What if you could honestly wake up on a Monday morning filled with excitement and contentment for the upcoming week, rather than dread, anxiety or any other negative feelings that plague so many of us on Monday mornings?
Good news: it’s possible, not just this Monday, but every week. And it just requires a little extra effort, a mindset shift and maybe the perfect song to get you there.
Achieving a sense of calm is, in my mind, the same as finding that sense of happiness and control over your day.
At times, we fall into such a pattern of accepting the overwhelm we feel day-to-day as normal. We start to anticipate the stress in a big way, almost leaving us with no room for pleasant surprises and happy thoughts throughout the day. Maybe those are things that exist once everything else is completed and you’re home, away from the work and stress; but then you soon find yourself thinking about the next day and the new set of stressors and overwhelm that it’ll bring.
Thankfully, there’s a way to push through this cyclical way of thinking and start bringing more calmness and thankfulness to your day. And the best time to start is right now, no matter your level of stress or the length of your to-do list.
Start by opening up a blank page in a notebook or journal, or creating a new document in Google Drive. Title it something like, “Everything” or “Life Right Now,” something to convey the sense of capturing all priorities in one place.
Create categories, either as a list, or drawing boxes, of the different areas of your life. For me, this includes Business, Home Life: Indiana, Home Life: Kansas City, Wedding, Social, and Holidays. Ensure that every aspect of your life can somehow fall into one of your categories; and if it doesn’t, create a new category for it.
Next, do a brain dump of all of the things that are on your mind right now, today. List them in the appropriate categories, and as you’re doing this, notice the tangibility of moving this from your mind to paper (or computer). Write down everything that’s made room for itself in your mind, even something as small as “check the mail” or “feed the pet”.
Once you have made a full list of absolutely everything, close the book or minimize the screen, and take a moment to recognize your entire list of thoughts in front of you and the fact that any stress you were experiencing is now out in the open and not huddled in your mind.
Give yourself a chance to breathe and regain control over your thoughts, and only then, begin to make a game plan for what it is urgent and important today, what can be pushed to tomorrow’s list, etc. As you’re doing this, though, make sure every item has a plan for completion. Make notes, fill in your calendar, color code, whatever method works for you is perfect. But don’t leave anything out.
Bonus: To help reset your mind and achieve that state of calmness, listen to a single song or artist that makes you feel assured, content and inspired. I’m personally a seasonal listener, but for me, “Bridges” by Broods brings about the most amazing sense of peacefulness and is my go-to every time. xo