Mondays get a bad rap. Inevitably, every Monday morning, we see images on different social media sites talking about how terrible Mondays are, wishing for a shorter day and a stronger cup of coffee (or five)—among other things. Often these images are hilarious. Most of us really do dread Mondays since it’s the start of the work week. Technically, it’s time to get serious and get back to our tight, demanding schedules.
But Mondays can be magical, too, or at least not so dreadful. Here are some things you can do today to brighten your Monday, which also means taking good care of yourself:
- Start the day with a fun morning ritual: Dance while brushing your teeth or making breakfast. Put on your favorite songs as you take a shower. Read a few pages from your favorite book. Write down three things you’re grateful for in your journal. Give yourself 5 minutes to make up a silly poem. Set a timer, and color with your kids.
- If you have to wake up early, super early, take a few minutes to watch the sunrise. Marvel.
- Eat your favorite food for breakfast, so you have something to look forward to as you wake up to a day of work.
- Do something spontaneous that supports you.
- Carve out time in the evening to prepare a simple, nourishing dinner. Turn on songs that energize you or calming classical music that helps you decompress—and really focus on the chopping, boiling and baking. Breathe in the fresh ingredients. Take your time, if you can. Remind yourself of how lucky you are to have these ingredients and be able to make this meal.
- Watch the sunset. Pay close attention to how the sky changes and how that shifts the colors of the other things that surround it.
- Wear your favorite outfit.
- Make it your goal to collect a bit of beauty today—a natural object, such as a rock or flower, that you find on your commute; a great quote in the book you’re reading; a photo of the breathtaking sky (which you snap with your smartphone). This reminds you that there’s plenty of magic all around us. We just need to open our eyes.
- Sprinkle small treats throughout your day: Put lavender essential oil on your pillow. Wear your favorite perfume. Make coffee from scratch. Use a yummy smelling body wash and lotion. Savor lunch at your favorite spot.
- Create a sanctuary (or semi-sanctuary) at work—filled with objects that help you access ease, peace, magic, contentment, fun, creativity, or whatever else you need to have a nice, nourishing day. This might be everything from images of nature to family photos to your favorite mug to a coloring book to enjoy during breaks.
- Pay attention to the details of the day. As Judy Reeves writes in her book A Writer’s Book of Days: A Spirited Companion & Lively Muse for the Writing Life: “As you awaken in the morning, notice the light in your room, the wrinkle of sheets, the smell of air. Be present as you go through your day, mindful of such details as the mist rising from the orange you peel, the ridges of pattern in the peel’s color that fade to yellow near the green nub of stem, and the stem’s starlike pattern.”
There’s a beautiful quote from Storm Jameson, which I think speaks to the beauty of Mondays or any day, of any moment: “The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle, which is exactly what it is: a miracle and unrepeatable.” No matter how busy or boring our Mondays might be, those minutes are still precious. They are worthy of celebration and gratitude. Because, as cliché as it sounds, it means that we are on this earth a bit longer. And that truly is magical.
What can you do to make your Monday better and brighter? What do you already do?