Itâs Monday againâunfortunately. Like most people, youâre probably dragging your feet, dreading the week ahead. The deadlines waiting at the office, the endless sea of household errands and annoying chores.
But you donât have to feel that way. How would you like to start the week excited about all the things youâll learn, the conversations youâll have, and the little miracles that are waiting along the way? Itâs just like the smiley face in this photoâa completely serendipitous discovery the photographer noticed while walking down the street on a miserable, snowy day. Joy is everywhere. You just have to look. Hereâs how to find it today.
1. Start bright and early.
Our first instinct on Monday morning is to throw the alarm clock at the wall and go back to sleep. But waking up late will set yourself up for a hectic morning and a lousy day. Youâll skip breakfast, curse your way through traffic, scowl as your storm through the office.
Instead, get up an hour earlier on Monday. Have a leisurely cup of coffee while listening to your favorite music. Prepare your favorite breakfastâor, if you donât feel like cooking, stock your pantry with something you love and serve it this morning as a special way to start the week.
2. Clear your path of stress.
The best way to avoid stress and panic is to organize your morning routine. Keep your car keys and wallet in one place so you donât waste time looking for it. Place your kidsâ school bags and your briefcase in the car the night before, so you donât accidentally forget something in the morning rush. Itâs also better to gas up on your way home from work, so you donât have to go to the gas station at the height of Monday morning rush hour traffic.
3. Dress for a happy mood.
Wear your favorite, most flattering outfits on Mondaysâitâll give you a reason to look forward to going to work. Do this even if youâre a stay at home mom, or run a home business. No, you donât have to wear a suit to look your best. Maybe you can spritz on your most expensive perfume (donât say itâs for âspecial occasionsââdeclare that today is special, or will be very special!) or put on your favorite lipstick. Little things like that make you feel better about yourself, which will make you fel better about your day.
4. Procrastinate feeling blue.
Do you feel negative thoughts creeping into your head? âStupid meetingâ¦ hate this jobâ¦ wish I didnât have to work in this company.â Or, âGreat, time to vacuum. Iâm the only one who ever cleans up in this houseâ¦â Maybe youâre panicking about a deadline, or worried about the bills.
If that happens, shake off the sense of discouragement. Or, if you really feel bad, put off your whining: âIâll get depressed about my job after lunch. Right now, I think Iâll enjoy this cup of coffee.â Then, when itâs lunch time, âIâm too busy to wallow right now. Maybe Iâll ask Steve out for lunch. Heâs always a riot, and I need a good laugh right now.â These delaying tactics will help you focus on what you enjoy or what you can actually changeâand being productive and positive is the best antidote to negative feelings.
5. Make a Happy List.
What are your favorite simple pleasures? For example, what songs do you enjoy listening to? Whatâs your favorite food? Whatâs your hobby? Find ways to incorporate those pleasures into your Monday routine. Create a âfeel goodâ playlist to listen to during your Monday commute. Treat yourself to a brownie after submitting your report. Before you go to sleep, visit a blog or website about your hobby, just to give you creative inspiration and connect you to people who share your passion.
One day, you can even sit down and make a list of â100 Things that make me Smile.â This can include a bubble bath, doing a random act of kindness for a stranger, petting your pet cat. When youâre really having a bad day, break out the list and look for something to do to break your mood right there and then.
6. Talk positive.
Youâve heard the line, âThink Positive.â But you know whatâs more effective than that? âTalk positive.â Make affirmative statements and repeat them to yourself whenever you feel bad. Instead of saying, âI have to finish my reportâ say, âI am submitting a great report today.â After all, if youâre going to mutter under your breath, might as well mutter things that will boost your confidence and enthusiasm level.
7. Shake up your routine.
Promise yourself that you will learn something new every Monday morning. Itâs actually easy! For example, check out the links in your favorite blog. Or do a random Google search on a topic. Maybe you can have lunch with a co-worker you donât know very well, or try out a new recipe. Itâs the best way to greet a brand new week. âThereâs so much to learn, so much to doâand Iâm excited about that!â