Many of us tend to dread the workweek. Because it means it’s time to get strict and serious. We might be running and rushing around. We might work long hours in between drop-offs and pick-ups. We might have to wake up way too early. We might feel pressure to hustle and produce and beat the clock.
In short, there’s a lot going on, and you might feel frazzled and scattered.
What can help is to sprinkle in play, to create silly moments, even if it’s just mere minutes. What can help is to create bits of calm and quiet. Because this lightens and brightens our days. It helps us to feel less like we’re just trying to “get through” or “get by” or “endure” the week. Because that’s a lot of hours to get through and get by and endure. These tips might help:
- Start your morning with classical music. Or start it with upbeat music and a dance party.
- Start your morning with a 5-minute guided meditation or a 20-minute one that centers you—or end your evening with a guided meditation that promotes deep relaxation.
- On Sundays, pick a quote or sentence that you’d like to serve as a kind of guiding light for your week. Think of it as your intention for how you’d like to navigate the next five days, even when things get rough.
- Put on calming music when you come home from work and start preparing dinner.
- During your lunch break, get out a coloring book, draw your surroundings or doodle something silly or something that made or makes you smile (instead of scrolling through different social media feeds and random websites).
- Read a kids’ book. They’re quick and filled with magic (which might inspire or perk up your perspective for a day or forever).
- Play with Play-Doh.
- Identify something you’d like to make. Write out the specific steps in 5-minute increments—and do that every day or every few days.
- Reconnect to your senses by writing about these prompts: the first scent that greets you in the morning; the sound of a loved one’s voice; a magical sight; a list of things that are lush; what joy smells, sounds, looks, tastes and feels like.
- Think about what feels playful and light and fun to you. Think about how you can shrink it and make it part of most days.
- Start seeing everything with the wonder of a 16-month-old. Every night jot down one ordinary, boring or uneventful thing or experience that, when viewed through the senses of a toddler, has become anything but.
- Similarly, pretend you’re a writer, and carry a small notebook with you. Pick a moment, and immerse yourself in its details. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and describe it for your upcoming novel. Find the humor, surprise or sweetness in it.
This is certainly cliché, but it’s also an important reminder: Every moment is a gift. Every moment is not guaranteed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we go skipping into the sunshine, since life is also hard, and we also struggle and suffer. And life also is what we make of it.
It’s all of these things.
And we can make it more fun and playful. We can make it a bit more calm and serene. We can give ourselves some space. We can incorporate small moments that make us smile and laugh into all that seriousness, and we can find ways to spark our sense of wonder, seeing seemingly ordinary things as remarkable and precious.