing something exciting and new for yourself too!

KBwB-Flower-50

Feel like changing it up? Take a break from your business and being busy by checking out what I’ve been reading lately, or try out a new recipe from my baking section. My list of recipes I want to try and books I want to read just keeps growing!