Weekends tend to take a toll on our bodies, both mentally and physically. Often times we barely make it through the day with any energy leftover. When that dreaded weekday morning swings around, we drag ourselves out of bed, pour coffee down our throats, and move through the morning motions, bleary-eyed and unmotivated. But what if there were some easy ways to make it through a tough work day, and maybe even enjoy it? Let me tell you a few secrets to a concentrated life.
Spend time in the morning reminding yourself about the positives.
I’m guilty of grasping on for a few extra moments of precious sleep, which often leaves me rushing through my morning routine. In a half hour flat, I manage to get dressed, fix my hair and makeup, pack a lunch, and get my two fur-babies settled for the day. But I always leave myself some time on my morning commute to really dig deep and focus on the positive aspects of my current life. Do I have a loving family? Check. A warm bed (that I hope to return to sooner rather than later…) waiting for me at home? Check. A solid job and a steady income? Check. Once I’ve run through the basic good that is in my life, I move over to meditating on the goals I have been slowly working towards. I refocus my negative, frazzled morning energy into concentrated, physical directions to follow for the day. By the time I pull into my parking spot at work, I am feeling very focused and much more alert!
Take a hike.
It was three months into my first professional job out of college when I started developing intense migraines during the middle of the workday. Some days they were so crippling I had to head home early, and spend the remainder of a beautiful day in the dark confines on my bedroom. While this might sound like oh so much fun- it wasn’t. I changed my diet, got glasses, got prescribed some serious Advil-replacements, but nothing seemed to help. And then one day, when I just couldn’t take it anymore, I discovered what I had been missing: a walk. Staring at a blinking cursor for 9+ hours a day is unnatural and extremely harmful for your body. By breaking up your workflow and taking the time to do a lap outside, you’re helping readjust your eyes. You’re also taking a moment to breathe and refocus, and get a little exercise. It will maintain your health and also your productivity levels!
Feed your brain, not your body.
Yes, there is such a thing as brain food. And no, it won’t taste half as good as that bag of Cheetos you have hidden in the bottom of your desk. But this brain food will keep you from feeling lethargic and bloated after a quick snack. Keeping things like almonds, clementines, bananas, and carrots to snack when hunger strikes can drastically reduce that icky feeling we sometimes get when indulging in that overly-greasy burger for lunch.
Ready, Set, Hydrate!
I can’t stress this enough- water is one of the easiest ways to stay conscious during your 9-5. I have a 1000mL water bottle that sits on my desk, filled to the brim every day. Throughout my work day, I try to finish it at least twice. This helps me to stay awake and alert (much better than that second cup of coffee, I swear!) and it also helps me after work, when I hit the gym. H2O can refresh your entire body, even helping your skin to clear up, and it’s essential to keeping you sharp on the job.
Life in general can be exhausting and overwhelming, but there are always tips and tricks to easing the pain of routine living. Focusing in on the positive aspects of life, getting up to smell the roses, snacking on some healthier treat options, and switching out that second cup of coffee for more water are just a few simple ways to turn a non-productive drab day into a motivated way of life!