Like many people, I often get a bad case of Smondays. That anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach as Sunday comes to a close and Monday begins to rear it’s ugly head. Since working from home full time i’ve found the fear is less consuming but, out of habit, it’s still there, sitting on my shoulder making it hard to truly enjoy my Sunday evening.
In a year when almost everything is going wrong, when we’re more isolated than ever, yet exposed and responsible for everything happening in the world, life can be overwhelming and the only things we can control is our mindset and our own actions. I’m no guru, these aren’t fool proof steps to a happier life – if you hate your job, no amount of Sunday night prep is going to make you leap out of bed the next day – but these are a few things I do that have helped me feel less anxious and more prepared for a better Monday, which has had a knock on effect for the rest of the week.
Do something you really enjoy in the evening. Plan it.
Sometimes i’ve sat on my bed and scrolled through my phone for hours and then 10pm arrives, I regret not enjoying my Sunday evening enough and i’m left feeling very ‘un-mindful’ (is that a word?). The better weeks for me have been when I’ve planned my evening, even if it’s a plan to do very little. I personally prefer not to do anything on a Sunday evening; for me, a perfect Sunday night is movies, mood-lighting and a cup of tea, maybe a pamper session.I find that if I wind-down properly, I have a better night’s sleep and don’t spend the wee-hours of the morning worrying.
Prepare for Monday
Some people will disagree with me here, but my Monday mornings are busy every single week, I have 3 or 4 meetings from 9.15 through to 12 o’clock so I have very little time to get myself organised and I don’t want to wake up extra early to panic my way through preparing for the day. So I usually spend an hour or two on Sunday checking my diary, writing my to do list and getting any bits of work done that I can, that will make my Monday easier. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it makes me feel productive on a Sunday and less stressed for Monday morning.
Plan something to look forward to in the week
It’s difficult to do while life is quite restricted at the moment, but it doesn’t have to mean going out or spending money. One week I committed myself to watching one movie a night from a series (Harry Potter, if you must know), at the same time every evening, with snacks and everything. I found myself really looking forward to my evenings that week, I turned my phone on airplane mode for the duration of the movie (which I never do) and it was just one of the few times that i’ve genuinely indulged in ‘me-time’.
Have a slow Monday morning
Despite my earlier admission that I don’t want to wake up extra early to work, it wouldn’t hurt to wake up earlier than usual to have a slow Monday morning. Take your time to get ready for work, enjoy a cup of tea and breakfast sitting at a table instead of on the go, or at your desk. On the days when I have to walk the dog before work, I try not to rush him as we go, instead appreciating the 30/40 minutes we have outside while it’s still quiet. On the days when I don’t have to walk the dog, I stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes, reading or eating breakfast – it makes the day feel less like a work day.
Make the day as easy as possible
I tend not to work out on a Monday. Working out is a chore for me and if I have to make my way through a work day with the only plan at the end of the day being squats and lunges then it’s just going to put me in a bad mood. If I do work out it’ll be spontaneous and because i’m feeling PUMPED. My point is, if you have control over your day then make it as easy as possible; don’t book too many meetings in, instead, try and get through as much of your to-do list as possible so that the rest of your week is less stressful. You’ll feel productive, without having spent all day in meetings with no time to actually do any work.
Some of those tips are steered slightly more toward someone who might have a similar job to mine, in an 9-5 office job, with the autonomy to manage my own day. They all have a fairly similar theme but they’re tried and tested and when all five align, I tend to have a good week. Would love to hear what your tips for defeating the Scary Sundays are.