Monday I was in a funk. One of those days that I just didn’t want to get out of bed or do anything, and I wasn’t sure why. I was excited about the snow, but maybe it was because snow days aren’t what they used to be when we were kids or even before we were working from home. Maybe it was work stress. Maybe it was just the classic Office Space case of the Mondays.
I had to go through my catalog of coping mechanisms to get going and keep going and am sharing with you in case you are having one of those days today or want to prepare for the next one. Here is how I cope when the last thing I want to do is work.
- Keep the routine. While it might seem like punching the snooze button or skipping the morning workout will make you feel better, it will probably just add guilt to the already rough feelings. I don’t really enjoy exercise and meditation but these activities have proven to improve and maintain my health, weight, and disposition, so I have made it a mandate for myself to get up at 6 am to make sure they happen and don’t get lost in the day or my mood.
- Dress up or dress cozy. Wear something that makes you feel good – could be a brightly colored shirt, a comfy sweater, or a pair of crazy socks.
- Engage your senses. Make your coffee or tea special by adding a touch of flavor (don’t go crazy with a double mocha latte with whipped cream and sprinkles or the calorie guilt will set it), light a candle or incense, or move your favorite work of art (could be from your child) where you can see it.
- Create a must-do list. Hopefully, you started the day with your to-do list or plan. If so, highlight the non-negotiables for the day to separate them from the nice-to-do’s. Today might not be the day for those. If you don’t have a list already, create one.
- Reward yourself. Give yourself a treat for finishing the non-negotiables. Read a chapter in your latest book (currently working on Promised Land), put on your favorite song, Google and fawn over baby animals, eat a spoonful of peanut butter, phone a friend, or go for a walk.
- Meditate. Even if it’s only for a minute. A tip I took from Ziva is to close your eyes and look at what you see behind your eyelids. It’s not the darkness you would expect but colors and movement that calms me. Or use an app like Headspace or 10% Happier if you need help getting started. Meditating gives your mind a rest and can lower your blood pressure and heart rate which may be contributing to the frame of mind.
- Stand up. Sometimes standing vs. sitting gives you more energy or a different perspective. I highly recommend a sit/stand desk, even it is an add-on to your current setup. I invested in a Flexispot converter and love it.
- Journal. Write how you are feeling and dig in a bit to see why. Use all of your words. You don’t just feel bad. You might feel sad, depressed, anxious, panicked, angry, or another emotion. Get specific. Sometimes it feels better just to get it down on paper (or iPad, computer, etc.).
What is missing from my list? What keeps you going when you just want to stop?