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.
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
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.
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…
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.
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.