Dread Mondays? Here’s how to seize the week

A person works at a desk facing the wall. A sign on the wall reads: Punch today in the face.

For some of us, there is a collective mental groan we do on Sunday nights when the thought of starting a new work week is just hours away.

Mondays not only symbolize getting back into the workday grind, but often mean a mountain of things to do and obligations that stretch out in front of us as each new week begins.

Research has shown that some people even have what’s called the “Sunday blues” because the thought of starting back to work on Monday causes anxiety.

But you don’t have to hate Mondays. We’ve got some strategies that will make the beginning of each week seem easier.

A glass of water, a vase of flowers and a tube of essentials by Artistry Light Lotion sit on a nightstand next to a bed.

Get a good night’s sleep

If you head to work on little-to-no sleep, you’ll likely have bags under your eyes and be a little cranky. Not a great way to start the week.

So save the binge-watching for another night and get to bed at a decent hour. Need some help getting to sleep? Check out these seven tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

Don’t be late

The last thing you need is a late start on Monday. Double check your alarm and do some prepping the night before so there’s no rush in the morning.

If you work outside the home, gather your work things by the door. Make sure you have clean clothes and plan enough time to enjoy a good breakfast with your first cup of coffee, tea or an energy drink.

Smoothies make for quick and easy meals to start your day and the possibilities are endless. Need ideas? Check out these recipes.

A clean desk is shown in a tidy office with a neat bookshelf.

Start clean

You likely wrapped up work in a rush the Friday before, eager to start your weekend and leave the work stress behind. Before you do anything, organize your work space and create a clean area to tackle the day’s projects.

Do the same with your laptop, tablet or computer. Grab some wipes, clean the coffee spills and clear the clutter so you can see the image you chose as your background. (Your pet or child is a lot cuter without eight different icons in front of his face.)

A woman sits on her sofa working on her tablet planning her week.

Plan your week

There’s a reason many of us start work on Mondays facing a pile of extra tasks. We put them there.

Unfinished work from the week before gets pushed to the next work day, and other things we remembered over the weekend get tacked onto Monday’s list, too. It can leave you feeling frustrated before your day really begins.

Block out the first hour of your work week and go into planning mode, examining your to-do list, prioritize your emails and map out a plan for getting it done.

Anything that absolutely needs to get done on Monday moves to the top of the list. Other tasks get shifted to later the week.

A man looks at a computer screen while writing something down. He is sitting at his freshly decluttered desk.

Give yourself deadlines

Once you outline your strategy, put these mini-deadlines on your calendar, leaving room for unexpected items that will invariably crop up.

Being a stickler about meeting those deadlines will help prevent any of the tasks from showing up on next Monday’s to-do list.

Let go of last week’s frustrations

As you create your plan for the week, focus on what you can control. You can’t go back in time and prevent your mistakes, or those of your coworkers’, either.

But you can learn from those mistakes and start fresh with an attitude to do better moving forward.

A man opens up his water bottle after a workout at the gym.

Reward yourself for a hard day’s work

Sure, the weekend just ended, but because you followed these tips you just had an incredibly productive Monday. Help prepare for the rest of the week with a little “me time.”

Whether it’s a trip to the gym for your favorite kickboxing class, a walk in the park for some “green therapy,” or a little at-home spa session with a face mask, it will recharge your spirit for the week ahead.

Check out Pencil yourself in: 4 ways to make time for selfcare for some more ideas.

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