Editors note: Here at Smart Women Smart Money magazine, we are excited to celebrate every day and especially those fun holidays.  So, every Wednesday we will share the fun holiday for the following Monday in hopes that your Monday won’t feel quite so Mondayish. We are looking at topics from cleaning up your virtual desktop to national kick-butt day (who knew that was a thing!?).  Our goal is to encourage you to gain new perspective and jump start something new within you and have some fun along the way. 

By Melanie Kreifels

I’m on Top of it Day

Do you ever feel like you can accomplish anything and then there are days you literally drag yourself through the day?  What’s different from one day to the next can vary but there are usually a lot of factors.  Some of those things are out of our control but others we can help alleviate the stress and frustration felt if we take some simple steps along the way.  Here are some thoughts how to make your day work for you, instead of feeling plowed over by it!

1. Get plenty of rest.

It sounds simple (and dreamy) and it may be one of the hardest steps to make a priority.  The Sleep Foundation states that the average adult needs 7-9 hours (school age children 9-11 hours and teenagers 8-10 hours) of restful sleep each night to rejuvenate our system and retain all the information we process daily.  Starting your day tired and feeling drained is difficult to set yourself up for a positive outcome.  Staying the “most on top of your day” requires consistent healthy routines to keep up with challenges of everyday life.  Most of our schedules don’t allow for a later start so going to bed earlier might be the key to maintaining a healthy routine.  If falling asleep at night is a challenge, there are several apps available to help. A few to try that include a free trial period are:  Headspace, Calm or Sleep Fan app. 

2. Stay focused.

Our lives revolve around a lot of distractions daily and in the culture of immediacy, it can be a challenge to separate the “right now” column from the “it can wait” column. Setting goals and prioritizing our days can help us place those distractions in the right column.  For example, if your goal is to include exercise in your day, try doing it earlier in the day (first thing or lunchtime) to allow wiggle room if something comes up later. A good walk or run, along with drinking plenty of water can help set your mind back on track to reach your goals. Finally, include foods in your diet that help boost your energy and aid in helping you stay focused.   

3. De-clutter.

Working and living in an environment that has clutter all around can be distracting and overwhelming. Taking steps each day to de-clutter will help conquer bigger obstacles and help clear your mind.  Look over your desktop each night to clear any unnecessary items—coffee cups, food wrappers, tissues, etc. If your desk has piles of papers, at the very least stack the papers neatly to help start the next day on the right foot.  Each night, make sure your kitchen counter and sink as well as the bathroom counters are cleared off, again setting you up for a fresh start the next day.  Baby steps add up and will eventually set the tone for your day and empower you!

4. Find joy in the moment.

As hectic as life can become, it’s important for us to maintain a posture of gratitude–even when things don’t always go the way we want them to go. Consider all the things you have to be thankful for. If we ruminate about what we can’t do, rather than be hopeful about what we can, sadness and discouragement can run amok. None of us are perfect–and that’s OK.  Each day that comes is new and offers opportunity for greatness. Or, at least greater than the day before, so give yourself some grace.    

Melanie Kreifels is publisher of Smart Women Smart Money Magazine and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.