In contrast with the Mamas & the Papas lyrics, for most people, it seems that Monday, the day that kick-starts the week, seems to come with some negativity. Other classics like the Boom Town Rats’ “I don’t like Mondays” and the Bangles’ “Manic Monday” give a pretty good summation of how we feel about the day that starts off the week.
But why does Monday evoke such strong feelings, and why are they often so bad? For most, I think it starts as a school child, as Sunday evening approaches it’s time to pull out your books and hope that you don’t have any forgotten homework for the next morning. Our parents tell us to brush our teeth and get an early night with the ominous “You’ve got school in the morning!” booming around the house, bringing the weekend we’ve enjoyed so much to a somewhat abrupt end.
As adults, Monday morning often means the start to a busy week, dragging yourself out your warm, cosy bed. Perhaps you’ve got kids to get to school, perhaps a stressful meeting you’re not looking forward to, or perhaps you’ve just got into a rut where every week can feel the same.
Well, for a change, let’s try thinking of Mondays as a fresh start for each of us. People tend to think that you have to start a diet on a Monday, and that’s usually because with a Monday morning comes the chance to do things differently, refocus on the week ahead, think about what we want to achieve and decide what sort of person we want to be this week. I think we have to admit, that fresh start feeling is pretty amazing, so filled with hope and ambition, and the best way to have a positive outlook to get the most out of your week.
Here are our five top tips for Monday that you can follow to stay focused and positive and be the best version of yourself:
- Start on a Sunday. Our parents might have been on to something when they told us to get an early night and a good night’s sleep. Having a calm, relaxing Sunday evening helps put us in a more positive frame of mind for when we wake up. Think of the pain points for a Monday morning – is there any you can tackle off in advance? Try laying out your clothes on Sunday so you can jump into your suit first thing- no one likes decision making in the morning. It’s the small things that make all the difference so why not pack the lunches and pop them in the fridge or place your travel mug next to the kettle, so you manage to grab a hot cuppa in the morning. You might see your mood improve!
- Take some time to regroup after the chaos. We all know it can be a struggle to get out of the house in the morning – no matter how much you prepare. So, whenever you can, whether it’s in the car around the corner from the school, or in the station when you step off the train, stop, take a minute for yourself and breathe. Clear your mind, just relax for a minute, regroup and give yourself a fighting chance to take the day in your stride.
- Plan what you want to achieve for the week. There really is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list. Think about who you’re going to meet, what you want to move forward with whether it’s work projects or in your personal life and make a list. When it’s all down on paper you’ve cleared out some space in your head you might even find you’re more productive as well. Even better- why not add this into your routine on a Sunday night? That way when the week starts you’re already ahead and are kicking off on the front foot.
- Get some exercise! As a PT, you knew I was going to say that, but I really can’t exaggerate the difference it makes to your mood. Book an early morning PT session, go to a class, for a run or hit the gym. Make some small changes to fit exercise into your routine – walk the kids to school or cycle to work instead of taking the train, it will do you all some good! Starting your week off with some exercise will boost your endorphins and make you feel amazing.
- Random acts of kindness. We get the chance each Monday for a fresh start, so why not decide to be your best self and start the week with a kind act. Help out a friend, buy someone in need a sandwich, smile at a stranger! You can carry the positive momentum through the week with one little act of kindness every day. Starting your week with a good deed will boost your mood – and boost others too so perhaps more of us can start to enjoy our Mondays.
So give it a try, we’re challenging you to act now and make the changes to start celebrating your Mondays. You never know – you might start to get more out of your whole week.