6 Things in Under 5 Minutes That Will Motivate & Change Your Whole Day
I am not a morning person. My motivation could best be described as casual acquaintance offering to help with dishes at a dinner party. I refuse to pretend I know anything about self-help other than skimming the pages of the various books that have been suspiciously gifted to me over the years. I do have experience with overcoming depression and overwhelming self-doubt. I’ve been practicing most of this for the better part of a decade and so far, I haven’t missed a day of life. If you’re like me and have little time and even littler motivation, here are some 5-minute tasks that will change your life:
Make Your Bed
I was a 21-year-old with only vague clues about adulting when I first got sober. The people who helped me stay that way repeated this advice daily. “Messy bed, messy head,” I was sure they were saying this AT me instead of for me. The bumper sticker slogans still make me cringe, but there’s something so important behind this one. First, the bed is the centerpiece of your room. The act of making your bed look presentable creates the incredible illusion that your room is clean. For me, the weird set up of my house has the Master bedroom directly to your left as you walk through the front door. My fluffy made bed leaves unexpected visitors mystified and saying things like “what a beautiful home you have,” “you are quite the decorator,” “why are you always so witty and well rounded.” There’s actual research that shows that cleaning, organizing or tidying in the morning sets the tone for the day. If you suffer from ADD like I do, getting a little organized will drastically improve your flow for the day. Possibly the greatest benefit of bed making is crawling into your clean bed at night. I’ve found that my bed is 10x more inviting and comfy looking when it’s made.
50 Jumping Jacks
Full disclosure: I started with 25. Better than a cup of coffee. This quick boost of endorphins wakes my body up and forces my brain to tag along. If we’re being completely honest my jumping jacks are always rewarded with actual coffee, but the idea that I could make it from the bed to the kitchen with only the help of some light exercise makes me feel like I’ve started the day right. I’m also more likely to make healthy food choices. When I start the day without my non-committal aerobics routine, I’m all about whatever cereal my son is having. When I do my jacks (its slang for us athletes) my body is like “this fitness machine deserves some Ezekiel toast with avocado and egg whites.”
Guys I am not a new-agey granola mom, but I do get sad. I’ve struggled with depression basically my entire life and affirmations have helped me conquer some of my most difficult morning motivation issues. If you’re not a messages-on-the-mirror type of girl I recommend the Think Up app, http://thinkup.me/. It has an incredible collection of preset affirmations as well as the freedom to create your own. The affirmations are categorized by different goals like Mental Health, Weight Loss, Gratitude, Relationships, Parenting and Better Sleep. You record yourself saying the affirmations and this app creates a meditation with music and your words. It’s corny but it really serves to motivate and chill your vibe. Extra benefit: I can tell people I meditate & sound like the serene badass I aspire to be.
Make A Goals List
A To-Do list sounds more like chores. When I think of something as a chore my brain immediately shuts down and gets angry at me for growing up and taking on ridiculous responsibilities like mopping. A goals list implies you are setting out to accomplish something you want. I do NOT want to mop however I DO want to have clean floors.
Goals are an inspired hustle; reach a day of goals and you’ll be motivated to set more. Challenge yourself to a new goal every day. Commit to this for 30 days and watch yourself become the go getter you rap about being in the car.
Make A Morning Playlist
Pick the songs that will either Zen you out or perk you up. I have Apple Music so I’m constantly in playlist mode. I’m a big fan of making my own lists but its pretty incredible to search “sad R&B 2003” and find all the Ashanti jams your heart is needing in that moment. Never underestimate the therapeutic value of pretending you are Rihanna in sweatpants. Sometimes I catch myself giving the cat attitude and have to dial it back a bit, but ultimately music readies us to slay the day.
Motivate Someone Else’s Day
This is another lesson I learned in early recovery. When I reach out to others I feel less consumed with my own nonsense. Have a friend who is struggling? Maybe it’s someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Reach out to at least one person and remind them they are worthy of love and thought. There is no down side to this act. I do get the occasional “Who is this” text, but even those turn out cool.
Don’t be afraid to motivate. You can handle the world. Make the world question if they were ready for you.