5 Easy ways to make your Monday more awesome
Awesomeness. We're huge fans of it, and we're pretty sure you are too - who isn't, let's face it! We know that the first Monday back at work after the Christmas holidays has that distinctly un-awesome vibe about it, and we know you feel the same. Sitting at your desk after a week or two of fun with family and friends is enough to leave you feeling a bit blue - plus it's freezing cold outside (in most places!) and to top it all off, your bank balance has probably taken a bit of a battering thanks to all those Christmas gifts you bought.
Which got us thinking; how could we make Mondays more awesome? What can we do to brighten up an otherwise dull, miserable day and turn it into a happy day that feels (even though it isn't) almost like Friday? Getting that Friday feeling on a Monday is no mean feat, but the Expertrain team love a challenge, so we've come up with 5 easy ways to make your Monday that little bit more awesome - try one for a subtle difference, or all five for the full effect!
#1. Get those endorphins flowing
Did you know that endorphins can provide feelings of excitement and satisfaction, whilst boosting your mood and creating a sense of well-being. They're produced by the body's central nervous system, usually when the body is under stress, but exercise is one of the best ways to trigger their release. An intense aerobic workout, such as going for a run, or lifting weights, is the best way to trigger the body into releasing endorphins. Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation can also help (1). Going for a morning run or enjoying a yoga session when you wake up can help you to feel more alert, energised and generally awesome! Plus you'll have earned a delicious, healthy post-workout snack afterwards.
#2. Eat a big, healthy breakfast
Unfortunately, many of us are so pushed for time in the morning that we skip breakfast, or grab a cereal bar to munch on our morning commute. It's true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it kickstarts your metabolism, helps with weight loss and can it easier for you to concentrate at work (2). You probably have more time to spend preparing breakfast at the weekends - omelettes, scrambled eggs or pancakes are all healthy options that you've probably tried, so why not make extra and enjoy the leftovers for weekday breakfasts? Waking up on a Monday morning to some home-made granola or banana oat pancakes is a great way to start your week with a smile on your face - no more boring toast! Including some healthy protein with your breakfast, such as Greek yoghurt or eggs, will leave you feeling full all morning, so you'll be less tempted by sugars treats and snacks at the office.
#3. Make after-work plans
One reason Fridays are so great is that there's the whole, long weekend stretched ahead of us to look forward to! But that doesn't mean you can't channel some of that Friday vibe into your Mondays. Why not make plans with a friend for after work, which will give you something to work towards throughout the day? Anything from a session at the gym to coffee and shopping, the cinema or even a dance class, can give you the boost you need to wake up with a smile on Monday morning. If you work long hours, or don't have time after work, schedule a quick lunch with a friend or squeeze in a lunchtime workout and turn it into a social occasion! This is one of our favourite ways to brighten up dull Mondays.
#4. Get some travel brochures
Quiet moments in the office between meetings or your lunchbreak are the perfect time to make all those travel plans you've been dying to make - and if your New Year's resolution is to travel more, now's your chance! Rather than sitting at your desk browsing online, get hold of some travel brochures, which make for much more interesting reading. Plus you can cut out pictures of your favourite destinations to pin to your wall for inspiration and motivation! Making travel plans gives you a goal to work towards and can help you to stay motivated at work, as it feels like you're working for something - plus it helps you to be more cost-conscious with your spending.
#5. Treat yourself
Being happy, fit and healthy is all about moderation, and we'd be lying if we said we never treated ourselves or indulged in something a bit naughty (chocolate brownies, we're looking at you!) Monday is the day of the week when you're most likely to feel in need of a boost, so don't beat yourself up if you find yourself enjoying a chocolate brownie, cookie or other sweet treat. If you really need cheering up, avoid using food as an emotional crutch and make plans to meet a friend for drinks, go to the cinema, shopping or do something else that you know makes you happy. If it's alone time with a cup of tea and a good book you need, enjoy a relaxing evening at home. Being kind to yourself ensures that you won't succumb to those Monday blues - you may even start to look forward to Mondays (though we're not making any guarantees)!
The only person in control of your happiness is you, and small changes can make a big difference to your mood. So next time you log onto Facebook and see your friends moaning about it being Monday, sign out and do something nice for yourself, whether that means booking a holiday, heading for a pilates class or whipping up a delicious dinner. We say, forget the Monday blues, make your Mondays more awesome!
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