Monday has a lot of negative connotations for many of us. It's the end of the weekend, the start of a long work week and, well, there's just not a lot of love for Mondays, is there? Some of us even feel the 'Sunday Night Dread' before we even get to Monday!
Does this cycle of anxiety and worry help? Does it make the day itself any easier?
Of course not, it only makes it worse and takes time away from the weekend itself.
So let's all reclaim Mondays and make them mindful so that they're no longer the worst day of the week. Here are 5 things you can do to make Monday's Mindful!
1) Ten Good Breaths
I believe that meditation and focusing on the breath can help with pretty much everything. If the breath can help women through labour, it can definitely help all of us through the Monday morning blues. So when you wake up or before you leave the house or on your way to work, simply bring your attention to the breath and take ten good breaths.
What are good breaths? They are breaths taken with your full awareness, so that you notice each inhale and exhale and really slow down the pace of the breath. Make your stomach expand with the inhale and fall with the exhale and notice each breath, 1 inhale, 1 exhale, 2 inhales, 2 exhales.
By the time you get to ten you'll feel more centred and calm. A far better way to take on the day.
A Monday morning isn't an obvious time for writing gratitude lists but gratitude has been proven to boost mood, mental wellbeing and mental health. I quite often write a gratitude list on a Sunday evening, at the end of the week looking back.
But let's shift that technique and look forward. Can you think of five things you love about Monday? Five things you are grateful for this Monday?
- Being well enough to get to work
- Seeing colleagues and catching up after the weekend
You get the idea, so why not have a go?
3) Go for a Walk
Make a routine of every Monday lunch time going for a walk after your lunch. It could just be ten minutes outside, but that little bit of fresh air and sunshine will work wonders to boost your mood. No chance of getting away from the office at lunch? Take a mid afternoon break or get off your bus a couple of stops early to add a walk into your morning. Or, once home head straight out for a walk before dinner. Exercise is proven to boost both physical and mental health and a little bit of daylight is particularly helpful during those darker winter months.
4) Have a Mindful Moment
Give yourself a treat by taking a moment to relax and be mindful. This could be mid-afternoon or once you get home, whenever. And it could be anything that's mindful. Will you read a chapter of your book? Will you make a lovely cup of coffee and just sit and drink it, only thinking about your coffee? Will you meditate, listen to your favourite song, cook a nice dinner, ride the scenic route home? Whatever it is, find a few moments of joy amongst the hustle and bustle of Monday.
5) Do Something Different
It really is true what they say: A change is as good as a rest.
Monday's can often seem to be the same each week, you struggle out of bed, spend the morning sleepily getting back into your work routine, hurry down your lunch, hurry home, watch a bit of telly and head to bed. How about changing this up and making Monday's different each week so that they become something to look forward to?
Try going to an evening class, heading to yoga, going to the cinema or going for a walk. Maybe you just spend the evening reading instead of watching telly. Or perhaps you watch a film rather than whatever is on. Change it up and feel refreshed this Monday.