To start your day right and be productive, the first thing you need to do is get out of bed. But when you’re stressing about work and feeling overwhelmed, even getting out of bed feels like a chore, and brushing your teeth feels like a chore, and so does making breakfast. You haven’t even started working yet, and you already feel bogged down by your daily duties. Every night you go to bed thinking about the long day you have ahead of you, not looking forward to tomorrow.
But what to look forward to if all you’re doing is repeating the same thing you do every day? This year, as most of us are stuck working from home, and socializing has become restricted, it’s easy to feel like you’re reenacting the Groundhog Day scenario.
What can you do when you’re not looking forward to the next few days?
It might be just a passing phase or a more serious sign that you’re burnt out or depressed, do not discount the feeling. Having something to look forward to can make the day a whole lot easier. Instead of going to bed dreading the monotony of the next day, and waking up in the morning to trudge through it, you can find some things to be excited about.
Well, as it turns out, there’s a lot to look forward to—you just have to find it!
It might seem weird to look forward to your morning routine. After all, a morning routine is all about waking up and getting ready for your day, which is exactly what you’re dreading!
But a morning routine is more than just hauling yourself out of bed and throwing together a quick, meager breakfast. A morning routine should be about you.
By that, we mean that your morning routine should be a practice of self-care. This might mean waking up early so that you have time to cook yourself a delicious breakfast, or giving yourself enough time to journal and meditate before you start working.
Not only are the individual actions you choose to spend this time doing acts of self-care but making sure you take the time out of your morning to start your day off right is an act of self-care in and of itself! Plus, a relaxing morning routine is definitely something to look forward to.
Have a Game Plan
Sure, giving yourself a to-do list might feel like it’s going to stress you out more than help you out. At the end of a long day, figuring out what you’re going to do tomorrow is the last thing you want to do.
But really, coming up with a game plan for the next day might actually give you something to look forward to!
If you end your workday with a pile of unorganized and uncompleted tasks, that’s only going to stress you out more the next day. But if you come up with a game plan for your tasks by deciding what to do when, this will take a load off your shoulders. You’ll know what to expect the next day and you might even feel excited to get started now that you have your game plan!
Just remember to set realistic expectations for yourself. If you put too much pressure on yourself, you won’t be looking forward to your game plan anymore. You’ll just burn yourself out even faster.
Take Some Time for Your Hobbies
We all have things we love to do that are just for us. Reading, drawing, exercising… whatever it is you enjoy doing, you should make sure that you give yourself time to do it!
Life shouldn’t be all about work, work, work. If all you’re doing is working from morning to night, you’re not going to look forward to your day. So make sure to leave a block of time open for you to do any of the hobbies you enjoy.
Not only will this allow you to relax and avoid burnout, knowing that the time you’ve scheduled for yourself to work on your hobbies will give you something to really look forward to during the day.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
What is a gratitude diary? In short, a gratitude diary is a place where you write down the things you are grateful for. It’s important to write these things down and not just keep them in your head. Writing things down helps you remember them easier, and it will allow you to go back and reread things you’ve written down in the past!
Not only does a gratitude diary help you go back and remember things you’ve been grateful for, it also helps you practice gratitude in general. These days, we’re all so busy that we sometimes forget to slow down, stop, and smell the roses.
When you start keeping a gratitude diary, you’ll notice that you’re more attuned to the world around you as you look for things to be grateful for. Before your diary, you may never have considered that you feel grateful for your neighbor waving at you every day on their way to work. But once you start writing these things down and paying more attention to them, the world will seem a lot brighter—and that’s something to look forward to.
Know That You Are in Control
When we have obligations, it might feel hard to be in control. You have to do this task for someone else and don’t have any say in it.
At least, that’s how you might feel.
But the reality is that we do have control over our time, and it’s all up to us how to spend our days. If you’re offered a project that you know is only going to overwhelm you, it’s okay to say “No.” If your friends want to hang out but you’re exhausted and want nothing more than a night in, it’s okay to tell them “Another time.”
Once you understand that you’re in control of your time, and it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to use it, you’ll start filling it with things you’re passionate about and enjoy. At night, you’ll go to bed knowing the next day is going to be filled with things that you care about, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to the days to come.
When it comes to our day-to-day lives, it might seem like there’s not much to look forward to. It’s just another day of work, after all.
But really, there’s so much to look forward to every day, even if we don’t see it at first. So look forward to work by starting your day off right with a morning routine, planning your day in advance, start keeping a gratitude journal, and know that you are in control of your time and the way you spend it.
As you start practicing all these things, you’ll find new things to look forward to, and maybe even start looking forward to the things you used to find uninspiring.