How to live every day like it’s the weekend – even at work!

Are you ready to challenge your beliefs around the weekend being the best part of your week? Here’s Laura Drury with some advice on how to enjoy every day to its fullest.

 

Here we are at the end of the second week of the new year – affectionately known as the ‘fudgy bit’ of January. By now, everyone has stopped saying Happy New Year, most people have completed a full week back at work, and those once steadfast resolutions are starting to lose their grip.

 

Indeed, since Covid, January might seem bleaker than it has previously, and with the holidays swiftly becoming a distant memory, we start to live for the weekends, right?

 

If that resonates, just think about it for a moment. Five days out of seven, you’re going through the motions, so you can enjoy your weekend. We guess you don’t get the most out of that either, as Sunday night brings a sense of discombobulation, knowing you’ll be back at work tomorrow.

 

We’re confident that most people have experienced this at some point in their lives – I know I have. But if you’re there now, does it have to be that way? What if this was the last week you had to live?

 

Why do you get stuck in the first place?

 

On the whole, human beings tend to enjoy routine, structure, and certainty. However, the danger is that we shift to autopilot because it’s comfortable and easy.

 

Nearly everything we strive for as a species drives us towards comfort and ease, but they’re wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s the ‘autopilot’ bit that’s the problem. With repetition comes habit.

 

All of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, when repeated, are habits. However, if those habits don’t generate the desired outcomes, we start to feel deflated – and habits, as we all know, can be hard to break.

 

In the post-Christmas, winter months, when days are still short, it’s cold outside, and we’ve overindulged, our brains choose the path of least resistance, that aforementioned ease and comfort. As a result, we end up on the daily, unsatisfactory treadmill.

 

So how can you get off it?

 

Mindset matters

 

Your mindset and your beliefs shape your reality.

 

Life is how you think about it. Your brain will look for what you tell it to. You will gain a different perspective when you see things you haven’t noticed before. That’s why Blue Monday doesn’t exist. Every Monday has the potential of being as blue, or otherwise, as you think it will be.

 

How are you feeling right now? Have you just eaten? Or are you hungry? If you’re hungry and I ask you to think about your favourite food, and I mean really think about it, is it sweet or salty? Hot or cold? Crunchy or smooth? Does your mouth start to water? Are your taste buds primed and looking forward to that tasty morsel?

 

If you’re not hungry or not much of a food lover, I bet you’re still thinking about food because I asked you to. I’ve encouraged your brain to focus on something, and you’ve done just that. Changing your focus is that simple. However, simple doesn’t always mean easy.

 

The key is awareness of when you’re stuck and when that ‘wonky thinking’ is getting in the way. Sometimes we recognise it in the moment, but more often, it’s afterwards when we lament being stuck.

 

How do you create awareness? 

 

Allow yourself time for self-reflection.

 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that having time for self-reflection is a luxury. However, that, too, is just wonky thinking. Reflecting on your day, or planning for the next, enables you to think objectively about the best path of progress. Reflection moves us from autopilot to the driver’s seat, where we consciously choose what to do next.

 

Instead of trying to fit time in, link it to something you’re already doing, an existing routine. E.g., If you’re on your journey home from work, instead of getting out your phone, get out a notepad and jot down your thoughts from the day.

 

When you’re taking this time to think, do so with curiosity, not judgement. What was the perception, belief and emotion that led to that behaviour and outcome? What could you believe instead to change it? Also, be curious about what you believe to be great about the weekend and how you could do more of that in the week.

 

How else can you change your situation?

 

Reward yourself 

 

If you want to do something differently, don’t just set yourself a task; set yourself a reward when you’ve completed it. The dopamine centres in our brains release those feel-good neurotransmitters through motivation. So we seek rewards from the moment we wake up, e.g., the first tea or coffee of the day to celebrate getting out of bed and perhaps even showered and dressed! This could be simple, like crossing it off a list of tasks or keeping a record of your progress.

 

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear details the most effective way of creating good habits; by making them obvious, easy, attractive, and satisfying. Half the reason we don’t sustain our New Year’s Resolutions is because our expectations of what we can achieve are too high and, therefore, unrealistic to maintain.

 

How do you start?

 

Practise gratitude

 

Get a bit of a kickstart by practising gratitude. Not only does it have enormously positive effects on our wellbeing, but it also gives us instantaneous rewards. So start your reflection practice by seeking out what’s already good about each day, and you’ll soon see that mid-week might just be better than you thought.

 

Take this a step further by asking yourself who made a difference in your life today and for whom you made a difference. Then, as well as gratitude, you’ll get a buzz from feeling more connected to those around you.

 

It will require effort if you want to make the most of each day. Remember those two little critters that I mentioned earlier? Ease and comfort? Whilst we might think they’re desirable, they rarely leave us with any sense of satisfaction or reward. The things we value and appreciate the most tend to be the ones we’ve invested in.

 

If you need more encouragement to help you along the way, why not come along to our first event of 2023, ‘How to blow away Blue Monday Blues’ with the brilliant Dave Keeling?

 

See you there!

 

Article written by Laughology, NWS Academy Member

laughology.co.uk

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