Most of us in the middle of our (enjoyable) Sundays or when we get up on Sunday morning begin to have that dreaded feeling about work. That feeling can suddenly sneak up on us, and in a way slowly begins to damper the rest of the day.
While we can’t avoid the sometimes overwhelming feeling of what needs to be done throughout the work week, or on any given Monday morning, we can devise a plan not to psyche ourselves up as much by getting ahead of the game. Doing so will ameliorate the anxiety provoking situation at hand so we can truly learn the meaning of actually enjoying our Sundays in the future.
- Set aside some time on Sunday, or over the weekend to foster your social connections. That could be hanging out with your family, or meeting a friend for brunch. The trick is to do something that is social oriented, and carving some time in the day to accomplish that.
- Sneak a sweat session in. Even 10 minutes of high interval intensity training will give you the energy you need. You can also go for a hike, or a nice brisk walk. A dose of fresh air can do wonders for the mind and the body as you gain more clarity, as well as release some of those kinks that are ailing you.
- Do not attempt to sleep in. Sleeping in sounds great, especially on a lazy Sunday morning. Don’t be tempted to sleep in for more than an extra hour, otherwise you will get up feeling rushed and anxious with everything rolling around in your mind about what errands need to be done, on top of family and work obligations. The last thing you want or need is an extra undesirable shot or two of the stress hormone cortisol beyond what is needed to get you truly motivated to accomplish the things you need to do.
- Designate some time, now that winter is upon us, to set an intention for the day. An intention could be any particular phrase or mantra that can help to quite your mind. It can be something like ‘I will have a peaceful day ahead of me,’ or I am grateful for my friends and family.
- Meditate. Even for five minutes every Saturday/Sunday morning before you start your day. Research benefits demonstrate positive changes in the brain even up to 2 minutes of meditation a day, done on a consistent basis. Learning how to breathe properly can help you feel calmer, center your mind, and maintain a sense of focus.
- Work a little. If you must work, aim to set between 1-1.5 hours over the weekend to organize your emails, respond to only urgent work related matters, and write a list of your work/personal goals for the week ahead with a detailed plan of how you will tackle them. This does not have to be all in one shot. Breaking the time up will be quite easier. Designating some work time will prevent you from feeling more blue, or anxious later on in the day on Sunday, so you can truly relax. That sense of control can be quite powerful, and uplifting.
- Time to read. Carve some leisure time to read something that is not work oriented, preferably before bed, or early in the morning if you are one of the first to wake up in your household. It is a healthy escape to indulge in, and might subconsciously help you solve a personal/professional issue you are dealing with.
- Brown bag your lunch, or meal prep on Saturday/Sunday. This makes planning your meals throughout the week a lot more manageable, less time consuming and more economical as well. Even something as chopping up many vegetables to be sautéed, or added to any side dish to a weeknight meal will be quite helpful for your meal planning strategies throughout the week.
By making your Sundays/weekends more productive, however way you structure it, you can end up truly relaxing more, and getting ready for the work week ahead. You do not have to incorporate everything on this list, as that can be quite stressful, and actually defeats the whole purpose at hand. Just tackle 1 or 2 themes on this list, or any other practical ones you can think of that will work for you/your family, and try implementing it consistently on the weekends over the next month or so.
Like with any good forming habit, when executed well, you will end up feeling more relaxed, refreshed, and productive. This will also make everyone around you feel less stressed as well. Eventually it will become second nature to you, freeing you from the impending Monday morning blues, so you can tackle the work week ahead with grace, a sense of calm, aplomb, and vigor.