We've all been there. We wake up in the morning and it takes a few minutes for everything to sink in. Is it Saturday or do I really need to get up? Is it time yet or can I still hit the snooze button for a couple more minutes? As the minutes pass we inevitably start thinking about the day ahead. Those endless lists, those meetings we have to go to, if we need to buy something at the store, who needs to be picked up when, when am I going to squeeze in a workout, projects, deadlines, and just the small things from our routine that need to get done start taking us down a spiral straight into overwhelm city.
It is one thing if we actually enjoy our work, our boss, the projects we're working on, if we love doing laundry and cleaning the house, but what if you're faced with a day, filled with things that are simply raising your stress levels, activities that you know you have to do but that you really don't enjoy. What if you hate your job, feel anxious by the time night arrives just by the prospect of needing to get everything going again the next day? Some of you might be thinking of the prospect of making changes in your life, work or schedule but can't seem to be able to do it at this moment for a number of reasons. We've been so guided by society to think that we just have to take it like a champ, not complain and keep hustling, even if our dreams and desires are slowly wilting down. Suddenly the prospect of having a life you love and you can't wait to get up in the morning for starts withering away. Like a kid who knows he'll be able to play once his homework is done but the homework just keeps coming.
The subject of why we've been taught to suffer, withstand and just take it, is something worthy of another post, but today, I want to share with you a little term I like to call "fun med". An idea that suddenly came to me on one of my daily walks while I was listening to a podcast that was talking about how adults seem to have forgotten what it means to have fun and be a kid. This daily practice of mine which I'm sharing with all of you today is something I do, come rain or shine, every single morning while I walk with my dogs, and it's the first time I'm talking about this with anyone! Not even my husband knows about this so you're getting full access into my head here.
If you read last week's post on breaking through a rut, this will be the perfect follow up. We all know about the magical wonders of meditation. Clearing your mind and trying to simply focus on your breath to achieve a sense of calm and mental stillness. In a way, fun med is completely the opposite, but strangely, for me, it brings the exact same results. That floating sensation you get at the end, optimistic and hopeful and like everything is standing still waiting for you to jump back into the world. The term "fun med" can be described as "fun meditation", but recently I've been calling it my "fun medicine" because it's just so darn powerful!
Here's how it works...
Every morning, and yes, it has to be really early in the morning before your day starts, you're going to take a few minutes to make a mental list of every activity you have on that day. Mentally walk through your day chronologically and see every single task and activity you need to do. From having lunch to taking a shower to that meeting at work and even the laundry that needs to get done. I have the perfect moment for this while I walk my dogs in the morning since I haven't really started my day yet but it's a moment in which I can't multitask and do anything else but just be there with them. For you it might be just laying in bed for a few more minutes, or sipping your coffee in the kitchen while you look at the sun coming up.
This is where the fun part kicks in...
You are going to find, one thing for each activity that can make even the most boring, mundane or stressful task fun and enjoyable. And yes, you are going to find something for each task. That's the fun part of fun med! If you can't find one that is naturally included in the activity you're going to purposely add it like the perfect cherry on a sundae. For example having to see a friend has its fun med all included, but going to the dentist is whole different matter right?
Let me paint a picture for you. I'm going to list a few tasks and the fun med that goes with it, and don't worry if you still need a little more support and guidance after reading this, I've created a complete road map to fun med, a guided questionnaire to personalize it, and even more examples that you can get by clicking the pink button at the end of this post. Ok let's get to it, here we go...
Go from... To
I have to take a shower...
I'm going to sing the theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" at the top of my lungs in the shower (yes, I just went there... boom!)
I have to eat breakfast...
I'm going to add a little cacao in my oatmeal this morning (hello! Chocolate!).
I have to get ready for work
I'm going to wear hot neon pink or Christmas underwear and I'm going to know all day that that's what I'm wearing under my suit.
I have to drive to work.
I'm going to listen to my favorite podcast while I drive.
I have to take the kids to school.
We're going to go round and round saying something that we think is going to be fun that day (yup! start teaching those kids fun med early!).
I have to go into a meeting I'm not prepared for.
I'm going to treat myself to a mani-pedi afterwards no matter how the meeting went.
I'm going to have lunch with my colleagues.
I'm going to find a new, fun restaurant we can all enjoy today. Ethiopian? Breakfast for lunch diner style?
I have to finish a project and there's a firm deadline.
I'm going to turn it into a productivity game and see if I can get to the next milestone in under an hour and then I can take a break and read my favorite blog.
I have to do the groceries.
I'm going to buy one tiny thing for each person in the house that I know will make them smile (including myself!).
I have to do laundry.
I'm going to watch my favorite TV show while I fold.
I have to make dinner.
I'm going to top whatever I make with avocado (am I the only one? Anyone?... Anyone?).
I have to help my kids with their homework.
I'm going to take a moment with them and ask them about their day, and just sit there and look at them without a timeline.
I have to study.
I'll go for it for 45 minutes straight and then I can watch cats freaked out by cucumbers on youtube (I know right?!).
I need to work out.
I will go strong, and then I will do a really relaxing yoga video as a treat.
I need to do a little more work at the computer and finish that report or grade those papers.
After I'm done I'm going to spend 15 minutes starting to plan my next vacation.
I need to face the fact that tomorrow it starts all over again.
Tomorrow morning will start with my fun med.
Now I want to ask you what happened when you read about The Fresh Prince, the chocolate laced oatmeal, the time by yourself in the car with your podcast, buying those treats at the supermarket, the relaxing mani-pedi, the cats and cucumbers and wait for it... the avocado!? Did you smile? Were you slightly giddy? A little bit relieved that you actually have the right to choose how your day is going to go?
Congratulations you have just entered fun med land and even if you think it's silly, you'll soon start receiving magical things in your life. Why? Because you have just completely changed your outlook, feelings, thoughts and general view of what your day will be like. Even if you don't end up doing all of the new things on your list, half of the work is already done. You have already realized that our entire lives are simply a matter of perspective, and that unless we are going through a situation that is serious and threatening our safety, even the toughest challenges have a pretty wide silver lining if you start exercising your fun med muscle.
As I write all of this I'm suddenly remembering something from my childhood, and the fact that perhaps I learned this really early on and not only because of that podcast episode. If you've read my personal story, you probably know that my mother and I had a pretty tough life dealing with an extremely serious illness she had almost all her life. When we had to go over and over again for years to the hospital, she would always remind me on the way there, that that was the hospital that sold the peanut caramel squares in the cafeteria. We would suddenly start thinking about how many we would buy, what the taste would be like, if we could have them for breakfast. After a while those car rides didn't seem so scary anymore, and a horrible trip to the ER or the doctor would always end with a caramel square.
I made something for ya!
I believe in fun med so much that I want to take you even further and help you feel the transformative power that comes from a profound shift in mindset. So I created a special extra bonus for you which includes a road map to fun med, my guided questionnaire for you to find your fun med made to order, and lots more examples you can start using right now. Download your free PDF Road map to fun med below!