What Gets You Going?
September 14, 2018 | Filed in: Your Brain
Does that “new (school) year, new me” feeling that accompanies the start of fall make you giddy to this day? Us, too. In the spirit of the good-nervous energy that comes with this season, we asked a few of our team members what gets them going: turns out, it’s everything from a pump-up song, to a morning workout, to the promise of an end-of-day treat.
A Nightly Dose of Berries
“I have a semi-serious addiction to berries—so much so that I joke they need their own category in my monthly budget. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries: I love them all! When I get home each night, I buy a carton from the fruit stand outside my apartment and eat a handful right there in the street. Nick, the man responsible for my addiction, laughed out loud the first time I bought blueberries and stood there shoveling them into my mouth (it was a long day). Now, he sets aside a selection of fruit for me to choose from and sometimes slips me an extra apple if I look particularly frazzled. It’s the first moment in the day when I can feel my work-brain properly turn off. I also live in a fifth-floor walk-up, so I like to think the berries give me the kick of energy I need to make it up all those stairs.”
—Kartinah, Senior Customer Logistics Associate
A Sunrise Jog
“I don’t self-identify as a ‘runner’ (I’ve always thought of runners as super-fit, Spandex-clad humans who are constantly entering races), but I do love running in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in the morning. There’s one particular part of the park where you go around a bend and the road opens up to a lake, which always looks so gorgeous with the sun coming up. Just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other is the best way for me to detach from everyday chaos. The modern world is such an attention-splicing place, and running creates a totally different mental experience where it’s possible to only focus on one thing.”
—Eryn, Marketing Coordinator
“When I get ready in the morning, I play my favorite ‘80s tracks and get very into the music—my toothbrush has been known to double as a microphone. I’ve been listening to ‘80s music since I was about ten years old. The first album I bought on my own was ‘That’s What I Call ‘80s!’ and I’ve been hooked ever since. I used to make up dances to ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and would line up my teddy bears and quietly sing ballads to them after my parents thought I had gone to bed. Now when I listen to these songs, they remind me of my fearless ten-year-old self who faced the world without any doubts—just the confidence I need when going into a long work day.”
A Firm ‘No Work Before Getting to Work’ Policy
“My pre-work routine involves consuming various non-work-related media. It starts with listening to the daily news briefing on my Alexa. Then, I eat breakfast while reading a book (right now I’m reading How to American by Jimmy O. Yang). During my commute, I listen to podcasts (current rotation includes ‘The Sporkful,’ ‘Happier’ with Gretchen Rubin, ‘How I Built This,’ and ‘The Dave Chang Show’). These rituals help wake up my brain and give me perspective on the outside world before I start my day and sink deep into all things MM. It also helps to create a work-life boundary such that once I step into the office, I’m on and ready to be productive.”
—Karen, Senior Customer Experience Associate
And When You’ve Been Going (and Going) and Need to Wind Down: A Literary Reset
My favorite post-work habit: unwinding at home with a good book and a cup of tea. When I become obsessed with something, whether it’s a place, topic, or person, I need to read everything about it. I went through a phase where I wanted to move to Paris (to be honest, I still do), and I read every book I could get my hands on about it. Recently, I’ve become fascinated with New York City history, so I read The Island at the Center of the World and am working my way through Alexander Hamilton’s biography. I love biographies—reading them with a cup of jasmine tea is a mini-escape at the end of each day, and helps me re-set for the rest of the week ahead.
—Christiana, Human Resources Associate
Photographs by Christine Han.