How to beat the Monday (or any day) Blues
The blues suck, am I right? A lot of people suffer from the Monday Blues, when the weekend is over, the work week has just begun, and Friday night seems like an eternity away. Sometimes the Monday Blues actually start on Sunday, which can really rob you of the remainder of your weekend. I mean, the weekend is almost over, do you really want to waste what’s left fretting about Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and…)?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
It’s easier said than done though. Telling someone, “stop wasting your weekend by worrying about tomorrow!” is about as useful as telling someone to stop being sick.
Luckily though, there ARE some things that you can do to alleviate the dread you might be feeling.
Do a little prep work.
I know, I know, I hear you. It’s your weekend, dammit. You want to relax for every single second of it. You work hard all week and you deserve a damn break. You’re right. You do deserve a break.
However, if you spend just SOME of your weekend – Sunday in particular – prepping for the week ahead, you will slide into Monday feeling ready to face the day instead of rushing around like a maniac.
Everyone’s prep will look different. Some people really enjoy spending a few hours on a Sunday morning cooking up food to make lunches for the entire week. I don’t do that, because my lunches are basically just leftovers of whatever we had for supper. However, I do make lunches for the kids – that’s actually something I do every weeknight. I can’t imagine anything enjoyable about rushing around to make it every school morning. Whether it’s pizza, wraps, sandwiches, or something else, I make their lunch after supper so I don’t have to think about it the next day. I also pack up my own lunch from our supper and put it all in the fridge, ready to grab and go.
Other things I do as pre-work-day prep? I figure out what I want to wear and lay it out so I can get dressed with little to no thought in the morning (I don’t drink my coffee until I get to work, so I am not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer at 7 am). I also do laundry for the week on Sundays so we’re all covered for the days to come.
Prepping is not exciting (unless you’re prepping for the apocalypse) but it keeps me sane. Sane-ish.
Do something fun.
Fun can be relative. You don’t have to book the entire day full of activities and you don’t even necessarily have to leave the house. Just think of something (or a few things) that you enjoy that you can make time for on Sunday. It helps to end the week on a high note. It can also be a great reward system to tie into the first tip – do the laundry, then watch a movie on Netflix. Pack up everyone’s lunch, then read a chapter in your book.
Whatever it is, whether it’s passive (reading, movies), social (visiting a friend, playing family board games), or active (going to the farmer’s market, squeezing in a run), it will fill your day with some brightness, leaving less space for that dread you usually feel. Just make sure it’s something that you truly enjoy. We have enough obligations in life without forcing “fun” on ourselves.
Take a moment for gratitude.
Don’t roll your eyes. I can see you. Stop it.
Seriously though, gratitude is almost a buzzword these days. Everyone wants everyone else to feel grateful for this and grateful for that. There’s a reason it’s become a hot topic though. A few moments to express gratitude pushes anxiety out of the way. It’s hard to feel down and out when you remember the good stuff.
It doesn’t have to be complicated so don’t overthink it. You can keep a basic journal and write down a few things you’re grateful for right now. Or try the gratitude jar – write down one amazing thing that happened on the weekend on a slip of paper, put it in a mason jar, and save it to look over at the end of the year. If you want to, you can even throw out a few gratitudes on Twitter or Facebook, or take turns listing the best parts of the weekend at the dinner table.
When you’re mindfully grateful, you will notice a difference in your mood.
Find something to look forward to.
Much like gratitude, it can help to ease the stress and strain of the coming week if you can find a few things to look forward to. Mondays are the busiest day of the week in my job and just thinking about that can make me tired before I even get into bed on Sunday night.
Instead, I look forward to things that I may not experience on the weekends. When I’m at home I make my own coffee and it’s okay, but it’s got nothing on my beloved Dark Roast coffee (one milk, one sugar please) from Tim Hortons. I rarely buy coffee on the weekends, so one of the best things about Monday is getting off the bus downtown and lining up to get caffeinated.
What can you look forward to? It can be anything, big or small. If you can’t think of anything, then create something! Treat yourself to something special on Monday; maybe it’s a bagel at the deli instead of cereal in your kitchen. Pick up a magazine at the drugstore to flip through on your lunch break. Schedule a coffee date with your BFF.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s something that makes you smile and helps to boost you out of bed in the a.m.