Career · Wellness

3 Effective Ways to Make the Most out of your Weekday Evenings

Break the unhealthy cycle of counting down the clock; start living your life instead.

There’s nothing like a good ol’ 9 to 5 to suck the energy out of us faster than we can count a second on a clock. It sounds grim, but for plenty of us, “working for the man” can have negative effects on our mood and energy levels. If the phrase “working for the weekend” feels a little too real for you, I’m here to tell you constant clock watching just isn’t a healthy way to live. Sure, you might feel unsatisfied with where you’re at professionally, but that doesn’t mean your entire life is miserable. Take a second and read this response from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs). He talks about working hard no matter what you’re doing… showing up early, volunteering where you can, etc. But, what really stands out to me is the following quote:

“Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.” –Mike Rowe

Don’t let a lack of satisfaction control you. Just like Mike says, happiness doesn’t come from a job but instead, how you choose to live your life every day. When we’re struggling to “live in the moment” because we’re counting down the minutes on an endless clock, waiting until we can curl up on the couch with a bottle of merlot and a Netflix binge, try incorporating the following tips into your evening routine. They might just help.

Put Down the Phone

Recently, I took a “social media” break, which I encourage everyone to try. For about a week, I removed all of the social networking apps off of my phone and essentially, invited time into my life as my own. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, constantly refreshing my newsfeed to see what had been updated within the last 3 seconds, I was able to spend more quality time with my boyfriend, my friends and most importantly, myself. After a long day at work, the last thing I needed was to be bombarded with oftentimes, useless information, aggressive political rants, etc. and by taking a break from that life, I was able to give more of my time to hobbies that made me happy like reading, writing, cooking, and self-care. By taking a break from the phone, even just a few days a week, you may notice a positive shift in your evening routine.

Cook a Quick but Fulfilling Meal

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of many people who want to bust their butts in the kitchen after putting in an 8 hour day at the office. However, if you’re like me and LOVE to cook, sometimes preparing a satisfying meal can feel liberating. Making a tasty weekday supper doesn’t have to be exhausting, especially when you plan appropriately. There’s plenty of quick dinner ideas out there that utilize real ingredients and take practically no effort to make. Once you’re done and you get to enjoy eating the food you prepared, maybe you’ll feel recharged too.

 Pamper Yourself

Practicing self-care is exceptionally important and is something I’m a major advocate for. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not happy with yourself, you’re not going to be happy with anything else either. Setting aside some “you” time, especially after coming home from work, can be a really great way to show yourself the love that you deserve. Try lighting some candles and drawing yourself a hot bath, doing your nails, or even just enjoying a cup of tea while watching a show you’re obsessed with. Whatever genuinely makes you feel good, do that thing. You deserve it!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t follow your dreams. In fact, please do! You have the ability to accomplish ANYTHING you want. But looking at it as a realist, some goals can be difficult to attain, especially when kids, location, etc. are in the mix. So when you’re going through the motions of a daily grind and find yourself in a downward spiral of negativity, remember not to let your 9 to 5 control you. Instead, start making the most out of your weekday evenings, your weekends and yes, work days too.

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Career · Wellness

5 Healthy Habits that Happy People Do in the Morning

These tips could be the key to becoming a morning person!

Whether you put in your time at a 9 to 5 or you’re making money by working for yourself, most people can agree that the morning just feels harder when you have somewhere to be or something to do. But, here’s the thing. Mornings aren’t the enemy… you just have to find ways to make the early AM work for you. And, who knows? With these 5 healthy habits, you may find yourself actually becoming one of those annoying happy people we tend to avoid before noon.

Refrain from Hitting the Snooze Button

Yes, setting multiple alarms can work wonders for waking you up in the morning, but have you ever tried actually getting out of bed the first time it goes off? Think of how much more time you’ll have to get ready while starting your day off on a productive note rather than rushing and trying not to be late for work… again. If this seems like an impossible task, try setting your alarm(s) earlier than you normally would with the last one going off at the time you’d normally wake up. And for further encouragement, set your phone (assuming that’s how you use your alarm) somewhere on the other side of the room so you have to walk over and get it when it rings.

Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

You’ve heard it said so many times before but eating a nutritional breakfast really does help set the tone for your day. Eating something tasty when you wake up will help curb the inevitable “hanger” when waiting for lunch encouraging higher productivity levels and contributing to an overall better mood throughout the day. Preparing a healthy meal in the AM also helps to increase your metabolism and might just motivate you to make healthier decisions throughout the day.

