It’s no secret. We despise Mondays. Every weekend when Sunday afternoon rolls around, we think about the week ahead and the feelings of dread being to surface. We start counting down to the end of our free time and to the beginning of a new week laden with obligations and responsibilities.
Research shows that we tend to like Fridays more than Sundays. Friday is a workday and Sunday is a free day, so how is this logical? The answer is in the anticipation of what is to come. We spend Friday working but feel excited that the weekend is just hours away. We spend Sunday doing whatever we like, but we feel deflated in realizing that the start of a new workweek is only hours away.
I grew tired of feeling the dread of Mondays week after week and aimed to make a change. I wanted to feel good about them instead. I tried various remedies for my dilemma and based on what has worked for me, here are some ideas for starting your week on a positive note:
Take back your Sunday. Instead of living in the present, you are fretting about the future and the fact that another Monday morning is just around the corner. You might as well take action and prepare for it. Plan your work attire. Set the timer on the coffee maker. Prep your lunch. Gather up all the items you need to take with you to work. By making preparations on Sunday, you can address what is bothering you and make your Monday morning easier and less stressful.
Then, clear your mind of all things related to tomorrow. Focus on the present and do something you enjoy. Go out to dinner. Watch a movie. Lose yourself in a good book. Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening is still the weekend and you have lots of time to indulge in activities you enjoy and to relax. Take advantage of every free moment you have.
Make Monday a fun day. Plan activities that you enjoy. This is the strategy that has by far worked best for me. Make Monday your Starbucks splurge day and treat yourself to your favorite coffee drink. If social time boosts your mood, schedule lunch with a friend. Don’t wait until Thursday or Friday to go out for happy hour; “Monday margaritas” has a good ring to it. If you prefer some quiet time, spend your lunch break reading. I love Book Riot podcasts and make sure I always have one to listen to on Monday. I also love music and often download new stuff on weekends. I then create new playlists and listen to them on Mondays. Make Monday the day you indulge in the things you love.
Wake up Sunshine. The Monday morning alarm is the worst. I want nothing more than to sink deeper under the covers and drift back off to sleep. Research says not to hit the Snooze button. Because it throws off your sleep rhythm and can make you feel even more tired. I have not been successful with this and hit the snooze button a lot. I do, however, set my alarm to a song rather than an annoying buzzer. My Monday alarm song is always set to my current favorite and thus causes me to hit snooze fewer times.
Get Moving. I workout every morning, but Monday morning workouts are especially important as they set the standard for the rest of the week. I get a major boost of endorphins from morning workouts. This is a hard habit to create, but you can feel immediate benefits from just a 15-minute yoga session. It gets your blood flowing and makes you feel stronger and more refreshed. I use the Yoga Studio app, but there are many options available.
Remember it’s a fresh start. It is the beginning of a new week, and so many great things can happen! Remind yourself of this. Actively practice changing your thoughts and feelings about Monday. Find or create a motivating mantra you can repeat to yourself as you go through the motions of your morning routine. Also, wear something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident. It will boost your mood and increase your morning motivation as well.
Go easy on yourself. The start of a new workweek is tiring for everyone. Give yourself time to ease back into things. If you can, avoid scheduling meetings on Monday mornings, or at least avoid having them first thing. You need time to settle in, fire up your email, and review your schedule and task list for the week. If you find yourself lacking in energy or motivation, tackle the easier or more interesting tasks first.
Life is too short to feel so much negativity every week over the same thing. We cannot escape from Monday, but we can change our attitude about it. The key: Make your Monday a day to which you look forward in happy anticipation.