I’ve always been one of those annoying people who gets up early on Monday morning, downs a swift dose of caffeine, and begins tackling the tasks of the day with an unbridled energy that’s reserved for meeting the challenges of a brand new week. I love my job, and that passion has historically translated into a feeling of total enthusiasm about diving into another work week. But lately, I’ve been noticing a slight change in my attitude. It’s not as though I dread Monday mornings; it’s more that I’m just not quite ready for the weekend to end. These recent summer weekends have been so full of laid-back fun with the people I love, unplugging and being fully present… Monday has started to feel like the end of unhurried enjoyment and the beginning of being ruled by constant scheduling.
While it’s true that a key component of loving Mondays is having a job that you feel passionate about, I also think it’s possible to embrace the new week no matter what your current life situation is. You may not be able to change your reality right now, but you can certainly change the eyes that you’re viewing it with. So while you’re pursuing that dream job, why not go ahead and be your absolute best self, adopt an “I Love Monday” state-of-mind and make the most of the present by finding ways to love your current life? Here are a few ways that I banish the Sunday night blues and suddenly find myself looking forward to the beginning of a new week:
- Schedule a lunch date at a fantastic spot with your significant other or best friend (those Monday morning meetings will fly by in anticipation.) Make sure there’s enough time to share a dessert.
- Buy a new fragrance over the weekend, and spritz it on before heading out the door Monday morning. There’s nothing like scent to change up the routine and make you feel like a new person.
- If you have kids, brainstorm some outside-the-box field trips like a berry-picking farm or a kids’ cooking class. Their excitement over going somewhere new will be contagious.
- Get up early and go for a long hike surrounded by nature before work. If you’re totally city-locked, find the most beautiful neighborhood that you never go to. Sometimes a change of scenery is incredibly refreshing.
- Make an appointment with yourself for an at-home spa session after work: great smelling oils in the bath, a face mask, relaxing music, a cup of herbal tea… go all out.
- Take a full hour-long lunch break, shut off your computer, and leave your desk — dive into a great book while you eat or just sit at a sidewalk café and people-watch.
- Do something creative after work: paint, write, tackle a challenging recipe for dinner… whatever speaks to your individual soul, make time for it on Monday.
- Meet a great friend (not the gossipy one, but the one who always leaves you feeling better) for happy hour. Yep, on a Monday.
- Schedule a pedicure at a spot that also throws in a good foot massage.
- Have a couple girl friends over to drink wine and cook dinner. Make it a potluck — everyone brings the ingredients for one item. Take your time and enjoy the cooking process together.
After writing these, I decided to do a quick poll from a few inspiring ladies in my life to find out what helps them start the week on a happy note. Their jewels of wisdom were so brilliant, I had to share them with you, too:
- My sister, Molly: I do an extra long yoga and stretching session, focused on my breath and on doing whatever I’m working on in yoga at the time (right now I’m trying to do a 4 minute plank, so I’ll time myself to see if I’ve made progress over the week.) I always feel really good afterwards and it signals a new week of health for me.
- My cousin, Sarah: My husband and I usually plan to watch one of our favorite shows on Monday night and make an extra good dinner… kind of makes it feel like the weekend is carrying over.
- My mom, Chris: Ask yourself, “What can I let go of this week to lighten my heart, mind, and spirit?” Joy begins to dissipate when we feel we don’t have control over our time, and the tyranny of the urgent steps into steal our happiness. Ultimately we are the ones who allow that to happen with choices that we make, though not always consciously. Subtraction might be more effective than addition in this case.
- My cousin Bekah, who’s currently working as a teacher in Uganda: It’s the kids. Among all the work and obligations and deadlines – yes, we have them even in the Bush – those faces and relationships truly light up my life.
- Sarah also said: I make sure that I wake up early enough on a Monday morning to have that quiet time before the busyness of the week begins. I make an extra strong cup of coffee, maybe adding a splash of vanilla to make it that much more comforting, and sit and journal and read my Bible in the living room.
- My aunt, Leslie: As I get older, I see that joy and gratitude are choices; when you decide to walk in them daily, they just grow and grow! For me, it’s about a mindset that views each day (including Monday!) as a wonderful journey that I am grateful for.
Let’s face it: life is too short to hate 1/7 of the weekdays! Instead of bemoaning that it’s “another Monday,” practice a spirit of gratitude for another day to live life to the fullest and be your very best self. If nothing else, fake it ’til you make it: wear something that makes you feel great and smile at everyone who crosses your path. Before you know it, you’ll be smiling inside, too. As my Aunt Leslie so wisely said, “This Monday just might be the most amazing day ever!”
I’d love to hear in the comments: how do all of you banish the Sunday night blues and look forward to the new week?