Oh, the dreaded Monday morning. You find yourself driving at a snail’s pace to work, inching through traffic only to drag your feet every last step on your way into the office. We’ve all been there, haven’t we – so what is it about Monday that we find so scary? What is it that’s scary enough to have us sweatin’ the small stuff from the second those Sunday brunch mimosas are gone, up until we’re finally able to collapse on our couches with a glass of wine (or two, or three) on Monday evening?
I’ll tell you what: It’s that sweaty-palmed, sticky-fingered anticipation of Monday that has us scared sh*tless. It’s not the reality of Monday itself – it’s the Sunday scaries (also known as the dread of returning to work, school, and/or responsibilities that the start of the workweek entails) leading up to it. Because once you’re at work – unless you truly can’t stand your job, to which we would kindly and gently point out that it might just be time for you to quit – you have to admit it to yourself that it just isn’t all that bad.
All that being said, here are our tips on making Monday morning suck a little less – because the Sunday scaries don’t have to be so bad (though we’re still very much in need of an extra day between Sunday and Monday, calendar gods). Really.
1. Don’t check your emails right away.
Fight the urge to check your email the moment you wake up – yes, I’m telling you to avoid that inbox like the awkward coworker who insists on telling you irrelevant details about his weekend every Monday morning. At the very least, avoid filing through all those unreads until you get to work.
According to a survey conducted by the New York Times, checking email less often reduces stress. In fact, checking your inbox constantly and obsessively can even reduce productivity at work. That means that your habit of checking work emails on the weekend is actually hindering your work ethic, not helping it.
2. Set up a to-do list on Friday before you leave the office for the weekend.
Set yourself up for success to get sh*t done on Monday. There’s nothing more satisfying than ticking important tasks off of your to-do list. If you’ve already organized before the weekend, or even gone so far as to take care of menial tasks before leaving the office Friday evening (in which case, go you!), there’s no need to waste any valuable time doing so on Monday morning.
In other words: Go home, Sunday scaries. You’re drunk (preferably after a long and pleasant brunch with your best friends), and the office is no place for you.
3. Get enough sleep on Sunday.
So that you can wake up ten minutes earlier than you would have on Monday. Instead of crashing through your morning routine with less than 10 minutes to spare, devote that beloved extra time in an otherwise rushed and hectic day to unwind, relax, and mentally prepare yourself for the workweek.
This leads me to my next point...
4. Take the time to stretch when you wake up.
If you really aren’t a morning person, may we suggest doing some relaxing yoga poses on Sunday evening to guide you into a full 8 hours that are actually restful? Yes, that means cutting yourself off after the second glass of wine, which I’ll admit is a particularly tough one for me.
Alternately, if you’re a mystical fairytale creature morning person, take the time to stretch, do some yoga poses and/or sun salutations when you wake up. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel, both mentally and physically.
5. Make sure your weekend time is reserved for weekend activities.
And yes, by that I mean non-work related activities. If you find yourself hating life every Monday, and dreading the moment you have to walk into the office all Sunday, there’s a good chance you might just be feeling burnt out. If you take the time to treat yourself on the weekends, you won’t hate everything so much when Monday comes rolling around again.