Every week, we start with the best of intentions…and then things get stressful and we ditch our dreams of packed lunches, walking to work and getting enough sleep. Instead of trying to overhaul the entire week, focus on one small thing a day. These little changes really add up.
Try ten minutes of meditation to set the tone for the busy week ahead. A bit of focused attention can reduce stress, improve sleep (key for Sunday nights) and increase creativity so you’re refreshed on Monday morning.
MONDAY: WAKE UP EARLIER
Wake up two (OK, fine, even one) hours earlier than you usually do. Use that extra time to do whatever it is that will make the rest of your day less stressful. You could tend to menial tasks around the house so you free up your evening, squeeze in a workout or just have the luxury of getting ready without rushing.
TUESDAY: TRY BULLET JOURNALING
Grab a pen and paper and try bullet journaling. It’s an analog to-do list that includes inspirational (or just funny) quotes, special events and simple tasks that go beyond “pick up dry cleaning.” (Think more along the lines of “research best three-day vacation spots.”)
WEDNESDAY: TAP YOUR TOES
Start fidgeting more. You heard us. Tap those toes, shake out your feet, twirl your pen or swivel around in your desk chair. Studies show that these micro movements increase blood flow to the limbs. Psst, it’s even better with some headphones and a killer playlist.
THURSDAY: EAT SOME CHOCOLATE
Go ahead and eat some chocolate. Dark chocolate is ideal, but any will do. Seriously. Studies have shown that it improves cognitive performance. A few Hershey’s Kisses, a handful of peanut M&Ms, a Kit Kat bar—the options are endless.
FRIDAY: HAVE A NIGHT IN
Skip the crowds (and real people clothing with non-forgiving waistbands) and plan a date night in with your significant other. Preferably one that involves your coziest flannels, snacks and a queue of new episodes to watch. Science says that couples who share media—like TV shows and movies—experience more closeness.
SATURDAY: WALK YOUR DOG (OR SOMEONE ELSE’S)
Take your dog out for a leisurely stroll. And we’re not talking the harried, obligatory pee-break. Allow Fido to take the lead. Let him sniff every pole and follow his nose to his heart’s content. You’ll easily get in those 10,000 steps and have the chance to really explore your neighborhood. Oh, and if you don’t have a dog, borrow one. You’ll still get the same benefits and you might make a new furry friend.