Okay, let’s get real for a minute. Some of us are going into the start of our 4th week on shelter in place and while in the beginning, it seemed like a nice break from the daily hustle of life, The truth of the matter is as the days go on this situation can quickly go from a relaxing 14-day weekend to a cruel real-life version of the movie Groundhog’s Day.
The transition from playtime to the work and school week has morphed into late nights and later mornings and our strategic color-coded calendars are all but null and void. At the same time, many of us still have businesses to run and now we are stepping into the role of substitute teachers to our beautiful babies who now have more daily Zoom calls than our growing business. We are slowly messing up our circadian rhythms and are increasingly grumpy and irritable.
I realized quickly that I needed to win this fight as I was risking becoming overwhelmed and an absolute emotional mess. Let me be clear, this is for pure sanity sake and not because of some guilt-inducing meme circulating telling me I am failing if I am not functioning as an overachieving overproducing zenbot for the next however many weeks.
SO if you are with me in saying cheers to a new week and looking forward to exchanging the dread for setting yourself up to have a positive, healthy start to the week here are eight ways to make this a reality. (P.S. If you are an essential worker and still out serving our communities first we thank you and second, this still applies to you we love you!)
1. Follow the one-hour rule
I will be honest, there was a moment of excitement that coursed through my veins when I realized I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 every morning to get kids off to school. Being a lifelong night owl the tendency to stay up late and sleep in slowly started to creep in. I realized quickly that my entire house was about to have our days and nights as mixed up like a newborn and I knew that would be disastrous as soon as we had to get back to a schedule. Recent research suggests that weekend recovery sleep may not reverse the effects of chronic sleep deprivation and that an irregular sleep schedule can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Staying up late isn’t a great weekend habit either: It can lead to feeling even more tired on Monday. So sticking with a consistent sleep schedule all week long is best. This week we are dedicated to not going to bed or waking up more than an hour past normal times, and if a nap is needed, a brief snooze (under 30 minutes) in the early afternoon should help you avoid grogginess and disrupted nighttime sleep.
2. Wake Up With Motivational Quotes
Short phrases can have a truly remarkable influence on your mood and motivation. This is so easy because you can easily find them online. To help feel even more connected during this time apart, think about some of the motivational quotes you’ve heard from your friends and family or from those you’ve seen on your social media feed. We’ve all seen the Motivation Monday quotes, but honestly, they are equally as effective any other day of the week.
Take it a step further and share you can use Canva to create a graphic or screensaver to share your motivational quote of the day with friends and family. You can also write it on a sticky note and put it at the top of your computer screen, use dry erase markers to write it on a mirror, or record it in a voice memo on your phone and replay it when you are having a throw the entire day away moment.
Here are some of the most popular motivational quotes to kickstart your week:
- “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!'” ~ Audrey Hepburn
- “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
- “I am not a product of my circumstances; I am a product of my decisions.” ~ Stephen Covey
- “Do or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda
- “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou
- “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein
- ” Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ~ George Addair
- “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” ~ Plutarch
- “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney
- “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~ Nelson Mandela
3. Start Your Day With Your Favorite Meme
Let’s be honest, I know I’m not the only one with a photo album filled with memes that have made us cackle out loud but might have been hesitant to share on social media. Memes can truly brighten your day as well as someone else’s. When you see a meme on your favorite social media site that you want to share with your friends, engage them by prefacing it with a personal comment or question. Sharing motivational memes can serve several purposes.
- It’s a simple way to think more positively.
- It brightens your day and someone else’s too.
- It allows you to express your feelings.
- It gives your purpose and motivation a social boost from those who share, like or comment on the meme.
4. Wear a feel-good outfit
You know you feel better in clothes you like—and science backs that up. “You can use clothing to improve negative emotions,” says Dawnn Karen, founder of the Fashion Psychology Institute in New York City. Instead of staying in pj’s or lounge wear all day, commit to getting fully dressed at least 3 days this week and see how that changes your productivity and mood.
One of my favorite boutiques for cute plus size fashions is Richee’ Luxe. They carry sizes 2 to 32+ and can create custom sizes. They were nice enough to offer a 15% off coupon code for our community. Just enter code: JAI at checkout. Through the month of April, all orders receive a free gloss as well!
5. Seek natural light
Perking up your morning might be as simple as getting a dose of natural light. It’s so easy to take this shelter in place as an oder to stay in your house completely. But done responsibly it’s not only healthy but needed to get some fresh air and sunlight daily. Try opening the shades, eating breakfast outside, doing some light yard work, or taking a walk. “Light is like a cup of coffee. It has an acute alerting effect,” says Mariana Figueiro, PhD, professor and director at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Plus, being out in nature, even for five minutes, can give you a happiness high, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology. Can’t get outside in the morning? Change the light in your indoor space to brighten things up or move your computer closer to a window.
6. Create a new morning ritual
Our brains love it when they don’t have to work too hard to figure things out. It’s actually a survival mechanism that helps your body conserve energy. This is one reason we feel so much more productive when we follow a daily routine. You may even be able to work in some much needed alone time. Even better? You have more control over your attitude for the day. Tap into that extra dose of feel-good by adopting a morning ritual—an activity or habit (preferably a healthy one) that puts you in a good mood and that you look forward to.
For instance, you might brew a really good cup of tea, throw on your favorite YouTube exercise class, or meditate. With something pleasant built into your morning schedule, you’ll likely feel a little less dread and a little more positivity.
7. Plan for fun
An easy way to start your week off on a good foot is to make fun plans for later in the week. Schedule a virtual night out or a virtual family game night out with friends on Zoom, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger.
Now you can even binge-watch your favorite show or have a movie night virtually with friends and family via Netflix Watch Party. If you have kids at home create an indoor camping experience. Regardless of the activity, just thinking about the good times in store for you later in the week will be an instant pick-me-up.
8. Do a random act of kindness
This honestly is one of my favorite practices. When you put positive energy into the world it comes back to you. Infact, some research confirms: Performing acts of kindness for seven days boosted happiness and well-being. But doing even one kind thing can make you feel great. As you start your day, look for ways to perform a random act of kindness, whether for a coworker, your neighbor, or a stranger. Wheel your neighbor’s recycling bin back in from the curb, check the neighborhood app and drop off a box of extra essentials you have for a neighbor in need, text a friend or loved one you haven’t talked to in a while to let her know you miss her/him, or make a small donation to an animal shelter or environmental cause. It’s a pretty nice day, eh?
While we are in times faced with uncertainty, a few intentional acts a day can turn the week around and make it a time to look forward to growing new memories and truly tapping into what you need as an individual to feel full, at peace, and happy.