Mondays are notorious. The sudden jolt from weekend bliss to the reality of the work week is tough for everyone. Does Monday always have to feel awful, though? How can we make the best of this weekly occurrence?
Over the last year, I’ve experimented with a few different options for easing into the work week, and today, I want to share a few with you! An overarching theme to keep in mind, though, is to start your week with an attitude of grace. Grace in the sense that you know you need grace to get through the week, and grace in the way that you act towards everyone else, as they struggle with Monday just like you. And – cut yourself some slack! You don’t have to make every moment of your Monday 100% productive. Embrace that. Realize that, just like you need pace yourself at the beginning of a race, easing yourself into Monday can be a good strategy, for long-term productivity. Here are a few practical tips to make your Monday something to look forward to each week:
Wake up well.
It’s easy to want to make the weekend last as long as possible, and to fudge on Sunday night bedtime. Stick to a good night routine, though, and wake up refreshed. I like to get a productive start in the morning, but have learned that making sure I get 8 hours of sleep Sunday night, even if it means my Monday will start a bit later, is totally worth it.
Plan out your week.
After I finish my morning routine on Mondays, I love to sit down with my planner and map out my week. This includes writing in details of any commitments or engagements day-by-day, as well as customizing a menu plan and grocery list to fit the week. When I finish this, it helps me to focus on the tasks I have for that Monday, without feeling that I’ve been dunked into the swirling, unknown waters of the week, where I just have to struggle to keep from becoming overwhelmed.
Meet someone mid-morning.
Lindsey and I have found that Monday mornings are a great time for us to meet for work, even if we are just working on separate things on our computers at Starbucks. Meeting mid-morning allows us both to get a good start on the day personally, but also gives us a good deadline to be ready to go and out of our normal workplaces. This gives us a productive start to our week, but also something fun to look forward to!
Make meals easy.
Mondays are leftover days for me, when possible. Leftover soup (eating that as I write on this Monday!), market salad with leftover grilled chicken, or sandwiches are all examples of easy Monday meals. This Monday lunch, Lindsey whipped together a spread of fresh fruits, crackers and cheese, and boiled eggs. This made for a refreshing and protein-packed, yet easy-to-prepare lunch for the family. Easy meals are a simple way to make Mondays manageable!
Connect with your spouse.
While it is important for me to sit down on my own and map out the week, Ryan and I have found that we work better together if we take time together on Sunday or Monday. This allows us to compare calendars and start on the same page, mentally. This is also a good time to check in on each other and have any conversations that need to take place. If you have been married for any length of time, you know that being in sync with your spouse makes the days go 500X better!
Enjoy the evening.
During the week (and most weekends), our evenings are jam-packed. Those evenings that we don’t have a meeting or event scheduled, it is easy to allow our flexible work schedule to flow over in to the evening. This is a sure recipe for burnout, though!
We are learning to make our Monday evenings something to look forward to, and I encourage you to do the same! Having an enjoyable evening to work towards gives me an extra boost when I don’t want to slog through my to-do list for the day, and helps me ease into the week. Give yourself a reasonable deadline, and then stop working and eat dinner together. Take a walk, watch an episode of your favorite show, or have a game night with family. And then, go to bed on time!
I hope these tips help you as you tackle your week! Mondays don’t have to be awful; take some time to intentionally ease into your week, and make Mondays something to look forward to!
Born a world traveler, Caitlynn has settled in Cleburne to continue doing what she loves – investing in her family and community while capturing beauty with her camera and her writing. Caitlynn also has a background in customer service, administrative support, and sales. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Ryan.