How to Improve Your Monday Mood

Nobody looks forward to Monday, it’s a universal truth. I doubt anyone has ever woken up and actually looked forward to their first day back at work after a lovely weekend. It’s totally normal to feel this way, but does this actually have to be the case? Do we have to wake up and live with that ever-present Monday mood? I certainly don’t think so, and I think it’s about time we dealt with the Monday blues once and for all! Here are a few things I think can help when it comes to facing the start of the work week. 

Go To Bed Early

I’ll confess that I’m the worst when it comes to this – I spend last Sunday night binge watching All or Nothing and drinking pink gin when I should have been getting an early night. Suffice to say, this did nothing to improve my mood when I woke up the next morning. Had I been sensible, and gone to bed early, I could have guaranteed my Monday would have gone a lot smoother. I know the temptation to stretch Sunday out for as long as possible is strong, but you’ll only end up suffering in the long run. 

Wake Up Early

This seems counterintuitive considering the last bit of advice, but ‘early to bed, early to rise’ genuinely works. Giving yourself those few extra minutes in the morning can help alleviate some of that Monday morning stress. Give yourself a little time to prepare for the day ahead instead of rushing around – you’ll thank yourself later.

Prepare yourself

Taking a little time out on Sunday evening just to prepare for Monday can ease quite a bit of Monday morning anxiety. Lay out the clothes you’re going to wear the next day to save yourself some time getting ready. Having an outfit prepared and ready to wear doesn’t just save you precious minutes in the morning, it encourages you to pick out an outfit that’ll make you feel good all day long. If you’re used to fumbling around last-minute for a dirty pair of jeans, you’ll get a mood boost from a freshly washed, well put together outfit.

Play Some Relaxing Music

This morning I woke up and, on a whim, put on the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack, on my record player. It’s not my go to music, but for 8am on a Monday morning, it certainly chilled me out. I was sat on the train listening to some slow folksy music on Spotify only an hour later. I wasn’t blasting dance tracks, just something light and relaxing to get me in the mood for the day. Setting the tone with some nice, gentle music certainly helped me cope with my usual Monday mood. 

Take a Book With You

Books - Monday Mood

If you’re commuting, take some reading material. Stick your phone on airplane mode and get stuck into a book. Taking the time to indulge in a bit of literature can help you forget all about your Monday mood. It can also help you pass the time and distract you from the stresses of public transport. Reading offers you a little light escapism, broadens your mind and is definitely less toxic than trawling through social media.

Exercise

woman practicing yoga at home

This one is the hardest one to implement for some, but even a little bit goes a long way. Even something as simple as walking to work is a great start. If you live within walking distance to your workplace, pop in your headphones and take a nice scenic walk. Fitting in an early morning gym session might not be feasible, but some light yoga at home before you shower doesn’t need to eat up too much time. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll get in shape too – looking after physical health is a guaranteed way to beat that Monday mood.

Take a Breather

I feel like this bit of advice is the most overlooked, especially on a Monday. Everyone is trying so hard to get back into the weekday routine that no one stops just to give themselves a break. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but even just sneaking a few minutes for a quick water will do you a world of good. This actually leads on to my next point…

Stay Hydrated

This is one of the easiest things to overlook in maintaining a positive outlook – especially on a Monday when you’re rushed off your feet. Staying adequately hydrated is incredibly important and will absolutely help you beat those Monday blues. Coffee and tea are no substitute for a good glass of water. Energy drinks are a big no-no; you’ll enjoy the immediate boost they give, but the crash isn’t worth it. A great way to motivate yourself to drink water in the morning is to infuse some water with fruit before bed. There are hundreds of fruit infusion combinations that will make staying hydrated far more exciting. Knowing you have a healthy, refreshing drink ready each morning will make you far more likely to keep on top of your daily dose of H2O.

Eat Healthy

Healthy Food - Monday Mood

It’s easy to slip into bad habits when things are stressful. After all, if you’ve had a bad day, why wouldn’t you treat yourself to a McDonalds on the way home. If you’ve followed my advice about exercise & hydration, you may as well eat healthy too. As the saying goes, a healthy body is a healthy mind. If you look after your body with good food and proper nutrition, you may see a change in your outlook. 

Keep an Eye on your Mental Health

If your Monday mood stretches out into the rest of the week, this may be a sign of bigger problems. Perhaps you’re being overworked, or are suffering from stress, or even depression. Monday blues are always going to be a part of the standard work week – but if you think you’re exhibiting symptoms of something worse, don’t hesitate to reach out

Mondays are probably never going to be the most loved day of the week, but with just a few simple steps, you can hate them a little less. A little time and thought can ease the burden of the first day back at work. Taking the time to make small adjustments to make the day more bearable can even lead to you making long term improvements. Who knows, maybe one day, your Monday mood might even be a good mood.

