13 Things To Do At A First Job To Jump Start Your Day, From People Who've Figured It Out
Post-grad life can be a little terrifying to navigate, but when you score your very first "real person" job after college, it's the best feeling ever. All of those late-night studying sessions and double espressos to the face finally paid off. However, it also means you have to be a functioning human being between the hours of about 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. — every single day. It's an adjustment, for sure, but finding things to jump-start your day at your first job isn't impossible, and it's totally worth putting the effort in. After all, there's nothing like a solid morning routine to perk you up before starting your day.
Getting motivated for the day ahead is key to feeling your best when you step into the office, and even for avoiding burnout down the road — and that holds true, regardless of whether you're about to start your first real job after graduating from college, or really, at any stage in your career. Starting your day with positive energy will help you tackle any tasks or challenges you're faced with at work, even if everything feels totally new and scary to you.
If you're not sure how to jump-start your day in a way that works for you, read on for a few tips from people who've figured out what makes them actually want to greet the day when that annoying alarm goes off each morning.
1. Go For A Jog To Get Those Endorphins Flowing
I’ve been loving a three mile run before I shower, have breakfast, get dressed, and head out for the day. I intern from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s something I can personally “check off” my list and feel accomplished about.
— Lacy, 21
2. Avoid The Snooze Button Like The Plague
I don’t snooze, I jump right out of bed. I stretch, and go straight to the gym. My clothing is always set out the night before.
— Michi, 24
3. Watch A Few Minutes Of Your Favorite Show
Before work, to jump-start my day, I watch The Office — not kidding. Then on the train, I read The Wall Street Journal while listening to music. Depending on the day, I also write down my favorite lyrics from music I'm listening to, or write about how I'm feeling in a note on my phone.
— Ilana, 22
4. Start Your Day With Some Self-Care
I jump-start my day with green tea and lymphatic dry-brushing. I'm NOT a morning person so this helps to wake me up.
— Sara, 40
5. Wake Up Just A Little Earlier So You Have The Time You Need
I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than I need to be up to have some alone time (this is nice because if you wake up early enough, it feels like the whole world is to yourself). I make my coffee and mix it with certain herbs that increase the longevity of the caffeine, and if I don’t have class, I’ll head to hot yoga. Coffee or tea, plus water, plus some morning alone time is the ultimate jump-start. After my coffee, I’ll make a list of everything that needs to get done for the day and also reply to emails.
— Jordan, 20
6. Steer Clear Of Screens For As Long As You Can
I drink lots of water first thing to give me energy, and then make myself a big old smoothie to fuel me for the morning ahead. I also try to not look at screens for the first 20 minutes of waking up!
— Meg, 22
7. Breathe In Some Essential Oils
I use a Pranamat (acupressure mat) on those reaaaallllyy tough days. I'm big on vitamins and diffusers, so before I get on the mat, I take a B complex, flip on the diffuser with something citrus-y (so happy!), and take the first 20 minutes of the day to myself breathing and waking the nervous system slowly. I'm still drinking coffee, and find myself looking forward to it as a treat, so I'll get that brewing at this time also.
— Deanna, 26
8. Hydrate With Warm Lemon Water
I drink a warm glass of water with lemon juice and then hit the gym. After, I eat breakfast and get my day started.
— Gabriella, 23
9. Kiss Your Furry Friend
To jump-start my morning, I drink either a cup of coffee or a glass of water, kiss my kitty, and slowwwwly roll out of bed.
— Kirsty, 21
10. Jam Out To Some Tunes
Every morning, I drink a big glass of water and take a shot of: apple cider vinegar + turmeric + lemon juice + cinnamon, and chase it with a spoon full of local honey. That wakes you right up, and the local honey works to combat environmental allergies in your area. After that, I have avo toast, and I always jam out to my favorite songs while getting ready. Seriously, it's the best morning routine, it boosts you right up.
— Danielle, 24
11. Bask In The Sunlight With A Cup Of Coffee
Brew a coffee or tea and sun-gaze for 10 minutes.
— Christina, 25
12. Pack A Yummy, Nutritious Breakfast To Take On-The-Go
I start my day with some music to get my blood pumping. Right now, I’ve been listening to "Kiss This" or "Could Have Been Me" by The Struts, or "Broken" by lovelytheband. Alternative music helps me start my day! I usually have coffee on the way to work, and pack a breakfast that I can have at my desk (yogurt and fruit, overnight oats, or an egg burrito). Sometimes I’ll make a large batch of breakfast hash (potatoes, onions, peppers, and eggs) and portion it out into five containers so I can just grab and go.
— Adrienne, 25
13. Pound The Pavement Bright And Early With Friends
I like to start off my day with a run. I have a group of friends who run at 5:30 a.m. because before work is the only time we can get our workout in. I get a chance to socialize and catch up with friends while running. We always finish off with a post-run coffee and doughnut.
— Valerie, 27
These responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.