Since this has been a week filled with medical appointments (I have one more bright and early tomorrow), I am very much looking forward to the blank slate that next week will bring. Mondays usually get a pretty bad rap, but it’s all about how you approach them. I wrote earlier this year about how Mondays all of a sudden become much more tolerable and dare I say enjoyable if you make self care a priority. Here are those top tips for making Mondays the ultimate start to the week.
PLAN TO START YOUR WEEK WITH EXERCISE
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time on Sunday recharging. My family and I don’t typically watch too much TV during the week, so Sunday’s are when we tend to indulge in some Netflix binge watching. Factor in snacking on the inevitable chips, salsa and guacamole so if it wasn’t for some cardio Monday morning before work, I’d start my week feeling pretty sluggish. Instead of feeling guilty for indulging with my family, I know that I am going to start my Monday fresh by doing something healthy right away that is just for me. By not leaving this decision to Monday morning when I’m more than likely going to want to hit the snooze button and instead prepare my gym bag and set out my workout clothes, I increase my odds of starting my workweek feeling ready to tackle on any challenges as I took care of myself first thing.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Waking up on Monday morning to putter around your kitchen trying to figure out whether to have cereal, some toast or just dash out the door hoping that at some point in your morning you find the time to eat something is not only highly inefficient but not doing your health any favors. You need fuel to begin your workday feeling energized. Think high protein, high fiber, and easy. Smoothies are great for this as well as Greek yogurt with some granola and fruit as well as my personal favorite, oatmeal with chia seeds and honey. Prepare a big batch on Sunday and partition into small containers so that you can just grab and go on Monday. While you’re at it, make lunch for the next few days. I usually prepare a large meal on Sunday nights for this very purpose, and try to make enough for lunch for my husband and me to last through Tuesday. Not only does this save our family money but it is one less task on my mind with the added benefit of knowing we’re eating healthier fare than if we decided to go through the drive-thru in the morning for a quick bite.
PLAN FOR RELAXATION
The beginning of the week can be overwhelming when you’re facing a growing list of personal and work-related tasks. Try to bring in some much needed bits of joy into your day. I like to occasionally stop at one of my favorite coffee shops and get a before dinner treat, as well as spend extra time with my dogs on Monday night, which helps me release some of the stress that got built up during the day. I try to avoid doing any chores and unwind before bed with a warm bath and cup of peppermint tea. These small changes make Monday seem less dreadful, especially ending the day with restorative activities that bring you joy and calm.
Ultimately we all have the power to choose whether to live a reactionary life, dealing with everything in the moment as it comes, or putting in a little bit of thought and planning sparing some of your energy, willpower and sanity in the process.