If you’ve started this Monday off a little sluggishly, a little half-heartedly, a little wrecked, rather than refreshed after the weekend, that’s okay. Monday is hyped up to be this fresh start to the week, a motivational day full of promise for trying new things and starting new routines.
But if your Monday hasn’t looked like that, you’re not alone.
It’s important to remember that the Monday refresh is nothing more than an idea, or a mindset – there’s nothing to say Tuesday, or Thursday, or Friday can’t be your fresh start! But just in case your week started off a little more rocky than you had hoped for, here are some reminders that we all need to hear now and again.
Healing is a marathon, not a sprint
If you intended to get up early this morning, do yoga, cook a healthy breakfast, maybe go for a walk, do your meditation or whatever it is that you were supposed to do – and you didn’t do it? It happens, we sleep in, our alarms don't go off, we didn't sleep well – the point is, it’s not the end of the world. There’s a phrase that sounds as if it doesn’t make sense – ‘anything that’s worth doing is worth doing poorly’.
What that really means is, even if you didn’t get up at 6.30am to do yoga or cook yourself a beautiful breakfast, there’s still time to do those things – maybe you do a 10 minute yoga routine this evening before bed, or take the time to cook yourself a nutritious dinner later on instead – just because you missed your alarm doesn’t mean you can’t come back to your healing activities later on. Looking after yourself is always something worth doing – even if it’s occasionally done poorly.
Take time to acknowledge how far you’ve come
Celebrate yourself and everything you have achieved so far. Acknowledge it and sit with it for a while, letting that feeling of accomplishment wash over you and settle into your mindset. This day last year, would you have been brave enough to have to look your problems in the face and tackle them? Or would you have thought you could be as changed as you are now?
We constantly evolve, even when we may not see exactly the results that we want. It’s good to check in with yourself now and again and see all you have accomplished, even personally. It’s great when we get promotions or awards, but our sound mental health, healthy relationships, and better relationship with ourselves are all also something to be proud of. Notice these changes form month to month and pat yourself on the back.
Self-doubt and fear holds us back – don’t let it
Our brains have this awful tendency to immediately think of the worst-case scenario in every situation. If I move to that city, I might hate it and want to move away but by then I’ll be stuck in a year-long lease and will hate the area and the people and – you get it.
We spiral down a thought process that paralyses us from making any decisions, which is nearly worse than making the wrong decision. We cut ourselves off from a potentially amazing situation due to fear and never consider the best case scenario: What if I fall in love with that city and the move presents me with lots of opportunities and new friends and places to see and things to do? It takes time to train your mind out of jumping to the worst conclusion but making braver and better decisions depends on it!
My boundaries are important and deserve to be respected
‘Setting your boundaries’ is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, but what does this phrase really mean? How do we practice boundary setting? And how does it translate into a real life?
Personal boundaries are the limits we set in our relationships. They are the lines we won’t let others cross, the set of personal rules that should not be broken in order to protect ourselves and our mental health. Having personal boundaries is the ability to say no to something that others may ask or want from you and will depend on what you value. If your personal time is important to you, then you set limits between your work life and home life. If your privacy is important, you may keep your personal and work life separate.
These boundaries are there to protect your mental health, not to close us off from intimacy and close relationships. And while it feels awkward and uncomfortable sometimes to assert our boundaries, in the long-term, it is important to be able to say ‘no’ to things that you’re not comfortable with to protect yourself.
Productivity is not about not about who can be the most exhausted
Productivity is not a competition. Doing 5 hours of solid work is better than 10 hours of sitting frustrated at a laptop, stressed out, sleep-deprived and hungry. Productivity is not measured in the bags under your eyes or the level of stress you are currently feeling. If you have to sacrifice looking after yourself to feel productive, then maybe that’s something to investigate, interrogate and work with, because it’s unhealthy to put our bodies and mental health through the ringer for the sake of work or other commitments.
Productivity is not king. Some days you need to prioritise you – disappear from the world for a day or two. Cook yourself good food, check out of work mode, go on a long walk somewhere green, do something creative or something you find relaxing, catch up on your movie watch list – look after yourself so you can be productive when the time comes.