An often-quoted line from the classic movie Office Space said it best, “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.” Yes, Mondays sure are the worst day of the week for many, as it means saying goodbye to a relaxing (or exciting) weekend and going back to the grind of the work week.
Whether it’s work or school that’s got you down, there are many ways to make your Mondays a little brighter and a little less dreadful. Eating a balanced breakfast, having a clear headspace, and sometimes just changing your scenery a little bit can be a huge help to making the work week kick off on a good note. Here are a handful of tips to try starting your week off with to get rid of your Monday morning blues!
1. Take a cold shower.
It seems like a stupid idea: really, who likes freezing cold showers? However, a cold shower is a truly energizing and refreshing way to wake up in the morning. When you take your morning shower, keep it at a comfortable temperature right up until you’re finished, then blast the water as cold as you can stand it for as long as you can.
After the initial shock of the cold water, you’ll find that you are more awake, refreshed, and alert. It also acts as a kind of antidepressant – the shock of the cold sends electrical impulses to the peripheral nerve endings of the brain, causing a natural antidepressant effect in the process.
2. Try meditating.
Meditation is practiced by millions of people from the world’s religions, such as Buddhists, Hindus, and Taoists. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to meditate – it’s a fulfilling act in itself, and one that can really change the way your work week goes.
There are many ways to meditate, but the following is perhaps the easiest to begin with. To start, sit upright on the floor (not your bed!), with your back straight so you can breath easily. Cross one leg over the other, and hold your hands (palm up) on your knees. Keep your legs straight when you do so. Close your eyes, try to focus on nothing at all, and breathe with a steady, slow rhythm. It helps to meditate in short increments and do it for longer as you progress in practicing.
Focusing on “nothing” is far more difficult than it sounds, and it takes lots of practice to get the most out of meditation. You might not reach Nirvana overnight, but you’ll at least have a clearer head to start the day with, and a more focused grasp on your workload throughout the day.
3. Eat a balanced breakfast.
Boring old cereal got you down? Sounds like a full, balanced breakfast is in order. Trying to get up a little bit earlier to make a more bountiful, healthy breakfast is a sure-fire way to make your Monday a bit less blue.
Apples in particular are rich in nutrients and natural sugars that can perk you up in the morning. Avocados are also a rich source of fibre and healthy fats that are especially delicious in an omelette or spread on a bagel. Having bigger portions of fruits and vegetables with your eggs, bread, and meats will make you feel more energized in the morning and throughout the day.
4. Find the problem at your workplace or school program.
More often than not, we dread Monday because we dread going to work and/or school. If you’re constantly feeling blue on Mondays, there might be a larger problem at your work or in your academics that you need to focus on and fix.
If it’s a problem with your workload, it never hurts to speak with your boss/supervisor on how your workload can be lightened or better managed. If you have a particularly bitter boss or colleague that is making it difficult for you to work, this needs to be dealt with in a courteous and equitable manner.
Taking the initiative to make your workplace a better one is very important to both your work and overall wellbeing. You can’t solve everyone’s problems, but you can at least take steps to making your own more manageable.
The same goes for your education – school can be stressful, and when you are overly stressed, it becomes more difficult to focus on getting the good grades you need. Two big things can help your workflow at school: managing your time into something doable over small periods of time. If all else fails, there is no shame in asking your instructor for an extension on an assignment.
If done within a reasonable time, instructors are often compassionate and have no problem granting an extension on an assignment. You might be surprised what your cranky old professor is flexible with.
5. Take a new route to work or school.
The same road every day can get really boring really fast. Whether you bike, walk, bus, or drive to your work or school, it can help to take a different route to make your Monday just a bit more interesting. Who knows? You might even find an easier or more picturesque route to take.
For cyclists, if you live in the right place, there are probably ample bike paths in your town or city. These paths usually go through forests and along rivers, so if it’s a beautiful morning, why not take the natural route? The sunlight will surely do you good, also.
If you commute from out of town, you can also drive down side roads and country roads for a more relaxing look at your area. Sometimes the scenery can be refreshing, as opposed to a dreary office or factory setting.
There’s no shortage of reasons to be bummed out on a Monday morning, but there’s also no shortage of ways you can make it a bit more bearable. Trying one or more of these things in the morning should make every day, but Monday in particular, a little more enriching and easier to manage.