Let’s face it, Mondays are tough. Whether you are a solo business owner or the member of a large corporation, the mental drain of preparing for Monday, especially after a long weekend, can be enough to knock you off your week.
To get over this hump and get your week started right, consider these Monday rituals. They take little extra effort but will create tremendous benefits for your week — as well as your long-term sanity.
1. Set a morning routine.
One of the best ways to get your day started is to have a disciplined morning routine. This does not mean getting up and checking email or immediately engaging in work, but rather finding activities you look forward to doing, such as taking a walk, making an exceptional cup of coffee or indulging in your favorite magazine for a few minutes. It requires starting your morning a little earlier, but the extra minutes will ease you into your day.
2. Purge email.
On Monday, your email inbox can be overwhelming with every email you could not answer the week before and over the weekend, which immediately makes you feel behind. Instead of trying to read every email, purge them. Start with newsletters and solicitations — they are last week’s news anyway — then purge all the emails that were not important enough to answer in the first place.
3. Call a friend.
One thing I like to do on Monday is have a conversation with a good friend or reconnect with an old friend by phone, email or even text. I often find the conversation helps ease me into the week and is a great break for both of us.
4. Start a new professional relationship.
Making new connections can take time, so start the process on Monday. Identify someone you would like to add to your professional network and reach out to that person with a casual email or, better yet, a handwritten introductory note. This strategy is purposely drawn out and meant to seed the relationship. Once the seed is planted, you can start to nurture it with consistent follow ups.
5. Take one additional personal risk.
Much has been written about setting goals. I personally like to spend 10 to 20 minutes each day, in the quiet seclusion of morning, to set goals and priorities. On Monday, however, make a point to set one aggressive personal goal for the week. Writing an op-ed, learning a new word, trying a new exercise, reading a casual book — the point is to have one thing during the week that you look forward to doing.
6. Make a “grateful list.”
Your Monday list of responsibilities and to-do’s can get overwhelming quickly, so take a few minutes to write down at least five things for which you are grateful. Even if they are the same each week — “your good health” is always a good thing to be happy about — at least you are aware of them. Making a point to embrace gratitude on Monday, and throughout the week, will increase your happiness, optimism and self-esteem, and generally make you happier.
7. Do something kind for someone.
Remember that everyone is going through this thing called Monday. In addition to making you feel better, doing something nice for someone else, be it leaving an appreciative note for a co-worker or buying a cup of coffee for a complete stranger, can make the day better for at least two people.
8. Eat right.
A weekend of binging can leave you feeling sluggish on Monday. Start your week with a healthy eating plan, including a good breakfast, and maintain the discipline to eat a healthy lunch and snacks throughout the day. Doing so will not only give you the energy to make it through your Monday but also power you into the rest of the week.
9. Indulge in inspiration.
Allow yourself the guilty pleasure of indulging in a little inspirational reading to give yourself a mental boost. A good quote, happy article or checking in with an inspirational website, such as UpWorthy, will give you the boost you need.