Happy Monday! If Mondays are not that happy for you, you are not alone. Sometimes even when we love what we do, Mondays can be challenging. Here are a few tried and true ideas for a healthier and happier Monday:
Give your future self a head start. Do you start your Mondays by trying to remember where you left off on Friday? Do you find you lose momentum and it takes a while for you to catch up with where you were on Friday? This can be especially trying after a long weekend. Give your future youa gift by prepping for your Monday on Friday. If you schedule just 5-10 minutes at the end of your workweek to jot down a summary of your progress and the steps you need to take on Monday, you can decrease many anxieties by being prepared for your upcoming week. Many time management experts suggest making a list at the end of every day to facilitate your next morning.
Me-time first. Before you go to work, schedule some nurturing time for you. Go for a run, a walk, a swim. Have an early morning dance party. Meditate, make yourself your favorite breakfast, or soak in a hot bath. Have a breakfast date with a loved one or read your favorite book. Whatever you choose, make sure it recharges or relaxes you so that you feel like you nurtured yourself first. There is nothing better than starting your workday knowing you have already taken care of your biggest priority – you!
Start out slow. If your day is anything like mine, it is filled with many back-to-back meetings and diving right into my day can be a bit jarring. I like to approach my workday the same way I approach an unheated swimming pool – take a few steps in and get a feel for the temperature before I dive head first. If you are like this too, consider blocking some time early Monday morning to read the temperature before you dive into your day. You can use this time to read emails, say hello to coworkers (in-person or virtually), or review your Monday to-do list as you sip on your caffeine beverage of choice.
Have something to look forward to. Do you have a class at the gym that is your favorite? What about a favorite spot for lunch or a favorite bagged lunch recipe? Why not schedule these treats on a Monday? Studies show we are happier when we have something to look forward to but so often we don’t give ourselves something to look forward to on Mondays. Change that. You could even schedule a coffee break or a walk in the middle of your day. Studies show that getting outside in an expansive environment stimulates creativity.
Verbalize gratitude. Did a coworker go that extra mile for you last week? Or perhaps someone brought humor to an otherwise tense situation. Let them know on Monday how you appreciate them. Expressing (and receiving) gratitude has been found to decrease stress and increase a positive outlook. Sharing gratitude is most potent if done in-person or over the phone, but it is also effective over email or text. The more specific you can be about why you are grateful the more potent it is.
Above is your starter kit for how to counter the Monday blues. I suggest trying one each week and keep the ones that feel the best for you. Let me know how these tips work for you and more tips are to come!
Here’s to happier Mondays!