I’ve decided Mondays are all about making it through the day. Something about a Monday is OK because it goes by really fast …or so it seems for me at work, with all the homework stapling, lesson planning, and printing, I hardly have time to think about the oncoming week.
But Tuesday, oh Tuesday. The day goes by slow. The work is hard. Everyone is grouchy. The week seems to elongate before the eyes and mind.
1. Wake up early and work out
That way, you aren’t thinking about it all day. Also, you get some time to stretch, sweat, and meditate before rushing into the world of the workplace. I am usually a late sleeper (I told Peyton I need at lest 10 hours to function) and at my job I have to be there at 7:45am!!!! But, last Wednesday I tried this, and it really changed my day. What’s more: I forgot that I had worked out. It went by so fast! I guess because it’s early and my brain was only half-awake. My body was moving, my heart was beating, and my blood was pumping, and that’s all that counts!
2. Make your lunch the night before
I do it while I cook. I just keep a little container out to the side of the cutting board and put about 1/3 of every edible-raw veggie that I chop (usually along with some lettuce) into it. I’ll also add about 1/3 of my plate of grains, and 1/3 of my serving of meat or protein for the night. It’s a great way to watch portions, eat fresh, and avoid scrambling around in the morning trying to boil and egg with one sock on your foot and twenty alarms going off on your phone.
3. Make work feel (kind of) like home
I have a coworker who has everything (and I mean EVERYTHING-including a toothbrush) at her desk. I didn’t want to do this because I am a strong believer in separating work from home. My home is sacred, and right now my work is just an occupation, a rung on the ladder. But regardless of how you feel philosophically, bringing things to work will help you get through the day. Items you should keep at work: advil, chapstick, lotion, a few snack items, bottle of water, coffee mug, phone charger, tampons, pressed powder, lipstick (for unexpected presentations, etc.), deodorant, a picture in a frame that makes you happy, a few cool magnets, a nice pen, a tasty and indulgent candy or canned beverage (Coconut Lecroix!!!), a warm scarf or jacket. It’s just essential to have some supplies at work if you’re a full-timer (or even if you aren’t) to keep you from feeling miserable.
4. Buy work clothes
Before I did this, my closet was like this: sweats & pajamas, going out clothes, 1 or 2 fancy dresses for once-a-year occasions. That doesn’t work in a professional setting.
Go to H&M or something and buy a set of 5 professional shirts, 5 professional “bottoms” and 3 or 4 professional dresses. Make sure the colors work together so you can interchange your outfits. This will help you plan your outfits for work, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I have to wear comfortable clothes to my job (since half of my day is spent on a carpet with five year olds) that still have a professional look to them (aka aren’t pajamas). Once I just finally bit the bullet and bought proper work clothes, my life changed! I no longer had to worry about turning my going-out dresses into something halfway appropriate for the classroom.
5. PLAN things with your husband/wife/significant other
Do this so that you know what to expect from him/her at the end of the day, and he/she knows what to expect from you! Don’t wait until you come home, exhausted, to explain that you had the worst day ever and want to order take-out. Who knows–maybe he bought you tickets to go see that band you love and you end up getting into a petty argument about crossed wires. Or maybe he feels like eating your famous veggie lasagna and bought all the ingredients for it, even though cooking is the last thing you can imagine doing! Just communicate via text throughout the day about how you’re feeling, what you want to do after work (jog, nap, get cozy, go to the grocery store, go out with the girls, etc.) so that neither one of you are surprised in a bad way, later.
6. Remember this
A Buddhist philosopher once taught me: If you are constantly looking forward to tomorrow you have no today. It struck me so hard at the time, because it was college and I was looking WAY forward to winter break at the time. I think this lesson is especially important for those of us that work, because we tend to look at each workday as an obligation and miss out on the fact that each day is life, each day plays into your vast and bountiful life. Don’t focus on the negative, but don’t assign negativity to each day just because it’s not a certain kind of day.
I’m off to make sauce for chicken Piccata with my writer husband, who is in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on a short story. Life is good, Tuesday or not.
From one to another,