- Sometimes people feel a bit down in winter.
- What can you switch up to make winter less gloomy?
- Consider doing something that brings you joy each morning before work.
Here in Michigan, the first few months of the year have me feeling a bit gloomy. The holidays are over. My no-buy year, while still resulting in huge growth, is not going exactly as planned. I drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark, the roads bordered in a substance that is some sort of a snow/dirt hybrid. It’s not exactly my favorite time of year.
Joy Filled Mornings: Switching Things Up
This week I tried something new. I decided to seek joy at the start of each day before leaving for work and let me tell you, it changed my spirits way more than I ever expected.
Previously, I followed The Miracle Morning and had an elaborate morning routine in which I would wake up hours before work for silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and journaling. I have to be honest, the pandemic and 18 months of working from home really changed the way I approach life and work—I simply don’t give up as much of my personal time in the morning to prepare for success in my workday.Spending a maximum of ten minutes before work gave me so much joy and energy throughout the entire day. I felt more connected to what I was doing in my work life despite putting the emphasis on myself in the mornings. Click To Tweet
The Miracle Morning is a wonderful routine and allowed me to experience immense growth, but it’s just not what I need in this season. People say there’s no such thing as work-life balance, that it’s more like riding a skateboard, always shifting your weight and emphasis. Others compare it to a pendulum. Whatever visual you’d like to use, the pandemic shifted my emphasis toward making sure my personal life was full after years of overemphasizing success at work. My mornings are now mine. They will not be spent in a hustle toward outward success.[scroll down to keep reading]
Joy Filled Mornings: Bursts of Joy
All that said, waking up just to immediately leave in the dark for work isn’t ideal either. I decided to do something that brought me joy each morning before going to school. I’m not talking about hours here, merely minutes. One day I did a 10-minute strength session on Apple Fitness, another day I read a few pages from my book (I’m spending this month only reading books by Black authors). This week I played with my cats, had random dance parties to 90s music, and chatted with friends. Spending a maximum of ten minutes before work gave me so much joy and energy throughout the entire day. I felt more connected to what I was doing in my work life despite putting the emphasis on myself in the mornings.
My students benefited from a more joyful and fully present teacher. The lessons were more engaging. I found more time to connect and collaborate with co-workers. Basically, I had the best week filled with this beautiful, internal sunshine.
Joy Filled Mornings: Give It a Go!
Give it a go! What do you do to experience joy in the mornings?
About Karen Evans
Karen is a 6th-grade special education teacher in Muskegon, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s in Measurement and Evaluation, and has studied educational leadership with an emphasis on Special Education Administration at Grand Valley State University. Her goal in the classroom is to use trauma-informed practices to make all students feel seen, heard, and loved as she equips them to see their own strengths, set and take ownership of learning goals, and achieve excellence. In her free time, Karen enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, playing board games, and spending time with family and friends. She is also very involved in the book community advocating for LGBTQIA texts to be included in classroom instruction, posting video reviews of books on her BookTube Channel, meeting authors, and serving as secretary of her local library’s board.