You know the drill. You count down the minutes until the weekend starts, only to find that Saturday and Sunday have slipped through your fingers so quickly that Monday rears its ugly head—yet again. Is there anything you can actually do to make your Mondays a little less miserable?
Turns out: Yes. And sometimes it’s just as simple as making time to call your mom before you head into work for a quick mood boost. Other easy tactics include a quick sweat, scheduling a long lunch, and buying the right kind of candle. For those and more—read on. And for more ways to maintain a good mood, don’t miss the 20 Best Ways to Calm Your Anger Instantly.
Turn in earlier.
Mondays are bad enough as it is, which is why the last thing you want to do is start your week on low fuel reserves. So much as missing out on a few hours of rest can make you more stressed, irritated, and mentally fatigued, so make sure to end your weekend with a good night’s rest. And if you struggle to sleep soundly, try these 17 Sleep Products People Swear By.
Get a plant.
Spruce up your office space with a potted plant. The shrubbery, according to a recent study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, will brighten your mood, plus create a calming environment conducive to getting stuff done. Monday: Meet your match.
Take a long lunch.
Just having something to look forward—like a delicious and undemanding lunch—can turn a miserable morning into a productive one. And once you step out of your stuffy office for lunch, you’ll instantly feel that rush of endorphins, thanks to the serenity of that fresh air and the great outdoors.
Call your mom.
Use the time during your Monday morning commute to call home and check in. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but talking to members of your family (and your mom especially) is like the emotional equivalent of giving them great big hugs. And what’s more comforting than a mother’s love?
Perform a random act of kindness.
Next Monday, go out of your way to do something nice for someone. Whether you’re helping a tourist find a subway stop or assisting a coworker with computer troubles, just one simple act of kindness is enough to lift your spirits and improve your well-being. And because all changes start within, try these 50 Easy Ways to Be Nicer to Yourself.
Cook your favorite breakfast.
You’ll be hard-pressed to show up to work in a sour mood after indulging in a scrumptious spread of all your favorite breakfast foods. And if you want to be especially ecstatic and energized, start eating more of the 30 Best Foods for Maximizing Your Energy Levels.
Think back on better days.
No one’s denying that Mondays are the worst. But not every weekday is quite so bad—and if you want to make your Monday slightly less terrible, all you have to do is reminisce about one of those much better, much more fun-filled days. A little bit of nostalgia goes a long way in making us feel joyous. And fun fact: That’s just one of the 17 Surprising Reasons You Love Nostalgia So Much.
Overload your calendar.
Pack your Monday schedule with as many activities as possible, as idling around gives way to boredom and depressive thoughts. People are generally happier when they have something to do, even if that something seems relatively insignificant. And if you want to keep busy at home, pick up one of these 20 Summer Hobbies That Will Change Your Life.
Light a vanilla candle.
To be sure, many offices won’t allow you to burn a candle at your desk. But if you work in a more lenient office space or from the comfort of your home, then consider braving through your Mondays with a vanilla candle at your side. The sweet scent of vanilla is known to instantly soothe and perk up those within sniffing range—so your coworkers can thank you later.
Wear more green or yellow (or both).
If you don’t own any green or yellow garments, now might be the time to go out and invest in some, or at least ask your coworkers to. These colors elicit feelings of euphoria in whoever sees them. And if yellow doesn’t look good on you, just add a pop of color to your desk decor for a mood boost that’ll last all day, every day.
Scrolling through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter does more harm than good. Despite your best efforts, you end up comparing yourself to others—and believe it or not, when your friends complain on social media, their stress can be contagious. It’s just one of the 20 Ways Social Media Stresses Us Out.
Book a vacation.
On especially brutal Mondays, it’s acceptable to take comfort in a little bit of retail therapy. But instead of purchasing material goods like clothes and electronics, invest in an exotic experience like a trip to Thailand. Having something to look forward to will make many a Monday more bearable, and people tend to find more meaning in experiences over possessions. It’s just one of the reasons Why You Should Take All Of Your Vacation Days.
Not only are fruits and vegetables beneficial to your body, but they’re also good for your psyche. Each serving of fruits and veggies you eat is, according to research out of the University of Warwick, associated with an additional boost in happiness levels—so if you make a habit out of eating healthy, you could see some serious long-term benefits. For tips on optimizing your diet, start with the 40 Heart Foods To Eat After 40.
Go to the gym.
When you’re already miserable, waking up early to go to the gym is the last thing you want to do. But fitting in a sweat session before work can turn that frown upside down, as working out triggers the release of happy hormones for a long-lasting mood boost. For tips on actually rising in time for a pre-work routine, master the Easy Ways to Become a Morning Workout Machine.
Watch a cute cat video.
Or a dog video, depending on which you prefer. Taking a few minutes to indulge in these internet gems will, if you take it from Indiana University researchers, zap you with a burst of energy and rid you of unpleasant emotions like anxiety, anger, and frustration. And even better than watching a puppy through a screen, read up on the 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet.
When you find yourself with a case of the Mondays, pop a piece of flavored gum into your mouth. The gum—peppermint especially—will trigger relaxed feelings similar to those you’d get after meditating. And for more ways to beat the blues, try these 20 Genius Tricks to Instantly Cheer Yourself Up.
Finally, don’t forget the coffee.
Doctors advise against becoming reliant on caffeine, but Monday mornings are not the time to start kicking that bad habit. Plus, a little bit of brew in moderation can lift your spirits and prevent any subsequent mood swings that might arise later in the day.
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