Mondays are difficult for most of us, but would make small changes that make the whole week better? Many begin worrying about Monday morning on Sunday night and experience insomnia and severe anxiety. In fact, there are a significant increase in heart attacks Monday mornings. But you don’t have to live with Sunday night anxiety or sleepless nights if you’re willing to make a few behavioral changes. These may not be easy, so begin slowly changing one or two a week.
1. When you first get up, start with gentle movement. Beginning your day with a walk, yoga, or strength exercises for 30 minutes improves memory and health, and also raises your endorphins so you’re more positive.
2. Ditch the habit of checking social media and email. Avoid your email and social media first thing in the morning and make sure that you’ve moved your body before you turn it on. Stress from what we read immediately after waking up is felt intensely.
3. Write down three things you’re grateful for and set an intention. Keep it simple and short but write down three things you are grateful for. Then set your intention. This can be done by focusing on one word you want to include in your life today. Begin with positive intentions such as: I will practice peace, grace, patience, or finding joy. When we focus on one positive word all day, we see it more, and practice it more among our colleagues and friends.
4. Tidy up your home and make your bed. There is research supporting the fact that tidying up your home and making your bed makes you feel accomplished. It’s a small action that has a large impact on lowering stress and making you feel more productive. Coming home to an orderly tidy home minimizes stress from a long day at work.
5. Have a plan for Monday dinner and evening activities. The more you are prepared for dinner Monday evening the less chaotic your day will be. If you planned to work out after dinner, have your workout clothes laid out in advance. If they kids have activities planned for Monday evening, be prepared for who will drive and pick up ahead of time. Last minute scrambling is stressful and makes you feel unorganized. Preparation is a good challenge for your brain; it stimulates the organizational and memory centers of your brain.
Mondays are a challenge, but they are also the first day of the week. When we re-think the way we do daily habits and make changes, we begin seeing the positive effects on the rest of the week. No one can guarantee every week will be great if you practice these five, but I can guarantee you that you’ll feel more accomplished for having practiced them.