We’ve all been there. It’s Sunday evening, and that sad feeling starts creeping in. The weekend is coming to a close. It’s back to reality. Maybe the reality of Monday isn’t as fun as the weekend. Or maybe it’s more than that…a job you don’t like, a commute you don’t like, a boss you don’t like, work pressures, etc. And maybe…just maybe…you’ve over-indulged in some endorphin expanding substances over the weekend (sugar or alcohol for example), the crash of which is adding to your blues.
Been there. Done that. A couple of years ago I dreaded going to work in the mornings, especially Mondays. I’ve got five whole days before I get another weekend. Five more days until I feel peaceful again. (The weekends provided me with peace at that point in my life).
I don’t want to go to work replayed in my head each morning. On Sunday evenings I’d stay up too late, trying to suck that last ounce of joy from the weekend. I’d wake up feeling dread. I’d hit the snooze button, attempting to avoid reality. Finally, I’d begrudgingly get out of bed at some point, complaining to myself in my head.
Around that same time a guest speaker in my yoga teacher-training program helped me squash my Monday morning blues. He explained the importance of positive rituals in our lives. It started to click. If I intentionally create space in my Monday mornings to cultivate peace inside, I won’t dread what the outside (work) brought each weekday morning. Even better, the process of cultivating that feeling could be fun!
I began reflecting on how to make my Monday mornings feel like a Saturday morning. I got clear that if I wanted to feel peace on a Monday morning, I needed to take actions to create that feeling, even if my circumstances weren’t changing. (It turns out dreading, complaining and avoiding don’t create peaceful feelings. J)
So I started creating my morning peace rituals, which I now do every day. The first time I did it, Monday felt like a Saturday. The rituals helped me feel so much joy that I didn’t even mind getting up earlier to do them – wowsa. As a result, I felt happy instead of dread as I headed off to work, despite circumstances not changing. I felt ready to face whatever the day had to offer.
Your turn…what do you feel during the weekend that you’d like to feel during the week? Identify the feeling. Happiness? Joy? Connection? Something else? Mine was peace but yours can be anything.
Next, identify what you can do on Monday to keep that weekend feeling. Maybe it includes activities in the morning. Or, fun lunch plans. Perhaps it’s something to look forward to that evening. Write out a list and begin experimenting. I focused on mornings because those were my biggest pain points.
On Saturday mornings I love being nestled in my plush bathrobe, in my bed, with my cat on my lap, a candle burning or oil diffusing, with relaxing music playing and my beautiful journal nearby. I can spend hours doing that! So I started recreating that scene on weekday mornings. Surrounded by beautiful textures, scents, and energy, I either journal, meditate, tap, or do some visualizing. For me, having the option to choose from many activities — or choosing all of them — creates a sense of freedom.
Those are my favorites, but there’s many joy boosting rituals you can embrace, including:
- Play some uplifting music and dance. My girlfriend is routinely sleep deprived (two young children). She’d dread the mornings like I did. Then she started playing her favorite old school songs and dancing around with her kids. Now, no matter how sleep deprived she is, she engages in this joy routine and it shifts the energy in her home.
- Create your day. Share or say three reasons why your day will be great. It’ll shift your energy – even on your crabbiest of mornings!
- Connect with someone. Send an inspirational quote to a friend, or share it with a family member. Ask them to send one back to you.
- Do a guided meditation. There are a lot of different guided meditations that come with inspirational messages, including Chopra’s 21-day mediations.
- Exercise. Jam to your favorite music and get your body moving.
- Express gratitude. Say, write or share three things you’re grateful for.
- Wear a power outfit. Something you feel amazing in! (And if you feel a little bloated from weekend eating, make sure you have an outfit you love wearing regardless of your waistline!)
- Make a fun plan. For coffee, lunch or dinner. I usually go to lunch with someone on Monday, which I don’t do every day.
- Do some visualizing. I mentioned this as one of mine but want to expand a bit as it’s so powerful. If you spend 3-5 minutes a day doing this, your life will change. Picture in your mind something that you desire in your future. Next feel it. What does it feel like when you’re visualizing your desire? If you’re doing it right, and dreaming big enough, you’ll burst into a big smile. Aligning to the feeling of what you want is the quickest way of attracting it into your life.
Aside from those, what other positive rituals might help you shake your Monday morning blues? Get creative! Sometimes it’s the small things. Another girlfriend recently started journaling in the morning and loves it. What held her back? Her pen! Once she had a beautiful decorative pen in her favorite color, the journaling process became natural to her. Don’t spare your rituals any details! The more you love the details of your positive rituals, the more you will look forward to them, and the less you will feel the Sunday/Monday blues.
Write down a few activities that you want to add to your positive rituals and begin experimenting. Have fun with it. Observe what’s working and replace what’s not. Then make the choice to engage in them. Make the choice to make time for them. See how it shifts your mornings.