A Case for Mondays

Mondays seem to get a bad rap. After weekend lie-ins and quality time with loved ones, it’s easy to see why we’re not exactly eager to rise and shine before the sun’s even up, by the time this dreaded first day of the week rolls around. And roll around it does, often all too quickly.

But I’m here to tell you, Monday-dreaders, how to leave your blues behind and start your week on the right foot.

Wake up 10 minutes early

This sets a great tone for your day, and your week. By getting up and moving a bit earlier than your usual wake-up time, you make it easier to do it again the next day, and the one after that. How will you use your extra time? Be deliberate about how you spend it, and make it something you look forward to getting out of bed for.

Set your mantra for the week

What do you want to focus on in the week ahead? Physical fitness, emotional well-being, time with family, a big project at work? Narrow your focus to one particular cause or goal, and let this be your guide each day. Leave yourself a reminder (just a few words) that will bring you back to your week’s aim each time you look at it.

Reward yourself

If you want to make your Mondays a little brighter, spice up your routine with something you enjoy. Maybe that means going to a yoga class, unwinding with friends after work, ordering in, or watching an episode (or two) of a new TV show. (Because who can ever really stop after just one?) Whatever it is, mark it on your calendar and stick to it.

Aim lower

One of the struggles I often face at the start of a new week is trying to get everything done the first day, neglecting to remember that I still have four more days to conquer. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to “do it all”, and can leave some things undone to tackle later in the week, even when it’s hard to shift out of go-mode.

Make friends with whatever comes your way

We all know Mondays can be crazy, and bring out the good, the bad, the ugly, and the unexpected. Do yourself a favor and be open to whatever curveballs get thrown your way. Mondays have the potential to set the tone for the rest of the week, and when we approach them with an open mind, we’re more likely to brush off the small things that don’t go according to plan, and find joy and satisfaction in what does.

Take time to reflect

At the end of the day, take 5-10 minutes to reflect on how it went. If you go to bed angry, stressed, or overwhelmed, you’re likely not going to be in good spirits come Tuesday, and can set yourself up for a difficult week ahead. Reach out to a loved one, or simply give yourself the space to make peace with the day’s struggles, and be kind to yourself for having gotten through them. (Journaling and meditation can work wonders.)