Depending if you see life through a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty lens, reaching the middle of the week can either feel like summiting a mountain or like you are at yet another stop on the train to nowhere. For those of us who feel less like we have reached the peak of Mt. Olympus and more like Sisyphus when we arrive at the middle of the week, there are some strategies for beating the hump day blues. Here is a little inspiration for combating your Wednesday dread.
1. Change your look for the day.
Start the day off with a twist before you even head out the door for work. Dress a little bolder, try a funky hairstyle, or mix up your makeup routine. (Of course, don’t overdo it and end up looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.)
If the dress code at your office doesn’t leave you any wiggle room or if you wear a uniform, wear a crazy pair of socks or underwear. Even though no one else will know, you’ll have a fun secret for the day.
2. Shake up your morning routine.
Having a good morning kicks off your day on the right foot. Try a new coffee shop or treat yourself to your favorite drink at your regular haunt. This might mean waking up earlier, but that extra willpower will go a long way.
3. Do something meaningful before work.
Again, a good morning can mean a good day. And accomplishing something early will mean you've already had success even before heading into the office. Get political first thing in the morning. Write a letter about an issue you care about to your senator, representative, or a local official.
If you have a fairly informal office environment and a good rapport with your coworkers, try getting a group together for an officewide midday break.
4. Do a 10-minute exercise.
My coworkers and I started taking 10-minute motivational exercise breaks together mid-morning, and it made a huge difference in my energy level. We picked one exercise at a time and slowly built up how many we did each time. There are tons of charts online for 10-minute exercise challenges. The trickier part is finding exercises that can be done in work clothes (lunges, okay, leg lifts, not so much). Remember, it’s not so much about the workout itself, so everyone can exercise at her own pace. Plus, exercise has the added benefit of helping with stress.
5. Take a dance break.
Take turns picking a fun, motivational song with your coworkers and take a dance break. It might seem silly, but music will definitely boost your mood.
6. Start an article club.
Similar to a book club, an article club has the benefit of requiring no advanced planning (besides picking the article). Get a group together, and rotate choosing an article each week. It can be work-related, about a common interest everyone has, or even a short story. Allow 15 minutes at the beginning for everyone to read, and then spend the rest of the time discussing.
If your office is a little more buttoned-up, use your lunch break to break up the monotony of the work week.
7. Learn a new language.
Use your lunch break to learn a new language or brush up on a language you have already studied. Commit to learning several new phrases each week. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a useful professional skill. Plus, it will give you some new life goals and help you have success in an area aside from your professional goals.
8. Play an instrument.
If you have somewhere private you can practice, or you are within walking distance of a park or plaza, use your lunch break to learn how to play instrument. Pick up something small like the ukulele or harmonica. Don’t worry if you’re not any good; just the act of learning will help improve your brain health and memory. And while learning an instrument is hard work, it will give you a break from the office and give you a chance to try something new.
If none of these sound right for you, think about what motivates you and come up with your own hump day inspiration! Perhaps hump day jokes or positive motivational quotes and sayings will make you smile and improve your attitude. Maybe a funny Wednesday meme or motivational songs will get you in a better mood. You might even keep motivational posters in your office or cubicle to give you the energy you need to make it until Friday. Try different strategies to help you get through the day. Friday will be here before you know it. Happy Wednesday!
Ana Cottle studied Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley. She has lived and worked in Uruguay and Argentina and speaks both Spanish and Yiddish. She is passionate about issues facing women and has worked for several nonprofits along with writing for books, newspapers, and online journals. Currently, she serves as an Editor for Policy Shift. Read more from Ana at medium.com/@AnaCottle/.