Happy Wednesday aka hump day, friends! For me, Wednesdays are hands down the longest day of the week for me to power through, so I always love starting it out with a solid workout. Per my usual Wednesday morning routine, I hit up Andrew’s P/E (power and endurance) class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center. While it’s slightly out of the way for me now, this class is hands down one of my favorites and a great value at $6 dollars for a drop-in fee. Plus, I used to be a regular back in 2014, where I attended 4-5 mornings a week! So, it’s always a good time seeing some familiar faces :). Andrew organized a killer workout this morning. I think the hardest part was the third tabata we did–instead of the traditional 10 seconds of rest between rounds, we did wall sits. Ooof! Super challenging. As always, loved the puns on the workout board and the high energy of class. Can’t wait until next Wednesday!
I wanted to pop in today to tell you why I think treating your weekdays like weekends is a good thing. That’s right. The world we live in is incredibly fast paced, over-scheduled, and full of constant, non-stop activity. My life is no exception to this. Sometimes, this can lead our weekends to feel just as busy as weekdays and no time for relaxation with loved ones. In an effort to try and be a more positive thinker, I’ve come to the realization that slowing down can be a good thing. I read this post a few weeks back and realized what a great concept it described: Making our weekdays feel more like the weekend.
I spend every day of my workweek looking forward to Saturday, my one guaranteed day off each week. I look forward to taking my time in the morning, getting in a great workout, enjoying a delicious breakfast or brunch I might not normally indulge in (or have time for) during the week, and in general, moving slower. Weekends are also great because they involve more mental relaxation and time spent with friends. Weekends are also great for downtime. I read this article from Scientific American recently, that describes why our brains need more downtime. “Research reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories, and encourage creativity.” Mental breaks can look different for everyone. For me sometimes it’s curling up with a good book. Sometimes it’s eating a delicious meal outside and just enjoying the quiet and peacefulness. Sometimes a mental break is a walk to grab coffee with a friend. These mental breaks can lend towards productivity in the workplace, but can also allow us to have a clear head and positive attitude when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices too.
While I can’t say I’ve discovered a true love for meditation, what I have found is that slowing down and allowing myself to enjoy activities I traditionally save for weekends has allowed me to think more clearly, positively and remain more productive and motivated to accomplish goals during the workweek–work goals, fitness goals and even health & nutrition goals. I gave this idea a shot on Monday, because we all know Mondays can be tough, and it worked out really great. From moving just a touch slower and making a real effort to incorporate things into my day that provided mental breaks from my work tasks, I was really able to end the day feeling positive and refreshed, even though I spent 9 of those hours at work.
In an effort to move slower, Monday started out sleeping in an extra 15 minutes until 5:30 AM. While it seems silly, allowing myself the extra 15 minutes made a huge difference! After waking up and enjoying my coffee with a dose of NBC news on the side, I did a 25 minute circuit in my apartment. Normally, I wouldn’t have time for this, but I knew that working out helps me to clear my head and start the day on a positive foot, so I was happy to make time for some movement. I did a few tabatas and EMOMs (every minute on the minute) and then made breakfast. I have been craving bacon for weeks now, and it’s typically a weekend food for me, but since I was trying to have a “weekend” kinda mindset, I went with it. Breakfast was soaked oats, fruit and extra crispy bacon. This meal left me so, so happy.
Later that day, I decided to take a work break and squeeze in a walk + coffee date with a friend instead of my traditional lunch break where I snack at my desk. The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze. It felt absolutely incredible to grab an iced latte and breathe in some fresh air. It made all the difference in my day. After work, I went straight to the park to meet up with my friend Mary for a run. Normally, I probably wouldn’t go to a park on a weeknight, just for sake of time, but in an effort to incorporate more interesting and exciting activities into my day, I was excited to go see how the development of Summit Park was going. We did 4 easy miles on the loop that surrounds the park before our good form running clinic that was meeting at the park later that evening. Wandering and exploring the park prior to the clinic was a fun way to slow things down too!
The day ended with the Bachelorette premier + pizza with Mary. Pizza is normally a weekend food for me, but in honor of treating Monday like the weekend, and JoJo, why not?
What did I learn from slowing down my Monday? Well it didn’t impact my productivity negatively, and I ended the day feeling more refreshed, less stressed, and overall more positive about my week. While slowing down every day isn’t a realistic goal for me, I will be making a more conscious effort to incorporate more positive activities into my days to make them more interesting and exciting.