13 May Right Side Of The Bed… Always
Sometimes I hate Night Alex. The guy always wants to stay up late to read another chapter, watch another episode, or have a late night beverage with Dr Joe. Night Alex has very little consideration for Day Alex and it is tough to keep him in line.
Just listen to Seinfeld, and recognize we all have this issue. Who has not woken up on the "wrong side of the bed" and in no mood to get on with the day?
Even in sports, we often let the first shift, hole, inning, or kilometer of our event, dictate our mindset for the rest of it. Even professionals note that if they are "feeling it" from the outset, they will have a good game, and is the reason why some are often so reliant on a lucky charm or pre-game ritual
I refuse to let my initial morning mood dictate how I feel for the rest of the day. It is not fair to patients if I do not at least try to be the best part of your day. If I do not make every effort to leave the house with the best possible mindset it also is not fair to myself. A stubbed toe to start your day should not mean your reckoning all morning up until lunch. If heaven forbid, today was your last day on Earth, you would not want a bad mood to ruin it
A sound morning routine will all but guarantee a great mind-set and successful day in whatever way you choose to define it (Read more about that here or here). A standardized routine is going to limit your decision fatigue to a minimum and is going to make the choice of having a great day, a lot easier.
Because in the end it comes down to a choice. A choice to move beyond that stubbed toe, the bullshit at work, or fatigue. It is going to be the hardest choice of your day, but if you do not want your mood, productivity and day, to be a directionless leaf careening down the rapids, you have to make the hard choice to right the ship early.
The choice to magically move from true grumpster, world-hating, work-loathing, sunlight-despising, work intolerant, Oscar The Grouch, is not an easy one. It helps to have a little outside support and hence I give you my options for the grump proof day. Choose one or more of these mediums to ensure you reverse any, and all bad moods to the best possible extent
At no point in history has there every been a greater ability to surround yourself with the greatest minds on the planet. My friends will literally spend $1000s each year to attend conferences to hear people speak and to surround themselves with the best. You can do it for free every morning on your way to work, in the shower, while preparing food, etc.
Everyone has their own favourite. It might be from a movie, a television show, montage or a great speech.
My experience is that most of my bad mornings are the result of getting too caught up in my own life and failing to recognize areas of success, sources of pride, and reasons for gratefulness.
David Foster Wallace has maybe the best commencement speech of all time that will quickly remind you how to right your mindset. Just remember, "This is water, this is water, this is water"
There is no shortage of other great commencement speeches and video options to fill your need and I encourage you to make a YouTube "watch later" list for when the "grumps" strike
Whether it is in a journal, on a No Frills receipt, or some printer paper, take five minutes away from The Facebook and The Instagram to exorcise the negative demons and feelings. Express what is making you anxious, grumpy etc and trust me, it will just melt away or at the very least, you will better understand why you feel the way you do.
Better yet, take those 5 minutes to profoundly change your day by finding and physically expressing 3 things that you are grateful for - not what everyone says you should be grateful (peace, health blah) - truly grateful for. If you need some more specific guidance, thank the universe for something in the moment, in the past and that you are looking forward to
We all have a few of these! Just pop in the headphones, turn up the volume, and whether it is an EDM track, rock, rap or The Beebs, play it until you are nothing but stoked
We all get it, movement heals all. If you have the time for a workout in your morning, get your butt to the gym.
If time is lacking, take 5 minutes to stretch, mobilize, skip or Power Pose. Just Move.
I am biased and truly believe that one of the only freedoms we have in our lives is choice. Choose to move, choose to put good food in your body, choose to be healthy and choose to be in a better mood.
There is no right or wrong side of the bed, but only the choices that follow your awakening.
- Dr Alex