Do the beginning of your weeks often give you a depressing case of the Mondays? It doesn’t matter whether you own your business or work in a large corporation, Monday mornings–especially after a long weekend–are often a huge mental hurdle that can throw your whole week off. Fortunately, there are a few rituals you can do to help you get your week started right. They take a little extra effort at first, but once you form these great habits, you will find they are easy to follow and offer a tremendous benefit to your sanity.
1. Plan your week on Sunday.
If you wait until Monday morning to plan and schedule your week, it will not take long before you find yourself engulfed in daily business “fires” and adding tasks and meetings before you even finish your planning. Instead, consider planning your week on Sunday evening, when it is quiet and you have the time and space to concentrate. You will sleep better knowing the task is done and you can devote more time to a morning routine that eases you into the week.
2. Create a morning routine.
There is plenty of evidence that shows that getting out of bed a few minutes early, rather than snoozing your way through your morning, has tremendous benefits to your mental and physical wellness. If you have a tough time in the mornings, try getting up and taking a quick and brisk walk around your block, which will get your blood flowing and tell your body and mind that it is time to wake.
3. Purge that email.
Your email box can be incredibly intimidating on Monday morning, filled with unread emails from the weekend and the previous week, all of which will immediately make you feel like you’re behind. Instead of reading every old email, delete them. Start with newsletters–they are old news anyway–and then find the confidence to purge any email that was not important enough to answer immediately in the first place. Too many emails to really get through? Consider one of the many applications, such as Sanebox, that can help you get your email under control.
4. Connect with a friend.
On Monday, take five or 10 minutes to call a good friend or reconnect with an old friend, one with whom you can have a non-business conversation. These conversations often offer perspective to my life and typically end in a smile–and they help two people ease into the week.
5. Take one new personal risk.
There is a great deal of benefit to writing out your goals. I like to spend five minutes each day to review my ongoing goals and priorities. On Mondays, however, I make it a point to set one new and aggressive personal goal for the week, such as trying new exercise, reading a book, or learning a new song on the guitar. The point is to provide you motivation during your busy week to pursue an interest that you enjoy outside of work.
6. Make an “appreciation list.”
In addition to making out that extensive weekly to-do list, also take a minute to write down at least five things for which you are grateful. More than likely, they will be the same from week to week–your wonderful family is always a good thing to be happy about–but doing so will put life in perspective and the positive emotions you create could affect your happiness, optimism, and self-esteem.
7. Pay it forward with kindness.
Keep in mind that you are sharing this Monday with everyone on earth, so to help relieve the stress of the beginning of the week, consider an unselfish act of kindness during your morning, such as a compliment to a complete stranger or leaving a co-worker a kind note. It will make both of your days a little better.
8. Indulge in inspiration.
If your week is starting off slow, consider allowing yourself the guilty pleasure of indulging in a little inspirational content. Something a simple as an inspirational quote or a lengthier article from UpWorthy or video talk from TED Talk can give you the boost you need to get over the Monday blues.