Staying Positive Monday to Friday

It’s Monday morning and I’ve got the day off. I woke up early, had a coffee and immediately sat down to get on with some uni work. I’m feeling positive about the week. It’s going to be a good one. I’m going to eat well, exercise and be really productive.

The hours are ticking and while I still feel good, there’s a slight feeling in my chest that I was a little too positive about this week. I’m at placement Tuesday until Friday, I might not have time for the gym and I won’t get much dissertation done this week. Actually I’m not feeling so positive anymore.

Within three hours of waking my positive attitude has dropped. Now I feel like the week is going to be a chore and I’ve got caught up in that same old cycle where things only seem good when I’ve got time to myself.

Here are some ways I’m trying to break out of that mindset:

Watch Your Language

Use positive language to keep a positive outlook. Try not to say that you won’t have time, or you can’t enjoy yourself this week because it’ll be a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’ll go from the start to the end of the week in a negative mood. Think about your week as an opportunity rather than a hard slog, set goals and take control of the week rather than letting it take control of you.

Don’t Pressure Yourself

Some weeks you’ll have more free time than you will during others. Naturally this means we don’t always have the ability to do everything we would in a week, but we don’t always see it this way. I like to set goals like going to the gym three times a week but sometimes that just isn’t possible, so instead I’m trying to be flexible and tell myself that it’s alright if I don’t always make it to the gym. Putting excess pressure on myself just means I’m less likely to achieve my goals.

Find Small Pleasures

I find that I go through life desperate for Friday evening when I can have two days of reading, sleeping and doing whatever else that I want to do. But I really don’t like this idea of ‘living for the weekend,’ because I don’t want to live my life spending 5 days a week dreaming about the two days I’m going to get off. I want to enjoy every day. That’s why I’m trying to ensure I have something to look forward to every day, whether it’s a meal out with friends or just a nice soak in a hot bath.

Start Your Day Right Every Day

When I have days off I take time to eat breakfast, put makeup on and just generally look after myself. It’s quite the opposite when I have a busy day where I rush up, giving myself half an hour to get ready, skipping breakfast and dashing out the door. Deciding to take your mornings before work slower can really help set you up for the day mentally and help you have a more positive mindset. I find that I feel so much better on the days where I’ve taken time to eat breakfast and listen to music on my way to placement in comparison to the days I down a coffee and walk there in silence.

What do you do to keep a positive mindset throughout the working week? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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Breaking Resolutions and Maintaining Balance

Making New Year’s resolutions is one of my favourite things to do. It’s easy to hate on the people spouting things like  ‘New Year, New Me’ but since when was trying to better yourself a bad thing?

The start of a new year is all about what you make it. If you want to strive for new, wondrous achievements, then you can, by all means. But if you’d rather stick to what you know then that’s fine too.

Making too many resolutions or setting goals that are unachievable at this point in your life can make the start of the year unnecessarily stressful. This can especially be the case if you’re making resolutions to improve your mental health.

So here are a few things to bear in mind during the first few days of 2017.

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S.M.A.R.T Goals

If you’re already familiar with S.M.A.R.T goals then you’ve probably heard this a million times so feel free to skip this paragraph. If you haven’t come across S.M.A.R.T goals before, they’re a really useful way to focus your resolutions. One of your resolutions might be to ‘get fitter,’ but have you considered how you’ll actually do this? By making your resolution into a S.M.A.R.T goal you’ll have a better chance.  Your goals should be:

S – Specific

What do you want to achieve? You want to get fitter but what does that mean to you? Do you want to be able to run a certain distance, lose weight, or tone up? Decide the specifics of your resolution and you’ll be better focused.

M – Measurable

Make sure that your resolution is measurable. How will you know when you’ve accomplished it?

A – Achievable

Is it realistic? If you’re starting from a low level of fitness then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to run a marathon by the end of the year. Choose resolutions that are challenging yet realistic.

R – Relevant

This is all about whether your resolution is relevant to YOU. Is this goal worthwhile to you? Is it worth your time? And is now a good period in your life to be tackling this goal?

T – Time limited

Ask yourself what you want to be able to achieve with this goal in a month, 6 months or a year from now? If you are taking up running then aim to be able to run a mile in 1 month’s time, then maybe 3 miles by the middle of the year. Be flexible so that you can adjust your resolutions as you make progress.

Balance

When it comes to making New Year’s Resolutions, balance is vital. You might have a list of resolutions but you can’t really expect to take on 5 new hobbies, go to the gym 4 days a week and eat fruit for every meal. It’s all about balance.

Think about what is realistic for you. You can’t possibly change your whole life around and you don’t need to! Stick to what works for you and add bits in where possible. It’s not necessary to stop eating chocolate when you can just cut down.

Breaking Resolutions

So you’ve made your resolutions and it’s so far so good but what happens when your focus starts to wilt. You’ve been to the gym every other day this week but it’s Sunday and you just can’t be bothered now.

Firstly, don’t be disheartened. A resolution doesn’t mean you have to be achieving constantly. So you’ve taken a day off from exercise. That’s okay! Just start again when you’re ready, both physically and mentally!

Secondly, it’s okay to quit. None of your resolutions should involve doing activities that you hate or putting yourself in situations that you dread, so if you feel like your resolutions just aren’t working out for you, then stop. It might just not be the right time for you or it might never be your thing. That’s okay.

Rachel x-x-x

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