As 2022 approaches and we face the prospect of having another twelve months speed by us again, I’ve found it useful to sit down and take stock of where I was last January, what changed over the past year, and with what attitude I will enter into the next 12 months.
One thing that has caused a great deal of anxiety for me has been work, even with having one of the greatest bosses in the world and a flexible work situation.
Why? Because my job has also been associated with some of the most wrenching anxiety that I have ever experienced, including being diagnosed with cancer.
What’s resulted is that even in a supportive and stimulating environment (although not my passion, admittedly), I’ve felt trapped, like an animal trying to scratch my way out of my cage.
This past year, I came up with a tactic to at least partially relieve this feeling.
Now, I actually look forward to Mondays, because I’ve set up a beautiful association for the first day of the workweek with something very indulgent.
First, I work from home on Monday. This softens the dread that I’ve historically felt on Sunday nights, knowing that the weekend is over. The transition to the office is gentler.
Second, with some changes in my kids’ school schedules (one in college living at home and the other in high school), I start my workday an hour later. This has given the entire family reprieve from the stress of waking very early and starting the week sleep-deprived.
It also gives me to time to enjoy a cup or two of decaf in the morning.
Third, when the rest of the family leaves for school and work, I have 45 minutes before my own workday starts. I set up my rower for a 30-minute row, facing the tv/computer monitor in the living room…
…and put on a half-hour YouTube video of something I really enjoy that I might not have time to watch otherwise. For me now? It’s an episode of “BuzzFeed Unsolved–Supernatural”. Pure 100% indulgent entertainment.
Because it’s a timed row, when the 30 minutes are over, I stop. No pressure to hit a certain speed or distance. No matter what, it ends up being a decent workout because I enjoy the exercise.
That leaves 15 minutes before I start work. Chemo left me with short hair that allows for a five-minute shower.
By the time my workday begins, I am completely refreshed and the day’s workout is done. I feel like I’ve been given a huge treat–almost like I’m cheating, but I know I’m not. That 30 minutes of physical activity tied with watching a fun video re-sets my attitude and I’m ready to take on the week.
I love Mondays!
Can you create your own positive association with the toughest day of the week or anything else that causes you grief?