It’s 8 AM. And even before we head into the office on this day we were likely greeted with an onslaught of news: a bombing in Kabul, the dip in the Nikkei Index and the ongoing Penn State sex abuse scandal. Not a great way to start your day.
Think about it. Do you know where your mind is as your body heads to work? What’s consuming your thoughts? More importantly how can you take control of the monkey-mind we encounter even before we walk into the office?
Starting the Work Day with Some High Octane Fuel in the Well
After being certified as a Hospice volunteer many years ago I never walked into a hospital the same way again. I had a new awareness of life and death and everything and everyone in between. And the techniques I learned along with meditation and yoga, also lead me to never walk into the workplace the same way again.
Here’s why. Just as in a hospital setting, at work – you never know what chaos you will encounter, on any given day. That’s why filling that “well” first thing in the morning is crucial to keep the resilient juices flowing no matter your career. But what many fail to realize is that everything is relative, no matter the workday in any sector of industry.
In our 24/7 world, where dual-income families rule and many boomers are still taking care of children and aging parents, anything goes in the “breaking news” environment of anyone’s life – it doesn’t have to be in the headlines on CNN. The work-life merge is here and we have to find ways to manage it before flat-lining in our lives and our work.
Here are 5 Keys to Calm the Mind and Refuel Your Body for Work
1. Engage in a Practice: Commit to start the day on a good note. Create your own refueling routine and stick to it. Even if it means waking up a half hour early before the family. This might be the only time you have to control your surroundings.
2. Engage Silence, not Technology: Begin the day in quiet. Don’t reach for the phone, the e-mail, the Tv or the radio for news. Just be in silence with your sweet self for a bit. Other than relaxing music, don’t turn on any gagets.
3. Engage Awareness: Begin the day with three grounding deep breaths or meditation. The breath is the elixir of life. It immediately gets you into your body. While relaxing, it also brings you into the present moment. It’s calming for the central nervous system. What do you notice about your surroundings? What do you hear? Just notice it and keep breathing. I always try to awaken slowly, every morning, using my breath to move through the mind chatter. It’s not that monkey-mind doesn’t make an appearance, annoying thoughts come and go.
4. Engage the Body: Do some more deep breathing or exercise. As you continue to breath notice how your body feels. While focusing on the breath, breathe into any places of discomfort in the body to air it out. If you have time to exercise, do yoga, or take a walk, go for it.
5. Engage the Mind: Start the day with a positive thought or intention. Read a passage from an inspirational book, recall a positive affirmation, or say a prayer. If you feel moved to set an intention, that’s great. If not, at least fill your mind with some positive thoughts to dwell on for the day.
How do you start your day on a good energetic note? Please share!
Check out my personal blog WorkLifeNation.com and follow me on Twitter: @JudyMartin8