Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

Ten ways to balance out "start-of-the-day blues."

Posted July 16, 2020


Raise your hand also if you periodically gain up on the wrong side of the bed and also dread the day ahead. I assumed so. Some days can be tough just obtaining out of your heat, cozy bed after a lengthy weekfinish or a late night, specifically once it’s cold, gray, and also rainy.

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The ‘Start-Of-Day" Blues

A examine by Nancy Rothbard and also Steffanie Wilk revealed that morning moods deserve to stay through you all day long. The duo oboffered a team of customer organization representatives (CSRs) in an insurance company’s call center over a number of weeks. They discovered that CSRs differed from day to day in their start-of-day mood, but that those who started out each day happy or calm usually continued to be that way throughout the day. Plus, connecting with customers tfinished to additionally improve their mood. On the various other hand, employees who started the day in a devastating mood didn’t really climb out of it, and felt even worse by the end of the day—also after connecting via positive customers. The researchers discovered something they called, “the misery loves company” syndrome. Some CSRs that felt badly at the beginning of the day felt much less badly after interacting through customers that were in poor moods. The researchers translate that finding to expect that as soon as confronted through a customer’s perspective, CSRs felt their own lives weren’t so bad after all.

10 Steps to Sidestep Start-of-Day Blues

When you broaden your perspective and think about possibilities, you have the right to sideaction a negative “start-of-day mood” via these 10 mindful tips and begin and also finish your day on an upswing.

1. Avoid Deep Diving. If you go swimming for the first time, you don’t dive in over your head on the first day. You wade in the shpermit water to acquire acclimated to ease your mind. Avoid over-scheduling yourself with astronomical obstacles or adding extra obligations to your calendar. Tackle as many of the unfinished tasks the previous week so your dread won’t feel so insurmountable. Sometimes the blues come from thinking about everything on your to-execute list. Taking one step at a time avoids you from overwhelming yourself. Focus on the most necessary task, put the remainder out of your mind, and finish the one that requirements immediate attention.

2. Make Your ‘Start-of-Day’ Adendeavor Days. There’s a thin line between excitement and dcheck out (think bungee jumping). When you structure upcoming challenges as curious adventures (“I wonder if I will certainly land that account”) instead of problem (“If I don’t land that account, I’ll be upset”), it reduces dcheck out because you’re not pressuring yourself with expectations. You might also ask yourself, “I wonder what amazing events will certainly happen this particular day.”

3. Avoid “Stinkin’ Thinkin"." It takes 3 positive thoughts to balance out one negative assumed. Confident thoughts occupational in the opposite direction, helping you stack a start-of-the-day positivity deck. Look for the upside of a downside situation. Avoid blowing disappointments out of propercentage. Look for gains in your losses. Focus on remedies instead of troubles. And pinpoint opportunity in a challenge. Think of one thing—no issue how insubstantial it can seem at first—to look forward to at the begin of the day. It might be chatting via a friend, helping a customer you gain, the excitement of presenting a new idea to your manager, or having actually lunch at your favorite restaurant. Plan to reward yourself at the end of the day through somepoint fun.

4. Sidestep "Musturbation" And Empower Yourself. Typically the start-of-the-day blues hit bereason of your perspective. If you’re like a lot of world, you have a relentmuch less faultfinder living in your brain, judgment your mind. It bludgeons you with oppressive words that press you such as have to, should, ought and have actually to: “I have to end up cleaning out the garage; “I have to obtain the home in order”; “This task have to be perfect.” When you’re mindful of the oppressive voice (the psychologist Albert Ellis referred to as it “musturbation”), you can select more empowering, less stressful words such as “I arrangement to,” “I want to” or “I select to.” Empowering self-talk eclipses the dcheck out and also lifts your mood. Mentally map the options you’ve made in your life—your area, your friends, your task. As you name all the aspects of your life that you’ve favored, you start to feel lighter, freer, and also more empowered over the oppressive thoughts.

5. Self-Soothe And Take Action. Pinpoint why you feel the start-of-the-day dreads. It can be the boss from hell, a negative partnership via your primary squeeze, issues about a kid or boredom. Go within and also view if you can affix through the part of you that dreads dealing with the day. Observe it as a separate part of you, instead of you—with objectivity much prefer you would notification a blemish on your hand also. Talk to it favor you would certainly a ideal frifinish and also express empathy for it. Unprefer the old myths about the insanity of talking to yourself, the modern technique of talking to your inner parts is one of the finest techniques for clarity and also self-calming (See my short article around healthy self-talk). As you sepaprice from the dreview, you notification a feeling of inner calm. Then take steps to readjust situations that mitigate the dcheck out.

6. Quiet Your Mind. Start-of-the-day blues take place when your mind is stuck in the future. You’re trying to resolve a difficulty or afrassist you won’t be able to achieve a certain goal. Taking time out from the intrusive thoughts to quiet your mind through idle moments—such as a short five-minute meditation or contemplating some element of nature—brings your mind into the existing moment and also helps you unwind, clear your head, and relax your mind, body, and soul.

7. Stay in Good Shape. Think of your mornings as the Olympics or the National Cup. Your physical and psychological endurance at the start of the day hinges on being fit. Prepare yourself for workday mornings by unplugging on weekends and taking care of your physical and mental health. Avoid long nights trying to hit deadlines, preparing for a big presentation, or analyzing that endmuch less task list. Prime yourself through excellent food, constant exercise, and ample sleep. Avoid nicotine and also use alcohol in moderation. Recharge your batteries and balance your job-related life with fun, leisure, and time with friends and also loved ones.

8. Break Routines. Break the monotony of rules, ruts and routines. Make sure you plan to take your breaks and also lunch hour and stretch them right into doing somepoint various. Change scenery by gaining exterior also if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes. Dine ameans from your desk in a park or a various restaurant. Consider giving your workterminal a makeover.

9. H-A-L-T. The acronym H-A-L-T means “hungry, angry, lonely or exhausted.” This alert signal is a gentle reminder for you to sheight, slow down, and also carry yourself back right into balance when your mind starts to dread at an early stage mornings: eat once hungry, let out your anger in a constructive way, contact someone if you’re lonely and rest when tired.

10. Act “As If.” Acting as if is a powerful tool that states you have the right to produce outer scenarios by acting as if they’re currently true. You give yourself to a certain performance as if it’s exactly how you feel. When you act as if, the mood you pretend becomes a fact. When you dread an upcoming day, your body goes via the downrevolve of your feelings, making you feel worse. You could even host your head dvery own or slump as soon as you walk. Making body adjustments—pulling your shoulders earlier, standing or sitting up directly or walking in a much more expansive way—can pull you out of dread. Even smiling as soon as you don’t feel favor it can jump-start a real smile and also lift your mood for real. Your facial expressions affect your eactivities by triggering particular neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers. When you smile, you feel good not just bereason it reflects exactly how you feel, however the facial expression contributes to exactly how you feel.

Rothbard, N.P., & Wilk, S.L. (2011). Waking up on the best or wrong side of the bed: Start-of-workday mood, job-related events, employee influence, and also performance. Academy of Management Journal, 54 (5), 959-980. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amj.2007.0056

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About the Author


Bryan Robinchild, Ph.D.

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, is a Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of even more than 37 books.