Try a few of these ideas to prepare for Monday – most of them are fun and creative!
- Recharge your batteries. Even if it’s tempting to stay indoors all weekend watching movies, checking your Reddit or Instagram feed, gaming, or browsing YouTube videos, make a point to go outdoors. Being outside, especially somewhere close to nature, will give you more energy and a much needed daily dose of vitamin D. To maximize the time, spend it doing some sort of physical activity you don’t have time for during the week, such as going for a hike, cycling, swimming, running in a park or somewhere by the water.
- Don’t leave any task that is likely to stress you out for Sunday evening.It is true that you should spend the weekend recharging your batteries and getting much needed rest. However, you can still sneak in some things you don’t want but need to do, and do them in small increments. For example, do your grocery shopping early Sunday evening after you’re done with your hike. Pay bills, do your homework, or draft a few work emails earlier in the morning over a hot cup of coffee and some music before you head out to something fun you’ve planned with friends. Then, spend the night relaxing, making a nice dinner, and watching a good movie.
- Go to bed early. Often the very thought of what awaits us on Monday morning makes us feel we need to be better prepared, which can easily go from “just checking a few emails after dinner” to sitting in bed with our laptop until 2 a.m., typing furiously. When that happens, it’s guaranteed we won’t have energy Monday morning. Instead, set a bedtime alarm to go off 30 minutes before you need to sleep, which will help you create a healthy habit of unwinding early.
- Stay away from TV and computer screens about an hour before you need to sleep. Think of other ways to unwind, such as listening to a podcast, reading a book, having a conversation with your partner or friend, writing in your journal, selecting the clothes you will wear, packing your gym bag, or just chilling with some good music.
- Customize your morning alarm. Prepare for the morning by creating an alarm that is more friendly to your sleepy self. Pick a ring tone that’s unusual but not too irritating; make a recording of your own voice saying a positive message; queue up some music that you find uplifting and energizing and schedule it to play when you need to wake up.
- Plan your breakfast. Don’t forget the most important meal of the day that should give you energy, boost your concentration, and keep you full until lunchtime. Here are a few ideas for a breakfast on the go, which shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to put together.
- Make overnight oats in a mason jar or any glass container (no cooking required): mix a few spoonfuls of oats, 1 t each of chia seeds and flax seeds, some walnuts, almonds, raisins; add a bit of almond milk or water to blend; leave in fridge overnight and top it off in the morning with some fresh fruit.
- Layer Greek yogurt with granola and some honey, also in a jar, and add fruit in the morning.
- If you prefer something warmer to eat on a cold day, mix all dry ingredients from the recipe for overnight oats, add a spoon of peanut butter, then add hot water when you get to work.
- Look forward to your long Monday commute. That’s right! Being stuck in traffic is not the greatest way to start off the week. How about prepping ahead of time so that the hour or so you spend getting to school or work becomes a time you look forward to? Queue up some podcasts that can entertain you, give you food for thought, and perhaps show you how you can improve something in your life. Here are some ideas:
- Optimize with Brian Johnson (condensed big ideas from the best books on optimal living and also micro classes on how to apply these ideas)
- Happier With Gretchen Rubin (a fun show led by bestselling author of “The Happiness Project” with small ideas you can apply to your life to exercise your happiness muscle)
- Planet Money (stories about smart people, economics, politics)
- The Inquiry (a debate on a controversial topic in the news and 4 experts challenging each other with 2 views, for and against the topic)
- Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod (creator of The Miracle Morning, provides ideas to cultivate a morning routine and boost productivity)
- Question of the Day (a show for people short on time and long on curiosity, with a lot of good humor in trying to answer the question at hand)
- Look forward to Monday night. Chances are that your Monday will be busy and you will have tons of things to do during the day, but this doesn’t mean you can’t plan a fun and relaxing Monday evening when you come back home. Plan to dedicate one hour to doing something that gets you excited, makes you happy, and that you will look forward to, such as going out for a bike ride, reading a book, playing guitar, hanging out with your partner or friend, or just chilling out in your room and listening to music really loud.