The morning alarm, be it your watch, phone, or the neighbor’s rooster crowing loudly in anticipation of sunrise, seems to be your first motivation of the day. Albeit annoying, while you can snooze it, not the rooster, and get a few more minutes of sleep, the next more incessant alarm will be like a commanding sound that will have you getting up quickly. But even when you’ve gotten enough sleep, how many times have you struggled to shake that feeling of sluggishness. And as soon as you rush out of bed, you stop and think about how your day will end even when it hasn’t started yet. Overwhelmed by the sunset versus the sunrise, we just can’t help but worry about how our normal lives have forever changed and continue to be disrupted because of the pandemic.
If waking up every day is starting to feel like a chore, don’t worry you’re not alone. It’s been over a year of lockdown which made it difficult for pretty much everyone, as we’re forced to stay home without seeing most of our friends and relatives, with social media and video calls not making the reality of distance less stressful at all.
The COVID-19 virus not only caused widespread infections, but it seems to have also affected these aspects of our daily lives causing us to lose focus, such as our self-confidence and mental health, our mobility or the freedom to move around, and our interactions and relationships with others outside our home.
We may not be able to bring back the old normal we all got used to, but here’s what we can do to find get going as we work on making it a better normal.
It’s not a trend, but negative is the new positive. Because there’s no fighting it, you need to allow yourself to get frustrated, disappointed, or sad so you can work on getting past these negative emotions. By acknowledging these emotions, as they are real and important, you can then go through life situations and pick up the lessons so you can focus on things that you need to work on to change. Cry your heart out if you will but you can only truly feel positive about things when you’re done dealing with the negatives.
You also need to figure out what triggers certain emotions with which you end up being unmotivated. Regularly working overtime is a result of project delays or a busy working schedule thus preventing you from enjoying personal or family time or not getting enough rest which can later lead to feeling overworked or burned out. Slow down and determine what’s causing the work delays. Recognize signals such as this and prep up an action plan to address the situation.
Don’t hit snooze or delay an alarm, at all. There’s a reason we set an alarm, not just in the morning but throughout the day, and that is we’d like to stick to a schedule or routine, and because we’d like to set aside enough time to prepare for certain activities, such as breakfast before leaving for work, or reviewing notes before going to class.
Forget about setting up a rigid routine, create daily rituals to help you get organized. These are me-time activities to work on self-care, discipline, and creativity – such as putting a book on your bedside as a reminder to read or wearing a running shoe so as not to forget to workout in the morning.
And lastly, reward yourself for getting things done. This in itself is a good motivation as it increases our desire to do an activity. Incentivize activities with things that you enjoy doing or having, it can be as simple as a cheat day of your favorite cookies when you did a consistent 5km run for 3 days a week or picking up a new book for not having to go overtime at work. It’s important though that the reward is something aspirational but not detrimental to your personal growth.
So the next time you struggle out of bed because you think it’s going to be a bad day anyway, shake it off by allowing yourself a few minutes to let out your worries. After that, it’ll be easier to digest that better days are coming. Be negative so you can positively tackle your life’s misadventures. Make it a priority to take care of yourself.