I’m not a big fan of Mondays – raise your hands if you’re with me.
After a relaxed, lazy weekend, I struggle with resuming my busy schedule that leaves little to no time for myself. I’m sure my disliking Mondays has something to do with the fact that my current work doesn’t feel as satisfying as it used to.
Perhaps a new position would help me beat my Monday blues – perhaps not. In the end, even the most exciting job becomes a routine. So, while figuring out my next career step, I’ve learned a couple of tricks to improve my Sunday-to-Monday transition.
This means focusing on small, specific actions that help me reduce stress and create the much needed sense of space. By committing to these little routines and rituals, I manage to make my Mondays – and the whole week – a lot easier.
- Restock the pantry. Going to a grocery store or even better – a local market – and filling my fridge with fresh fruit and veggies is crucial. A weekly grocery budget and shopping list make things faster and more efficient, too.
- Buy fresh flowers. For some reason, the sight of fresh flowers makes me enjoy the brief moments of rest and relax even more. There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous bouquet lifting up my mood when the dreaded Monday morning arrives.
- Plan and prep. Designing my menu around existing items in the pantry and fridge is another trick to save money and cut down on waste. I like to make bigger batches and store extra portions in the freezer for days when cooking is not an option.
- Clean the fridge. I always make sure to double-check expiration dates on items in my fridge and pantry and prioritize (or freeze) ingredients with shorter life span. I go through the freezer too, including the available options in my menu.
- Start the day right. A grab-and-go breakfast that I can prepare on Sunday evening helps me commit to healthy eating habits throughout the day – and week. My favourite make-ahead options? Chia pudding and overnight oats.
- Create a workout schedule. Yoga has become an essential part of my life. I aim at practicing three to five times a week and always book my classes in advance – then shuffle my appointments as necessary.
- Pack accordingly. I wash and prep my clothes and workout gear for the week ahead to make sure I have everything I need to stick to my schedule. I always pack my bag the night before, meaning I need less time in the morning.
- Charge your phone. So simple, yet so important. The morning meditation session with Headspace? The important email that needs to be sent first thing? No more excuses.
- Keep to-do lists. Identifying my priorities for the week helps me stay focused, determined and efficient. I like tackling the most difficult and dreaded tasks on Monday, making the rest of the week feel more relaxed and manageable.
- Delete the unnecessary. Whenever my week seems too overwhelming and packed with activities that are not top-priority – I reschedule. Realising that during the weekend means I can give sufficient notice to the people involved.
- Create balance. Just as I schedule my workout sessions, I also make sure that each week leaves enough time for my friends, family and other necessary appointments – from after-work drinks to a quick shopping spree.
- Plan something fun. As Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, said: “Having something to look forward to makes you “feel good” and may also give an “atmosphere of growth” to your life, because the future seems bright.”
- Indulge in some self-care. Sundays are great for following your own rhythm and doing whatever feels right – which sometimes might as well mean doing nothing at all.
- Catch up on sleep. I am an early riser and tend to wake up at the same time every day, so this means that on Sunday I might climb into bed earlier to help my body calm, restore and prepare for the week ahead.
- Schedule me-time. This is an absolute no-negotiable for me. At least once a week, I block my schedule and dedicate that time to whatever serves me most: cooking a special meal, cuddling up with a book or binge-watching Netflix.