“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
– American athlete, Jim Ryun.
No Morning Commute? Do This Instead.
Morning commutes can be stressful, but have a plus side: they create space between home life and work life and give us time to prep ourselves mentally for the day ahead.
If you’ve found yours has been replaced with a quick stumble from bed to a laptop, you’re not alone. Of those who no longer commute due to the pandemic, 35% are reportedly using the extra time to simply… work more.
Do we even need to tell you that’s not healthy?
Here’s a suggestion: create a pre-work ritual instead. It doesn’t have to be complex: just a healthy activity to prep you for the workday.
Here are some ideas:
- Replace your commute with a walk around the block or neighborhood. You’ll arrive “at work” energized and with a clear mind.
- If you used to read or listen to podcasts during your commute, put aside some time to do that at home.
- Meditate. Even brief meditations can set you up for a better day.
- Spend time planning your day: review your schedule, priorities, and task list.
- Get dressed. Getting into your “workday” clothes is a good way to create a boundary between work-life and home-life. (Changing out of them when you clock off is similarly powerful.)
Are you working from home? How have you replaced your morning commute?
Let’s not sugarcoat it: some tasks just suck. And when we hate doing something, we find every excuse to put it off.
But even if we can’t change the task itself, we can change how we think about it. This is called reframing.
With reframing, we find ways to appreciate the positive aspects of a situation. And our feelings of dread can dissipate.
One way to reframe work is to focus on the big picture rather than the task itself. Contributing to a larger goal or mission is rewarding, so think about the impact completing the task will have.
If you’re scared of doing a task because you might fail, think of it as a learning experience. If you dread it because it’s boring, think of a way to make it more fun – like making it social by working with someone else.
Shifting your thinking isn’t always easy – but the more you practice it, the more natural it becomes.
Got some tasks you’re dreading today? See if you can find a way to reframe it. And let us know how you go!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman
The youngest member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says she’s an “aspiring morning person” (many of us can relate!). Here’s her morning routine:
- Wakes up and checks her phone – text messages, Slack notifications, email, and sometimes social media. She’s trying to curb her social media use: “Sometimes I’ll check it right after I wake up. I’ve been trying not to do that so much though.”
- Drinks water with lemon slowly and mindfully. “I’ll look out my window. I’ll try to look at the clouds passing by, just really slow down for even a minute, five minutes in the morning.”
- Walks to work.
Why it works:
- The nature of her job requires her to be constantly connected, but AOC (as she’s known) is right to be mindful of her social media use. Research links social media overuse to anxiety, sleep issues, and more.
- “Mindful hydration” is a thing. So drinking water in the morning as a form of meditation has some research-backed benefits.
- As we said above... morning walks are awesome!
Interested in turning your own hydration breaks into moments of mindfulness? There’s a 90-second mindful hydration exercise here that you can do at any time of day. There’s nothing to lose in giving it a shot!