5 Fun Ways to Wake Up Feeling Excited (and escape that “Groundhog Day” feeling)

We’ve all been lamenting that every day this year feels like the movie Groundhog Day. We’re stuck in one place and every day feels exactly the same.

Well, today actually IS Groundhog Day! In celebration, I want to help you break up the monotony of pandemic life, just like Bill Murray eventually did.

In the movie, every day Bill Murray wakes up and realizes with horror it’s still Groundhog Day. It’s the same day. He goes through stages of shock, grief, reckless abandon, trying really hard, depression – and eventually – acceptance where he chooses to wake up and enjoy life just as it is.

How we wake up really sets the tone for our days.

What’s it like when you first wake up every day? How do you feel? What’s your first thought?

Lately, I feel kind of bored and uninspired and “going through the motions.” I go straight into problem-solving mode. I haven’t had much exciting to look forward to.

My own teaching from Powered by Play struck me this week: fun is always feasible, anytime. I don’t have to wait until the end of my workday. I could totally choose to have fun as soon as I wake up. Why not? I tried it and loved it so much that I’m sharing it with you.

I hope you kick off your day this week with one of these fun-starters and ditch the Groundhog Day tedium.

“Ok campers, RISE AND SHINE!”


1) Jump up and down on your bed. Bouncing fun! You get to defy gravity for a split-second! Works well on your knees, too. Just 15 seconds yielded a surge of energy and excitement for me. My day already felt wildly different – YES! Alternative: pillow fight.

2) Dive right into unproductive enjoyment. Do something you love as soon as you get out of bed. I’m not kidding – straight from bed to fun! Boardgame. Knit. Crossword puzzle. Tinker. Watch 5 minutes of a laugh-out-loud TV or movie scene. Read a book for pleasure. Or throw cards in a hat, like Phil and Rita do in Groundhog Day. I did this, and not only did it delight me, I also immediately felt lighter and less serious. My usual post-sleep worried thoughts dissipated effortlessly.

3) Jam out to a morning song or dance. What song makes you feel fired up for the day? Or adventurous, like anything could happen? Listen to it first thing, sing it out loud, or dance to it! Singing and moving get you out of your head and into your heart and body. I like “Just Say Yes” by Snow Patrol and “Brand New” by Ben Rector.

4) Imagine the out-of-the-ordinary. Think of three exciting, out-of-the-ordinary, but totally feasible things you could do today. (e.g., for me, I’d hop in the car and drive to Joshua Tree or beach hike the entire Laguna coastline.) It’s wildly refreshing just to imagine something different from your usual routine. It’s also a nice reminder that you actually could choose to pull a Ferris Bueller day off to shake things up.

5) Make a “to-experience” list for today. We’re all so good at jotting down productive to-dos and getting after them first thing, but what are 1 or 2 things – even tiny – that you want to enjoy today?

Could you call a friend out of the blue and offer or ask for encouragement? Watch the sun set or the snow fall? Snuggle your pup or cat? Relax with a hot bath or cup of tea? Savor your favorite chocolate? Write them down when you wake up, before you get swept into busyness, and check these off today along with your tasks. Your soul will thank you for it.

Bonus: try an alarm clock that makes waking up funThis one on wheels runs away and makes you chase after it. This one has a laser target you hit to turn it off. Or this old-school analog flip clock, which resembles the one in the movie.

Whether you try one of these fun wake ups or make up one of your own, please “pay yourself first” this week and see how it lifts up your whole day!

I hope you feel a boost of excitement and energy and know that you can experience something enjoyable and satisfying, right where you are.



P.S. For Groundhog Day movie lovers, you may be curious to find out just how many years Phil Connors was really stuck in Punxsutawney. You may also enjoy lessons from Groundhog Day for the pandemic.

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