Leave the Phone Alone

We all know that mobile devices can be distracting and harmful to our productivity levels. Instead of texting or browsing through social media as soon as you wake up, try using that time to mentally prepare yourself for the day instead. With so much hard-hitting news surfacing on Facebook and Twitter, switching up your morning routine to include a quiet cup of coffee, meditation practice, or learning a new skill might be just what you need for some solid weekday motivation.

Enjoy Some R&R

The concept of “meditation” tends to intimidate a lot of people but it doesn’t have to. Knowing how to meditate simply means to sit quietly and focus on your breath while trying to clear out your thoughts. Even if you can make 5-10 minutes each morning to sit quietly and breathe deeply, you may find yourself feeling calmer and possibly even accomplish more throughout the work day. If meditation doesn’t interest you, enjoying your own company with a cup of coffee or tea can be a really relaxing way to start off any day of the week.

Effective Day-Planning

Writing out a daily to-do list, whether it’s on your phone or in a day-planner, can really help spark some serious motivation for the day. When you have a general understanding of what’s expected of you, diving into work should feel much less stressful allowing yourself to accomplish more while feeling calmer and more collected. Try it out for yourself!

Waking up earlier than you normally would might seem awful, but try it for a week or two and measure out your productivity levels afterwards. Who knows? You may find that by becoming a morning person, life will generally feel happier and more rewarding.

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Career · Wellness

5 Helpful Tips for Maximizing your Monday at Work

Kick Start your Monday Motivation with a Burst of Positivity

The beginning of the work week has a bad reputation. After a relaxing weekend filled with Netflix marathons, dinner dates, and naps, finding your Monday motivation is exceptionally difficult when getting ready to head back for another week at the office. Sound familiar? While Mondays may definitely suck, there’s no reason to waste an entire day groveling in self-pity! Life is much too short for that. Make the most out of what’s arguably the worst day of the week with these little lifestyle changes that can really help make a difference.

Set Your Alarm 20 Minutes Earlier

You probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out. Yes, waking up earlier than you have to on the day you’re the most tired sounds impossible, but I can almost promise you’ll feel much better for it. By setting your alarm just 20 minutes earlier than normal, you’ll be able to start your day off on a good note. With that extra 20 minutes, try sitting down at the kitchen table, enjoying a healthy breakfast while taking some time to reflect on the day ahead. Writing a to-do list can work wonders for your productivity as well, so try incorporating this into your new morning ritual.

Prep a Delicious Lunch

Everyone looks forward to lunch, especially when the items contained in your brown bag are worth getting excited over. If you’re struggling with a bad case of the Monday “blahs”, prepare yourself a tasty meal reserved for lunch hour. Thanks to the internet, there’s tons of nutritious meal ideas at our disposal which are easy to prepare in advance and allow you better control over what you put into your body. If making your own lunch sounds like too much effort, perhaps Monday is a good day to treat yourself to a great local restaurant!

Bring a Good Book

Bringing a book to work is good practice when feeling down on a Monday. By making time to read a great book on your scheduled break, you’re giving yourself something to look forward to throughout the day. Stepping away from your desk to read a really great book you’ve been dying to dive into could be just what you need to get through an exhausting day at the office.

Hit the Gym

I don’t need to remind you that making time for exercise should be a priority for your health (you already know that). However, breaking a sweat also does wonders for kick-starting your Monday motivation and helping to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety, all-too familiar emotions on the first day of the work week. Try heading to the gym or going for a walk/run before your 9 to 5 or even during your lunch hour. Releasing some powerful endorphins are known to trigger positive feelings within the body, something that is oh-so-needed on a Monday.

Find Some Perspective

The world is a dark and scary place that lately, feels a little more hateful than usual. From a startling change in the USA’s political system to what feels like a new terrorist attack every week, we must put our lives and feelings into perspective. It’s okay if you’re feeling depressed, sad, directionless, etc. We’re all human and tend to feel that way from time to time. But if a bad case of the Mondays is really wearing you down, take a deep breath and remember there is still good in the world. Loads of it, in fact! While your boss is hounding you about a deadline, or you’re struggling to finish a report, take some time to reflect over the fact that you have a roof over your head, a little bit of money in your pocket, and friends & family who love you. Whatever you have in your life that makes you smile, remember those things in the darkest of moments and that should be enough to get you through your Monday.


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