5 Ways to Improve Mondays
No matter how much you love your work, there's usually something that makes walking into a new week feel burdensome. The disappointment in Monday can be triggered by having an enjoyable weekend end, the dreaded start of another week with a bummer job, or even the dread of the commute. Yes, Monday blues are cliché, but this cliché exists because the sentiment is so common. Alas, blah-ful Mondays don't have to be so.
If you're like me, the tone of a Monday (or any day for that matter) is improved by making some deliberate decisions about my attitude and a commitment to doing things just slightly differently from normal. See if any of these work for you.
1. Find your play list! Gone are the days of making "mixed tapes." It's easier than ever to put together a motivating play list to listen to during your commute to work. Do you have one for Mondays? If you've never tried this, trust me, traffic is better if you are listening to some of your favorite tunes (preferably while you're singing along). Lately I'm happy when I'm listening to "Hey Mama" by Mat Kearney, "Brighter Than The Sun" by Colbie Caillet, or "Something Beautiful" by NeedToBreathe. (Don't judge me!) You probably know how much the right music helps when you work out; well, the same is true for the morning commute!
2.Switch it up and try something new TODAY. Sometimes just shaking up the routine helps my attitude tremendously. I love working in a new environment (particularly if it's outside!) or finding a different route to the office, or trying a new food. For you, think about what relaxes you and brings you joy (an extra hot no-whip vanilla skim latte, perhaps?) and incorporate it into your plans.
We moved offices over the weekend, so this is an easy one for me today. Here's my nice new view:
3.Cancel a meeting. Last week, someone canceled a meeting that cleared a couple of hours on my calendar and I felt as though I had been given a HUGE gift. If you're the one in the office who does a lot of the meeting scheduling, challenge yourself to see if the topic can be covered another way. Telling people that a meeting isn't necessary doesn't make you look less like of a leader. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, the cartoon below is how most people I know feel about meetings.
4.Expect the day's "negative" and challenge yourself to Keep Calm & Carry On when it hits. No one promised you a bump-free day. There are going to be delays, misunderstandings, and things that break. The world is a broken place, so we best all expect challenges. When you find yourself asking, "Why me?" answer yourself with, "Why not me?" There is tremendous power in expectations and if you think your day is going to be filled with strawberries and cream, chances are you'll be surprised when the day serves up a something a little less special. Don't waste your time figuring out all of the "why" behind a challenge - especially if you're looking to place blame. If you expect some trouble, you'll be able to face it with a little less emotion!
5. Intentionally find someone to encourage. Who is the person who helps you stay sane when the rest of the world is driving you crazy? Who are your Peter Dills? Do these people realize what an impact they make on you? Make it a point to tell them and make their Monday! Who do you know who is working through the loss of a job, an illness, or a broken marriage? Perhaps you know some Cleveland Browns fan who is trying to cope like this guy. Find a way to walk beside them to listen and give an encouraging word. Sometimes, the best way to deal with your own frustrations is to stop looking inward and pay more attention to people around you. Think about the flash mob at the Hockey Game or at Caine's Arcade - the people giving the encouragement in those videos had as much fun as the person receiving the encouragement. Don't feel like you have to be elaborate; remember, even a sincere "Thanks, I appreciate you" can be what a person needs to have a great day.
Why not take two minutes right when you finish reading this and throw a few texts, emails, or calls of encouragement to three important people in your life? What a great way to make someone's day better.
Thanks for reading along. I appreciate you!!
Thinking of you thinking about this makes my Monday even that much brighter.