Every Monday, on social media we are greeted with the ubiquitous ‘I hate Mondays’ status updates and posts. In an earlier post I focused on the question of changing perceptions to deal with the ‘Monday blues’. In this post, I’ve put together three simple techniques to help you ‘rise and shine’ – even on a Monday.
One of the ideas I use in coaching and training is the idea of the personal experiment. You try out a new technique or take a particular action on a regular basis and then asses the effects after a set period of time. So here are the three ‘rise and shine’ techniques:
1. Gratitude and Anticipation Experiment
This actually starts the night before. Before you go to sleep, write down three things for which you were grateful that day (gratitude phase). The next morning, as soon as you wake, write down three things you are looking forward to that day (anticipation phase). Do this for a whole month. (see Getting the Gratitude Attitude (Free PDF Diary Sheet for full details). The idea is that this technique helps to frame your each day in a positive day.
2. The ‘Rise and Shine Breath’
You’ll be happy to learn that The Rise and Shine Breath is performed whilst still enjoying the comfort of your bed. Read it through a few times to familiarize yourself with the technique. My version, which combines deep breathing with an early morning stretch. It’s surpisingly effective. Here it is:
- Breathe in through your nose with you arms clenched in fists at your shoulders, like you are about to lift weights (chest press). Smile. As you breathe in let your stomach out so that your lungs are filled.
- Now as you breathe out through your mouth, making an ‘aaaah’ sound, like a sigh and push you arms up to the ceiling. Open your hands and stretch out your fingers.
- Pull your arms back to your shoulders with clenched fists. Pull down as if there is resistance and breathe in as before.
- Do about 7 to 10 of these.
- Smile. Now breathe in deeply (through your nose) and hold your breath for the count of ten seconds or a little longer if you can comfortably do so.
- Breath out forcefully through your mouth whilst pulling your stomach in. Do three of these.
- It’s now time to sit up. Repeat points 1 to 4 sitting up. Do another 7 to 10 of these. Then repeat 5 & 6.
- Optional extra: If you’re still not ready to get up, do another 7 to 10 breaths standing up repeating points 1 to 6.
- You are now ready to face the world! (or at the very least to get you up and in to the shower).
3. Morning Power Shower Visualization
This energizing visualization doesn’t require any extra time investment. It’s done in the shower. As you stand under the water, imagine a beautiful empowering, refreshing, energizing, invigorating light streaming from the shower-head (as well as the water). The light may be white, pink, golden or pale blue: you choose. Imagine this light-charged energy washing away negatively, tiredness and charging you up for the day. The light activates your skills and strengths and inspires you to take action. Use whatever positive thought you wish. Recount the three things you are looking forward to.
End of Month Review
At the end of the month, review the impact these three techniques have made to your willingness to get up each morning. If they don’t totally work for you, consider what aspects of them that do work and create your own version and add your own techniques. Also, if Mondays are still a problem for you, consider how you might arrange the day or what you mind add to make it more tolerable.
Of course, you could go back to posting ‘I don’t like Mondays’ messages on Facebook and Twitter and haveing a day of self-fulfilling prophecy.
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About the author
Dr Gary Wood is a social psychologist and life coach. He is based in Birmingham and Edinburgh where he runs his own training and coaching practice and research consultancy. He is author of Unlock Your Confidence which is based on his confidence-building workshops. Contact Gary to see how his solution focused coaching approach would benefit you or your organization.
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