9 Ideas to Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day Dinner

Are you bored with the annual fuss of Valentine’s Day? Looking to spice up that yearly Valentine’s Day dinner? Perhaps you’re new to dating and are looking for tips on how to make your evening special. Well, here are 9 ways you can make your evening a little more interesting. 

Give It A Theme 

It’s easy enough to have a standard Valentine’s Day dinner – a candlelit table for two will do in a pinch, but it’s also a tad boring. Try spicing up your romantic dinner by introducing a theme. It doesn’t have to be too dramatic, just something to add flair to your evening. Do you and your partner have something you both enjoy? Try planning your dinners theme around that. Perhaps you both love the same movie – you could have that serve as the inspiration for your evening. 

Make It A Group Event

As they say, the more the merrier. Do you know other couples who’ll be having their own Valentine’s Day dinners? You should consider inviting them along. If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, this is an easy way to spice up what might now be a routine dinner. If this is a first date, inviting mutual friends can help alleviate any awkward silences. No one wants to be lost for words during the early stages of a relationship – having friends around can really be a helpful ice breaker during those awkward moments.

Play Party Games

If you are having a group dinner, what better way to spice up your evening than by playing games? Obviously, I’m not suggesting you play monopoly, but playing some form of group game can really shake up your evening. For the more reserved amongst you, something simple like (game) might do. For the more adventurous types, how about something spicier, like a saucy dice game? If you’re in a new relationship, a simple drinking game is a fun way to get to know one another. I’d recommend saving the drinking games for after dinner however. 

Try Going Somewhere New

Valentine's Day dinner
Restaurant

If you’re in a long-term relationship, consider using this Valentine’s Day dinner as an excuse to switch things up. Instead of going to your usual date night location, try going somewhere new and exciting. Has a new restaurant opened in your area? Take you and your significant other there. Just because it’s Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in the same routines. Even something as simple as going to a whole new restaurant is a fantastic way to refresh your relationship a little.

Make it Personal

If you’ve been together for a long time, it’s very easy to fall into a Valentine’s Day routine. Doing the same thing year after year is boring, so try making this year’s Valentine’s Day dinner a little unique. Maybe you could make your evening a little more DIY? Cook a three-course meal based around your partner’s favourite foods. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture either. If you and your significant other aren’t into the traditional Valentine’s Day dinners, do something that feels more you. Into staying indoors? Stick on a movie and order a takeaway. Are you the outdoorsy type? Instead of dinner, how about a nice Valentine’s Day Picnic. 

Make Dinner Together

Preparing a personalised dinner for your significant other is pretty romantic, but what about doing it together? If you’re in the early stages of a relationship, this is a great way to bond. After all, teamwork makes the dream work. You can get to know each other’s culinary habits while making the perfect dinner for the two of you. For those who are in more long-term situations, this is a great way to rekindle the flame between you. There’s nothing quite like cooking together to make you feel sparks again. 

Make a Healthy Change

Valentine's Day dinner
Healthy Food

Valentine’s Day is a very indulgent holiday – all the adverts are trying to sell you romantic chocolates. It’s definitely not the healthiest day of the year, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Take this opportunity to make a healthy change with you and your partner. Chances are you’ve already tried getting healthy for the new year, so why not carry on now. Swap out the fancy feast for something healthy – perhaps a low fat chicken salad for dinner and a fruit platter for dessert. 

Make a Day of It

It’s Valentine’s Day, not Halloween – you don’t have to restrict yourself to just going out in the evening. Have you and your partner book the day off work and make a day of it. Have breakfast in bed, go for a romantic walk and enjoy your time together. Do something before your evening meal like go to a museum or see a movie. The meal is only one small part of the day. Something as simple as enjoying your day with your partner is a great way to spice up your Valentine’s Day dinner. You’ll appreciate the meal so much more if you’ve had a loving day together.

Indulge

Valentine's Day Dinner
Chocolate Cake

As a counterpoint to my earlier suggestion of doing something healthy, why not go all out? After all, it’s the one day of the year you’re really supposed to go all out in showing your love. Why shouldn’t this extend to your Valentine’s Day dinner? You and your partner can enjoy a giant, guilt-free, chocolate cake or an indulgent banquet of your choice. Seeing as most meals of the year are just a routine affair, why not make a big deal out of this one? It’s only one day of the year so there’s no harm in giving in to a bit of temptation, is there?