Monday, oh Monday – you can be quite a tricky beast to tackle. It may sound like a cliche, but you can have a successful Monday. In fact, it can make a massive difference to the week ahead. Yes, attitude is everything.
This phrase is not another word to describe the start of the working week that comes our way after a sleepy, peaceful Sunday. Blue Monday falls on the third Monday in January every year and is the most challenging of Mondays for our psychological wellbeing.
On Blue Monday, the combination of post-festivity comedowns, dark winter nights, and the challenges of financial instability after an expensive December culminate, erupting in a cloud of low mood.
Winter months can put a strain on our mental resilience
We may experience faster burn-out, changes in sleep, mood, and eating, low energy, and a lack of motivation to carry out regular activities. These changes can be managed effectively using self-care strategies, such as those mentioned below. However, should your (or someone you know) experience significantly impaired daily functioning or worsening of symptoms, I encourage you to seek guidance from a mental health professional.
A LinkedIn post from Mark Sloan went viral after he revealed how he spends the three hours before he heads to the office at 08:15. The tight schedule included “language learning” and drinking a whole litre of water.
If you’ve ever despaired about what to do on a Monday morning, you’ve probably felt exactly what this article is about. There is freedom in the knowledge that there is no getting rid of Mondays. You just have to embrace them. With this in mind, here are 4 ways successful people tackle Mondays. You too can come at it with a positive and productive attitude each time.
Set the right intentions for a successful Monday
Loads of successful entrepreneurs start their Monday knowing what you want to accomplish for the day and week ahead. When you start your week off by setting intentions and focusing on the week ahead, you get clear on what you want to work on to continue growing your business and provide you with an opportunity to do something creative and fun just for yourself.
Having something worthwhile and exciting to get out of bed for truly helps.
“I have developed an early morning creative writing routine: it’s my calm time before the family wakes up, and knowing that I get to have this half an hour pocket to myself is enough to get me out of bed most mornings,” shares Simone Woods, scientist-turned-writer.
It may sound obvious, but if there is something you are really looking forward to doing first thing in the morning you won’t be pressing the snooze button.
A routine, once established, will enable you to maintain a sleep cycle, and balance your work commitments with self-care, boosting your overall productivity and motivation.
Get out your planner and break your day into one-hour slots, scheduling your main goals, tasks, and activities for the day, as well as regular breaks for movement. As you complete your tasks, cross them off and big yourself up for doing something productive, no matter how small or large
Get outside and ground yourself
Kendall Platt is a Mindful Gardening Coach and loves to spend time in nature. “My morning routine is to get outside, feel the cold air in my lungs and notice the signs of Mother Nature all around me.”
She will do a mindful gardening activity from her Mindful Gardening Planner to find clarity for the day ahead.
This can be quick such as breaking the ice of the birdbaths or slightly longer like sowing some seeds depending on how much time I have. But whilst I am doing the activity, I focus on my senses and the sensations in my body to get the blood and energy flowing to take into the day with me.
Create your plan of action
Set your morning routine out the night before. It may require a little bit of forward-planning and list-making the day before. However, it allows you to hit the ground running on Monday morning rather than playing catch-up for the week.
Having a cosy robe ready to put on in the morning can help the idea of getting up while it is dark and dreary out. Give yourself something to look forward to by making yourself a nourishing and warming breakfast. Incentives to make those first steps out of bed is all you need to kickstart your day the right way.
Having a fun breakfast prepared (or at least partially prepared) could also help, adds Woods. “Knowing you have waffles to look forward to on a Wednesday, or a delicious omelette prepared on a Friday, will not only make you feel organised and on top of things (bonus motivation!), but will give you something to be waiting for in excited anticipation.”
Carole Ann Rice, leading Life Coach from the Real Coaching Co also recommends focusing on 3 core goals for a successful Monday. “Plan 3 great things you would either like to create or have committed to doing that day – make sure you will look forward to them and will feel good when accomplished.”
Early risers for the win
Early starts seem to be a non-negotiable for many successful people, especially on Monday. After all, how would businessman Sir Richard Branson fit in a spot of kite-surfing before breakfast unless he got up at 05:00? The Virgin founder, who lives in the British Virgin Islands, also said being an early riser means he can check his emails “before most of the world logs on”.
Invest in external tools that can help you with regulating your energy. Lumie Bodyclock is the original wake-up light, also called a dawn simulator. It wakes you gradually with increasing natural light.
Light therapy acts by increasing the amount of serotonin (a hormone that impacts your mood) whilst decreasing melatonin (a hormone that can induce tiredness). You can purchase light boxes in a range of sizes online.
Natural light signals your body to ease the production of sleep hormones (e.g. melatonin) and increase those that help you get up and go (e.g. cortisol). Wake-up lights help to keep your sleep cycle on track, boosting mood, energy and productivity levels all day. As the team at Lumie says: “not needing to hit the snooze button is a winner on a Monday.”
Still, struggling with getting the right energy? Carole also recommends jumping into your shower and getting into the right mindset.
Have a bliss shower – use great products, take your Bluetooth speaker in and play your happy tracks.
Every Monday is a new beginning. Just remember that you have what it takes to shape your day the way you want to. All in all, there are plenty of ways you can make the most out of your Mondays and any day, really.
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