It is the most uneasy feeling when we are rushing through the day and feeling stressed about all the tasks that we have to complete and/or others are asking us for assistance. I have found that the “rush” and “stress” we feel during the day can be balanced out and somewhat eliminated if we prepare and take care of ourselves the night before and morning of.
I do these six simple things that help prepare me for the upcoming day and I believe it allows me to feel less stressed and rushed through the day. Now, I know a lot of people are working from home but, I have found, it is just as crucial to have an evening/morning routine working from home – only because it can provide some home/work separation.
- Get ready and organized the night before. I put my clothes out the night before, get my coffee together, and make my to do list, I pack my bag, get my lunch together and fill my water bottle and leave it in the fridge, I put my coat out, and just get together whatever I need for tomorrow, therefore I can just grab it quickly tomorrow.
- I set my alarm (like we all do), but I always leave 10-20 extra minutes as spare time, so I don’t start my day off rushed and stressed.
- I get up immediately when my alarm goes off. I have found that the longer I lay in bed, the harder it gets to actually get up and the more frustrated I feel with myself for wasting time. The hardest part is the actual act of standing up, but once I do – I am fine. So just stand up.
- Then, I drink some water. It helps to flush out my body, get my hydration started, and actually wakes me up a little bit. *I drink it while my coffee is brewing!
- I do something for myself – I usually do some sort of physical activity, I used to workout first thing in the morning and sometimes still choose to, but during the pandemic I have been enjoying the opportunity to walk in the morning with my coffee. I call it my morning mindset walk. But some other things that you can do in the morning are – journal, meditate, pray, listen to a podcast, read, anything you like to do in order to feel good. *That does not include sleeping *You can also do more than 1 of these things too
- I get ready for the day physically by looking at my to do list and making sure my workspace is ready to go. But also, I mentally get ready for the day. I like to think about and visualize some of the things I have to do during the day. It helps me to start to prepare myself for the tasks.
I have found that these 6 steps (2 at night and 4 in the morning) really have helped me to establish preparation and “self-care” before I even begin the day. By feeling prepared for the day, I can eliminate some of the ‘rushed’ and ‘stressed’ feeling about being “behind” because I am ready. Most importantly, I feel more productive, I can help others, I feel more optimistic, and can accomplish more for the group because of my self-care routine. Essentially, I filled up my cup and now, I am charged up and ready to pour into others cups and into other tasks that need my attention throughout the day. It is similar to the airplane metaphor:
When I first started my evening and morning routine, I wasn’t super sold on the idea that it was ‘worth it’. However, once I gave it a chance, I realized it really is important and it helps me to feel ‘ahead’ of the day. If I get up and start being productive like this immediately, it gives me momentum for the rest of the day.