By Martin Ebner
It's Sunday evening. Slowly but surely thoughts of work, mundane tasks and monotonous routine creep their way into the back of your mind and the positive #weekendvibes are quickly replaced with feelings of dread and deep regret for what at the time seemed like a great idea. If this sounds like you, it's possible that you went a little overboard this weekend? Thankfully, you are not alone and your weekend's decisions needn't dictate the week ahead. Here's how to kick Monday's ass!
A healthy Monday starts on Sunday
While you may be contemplating ending the weekend with one final over-the-top and totally unnecessary greasy meal and a bottle of wine in a desperate attempt to prolong the weekend "high" for just a few more hours, don't! The longer you postpone returning to your normal diet and routine, the harder it is. The truth is, each and every meal is an opportunity to replenish and to provide your body with everything it needs to function properly. Therefore if it has been a weekend of excess, make sure your last meal of the weekend is a healthy and nutritious one. It'll give your body the boost it so badly needs and will allow you to end the weekend on a healthy high. It can also help reduce feelings of guilt over so-called “bad behaviour”.
Related: 15 superfoods you should be eating
Get an early night
An early night doesn't require much clarification. If you under-slept this weekend, get into bed before midnight on Sunday (the latest Netflix series can wait!). While you can't necessarily catch up on lost zzz's, you can at the very least recharge your batteries the night before the week ahead.
Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual
Wait! What!? But you said…! I'll leave this one for you to decide. If you can manage to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual to do a little visualisation of what you would like to achieve this week, you'll be one step ahead of the rest.
Even if you don't believe in the benefits of visualisation for a more productive and positive you, an extra 30 morning minutes will allow you to ease into the day in a stress-free manner.
If you skipped the first few suggestions, roll out of bed and get wet. A quick morning shower is a fantastic way to hit the reset button. Evidence shows that morning showers can help decrease stress, increase immunity, improve skin health, relieve coughs and perhaps most importantly following an exorbitant weekend, wash away toxins!
Dress to impress
Dress the part, look the part, feel the part! If ever there was a day of the week to look your most dapper, Monday is it. What you chose to wear can have a big impact on how you look and feel and if you're dressed to the nines, you'll feel more positive and confident about the week ahead.
Eat a healthy breakfast
As you clearly took my previous advice, you're up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Therefore you've got time to sit down and eat a decent breakfast. Before you do though, stick the kettle on and serve yourself a warm glass of lemon flavoured water. Packed with vitamin C, lemon water is great for digestion, hydration, liver function, freshens breath and may even help boost your metabolism.
Once you've necked that, it's breakfast time. You'll want something high in protein, carbs, fibre and healthy fats to keep you energised until lunch. By making your very first meal of the weak a healthy one, you'll be more encouraged to continue eating well for the rest of the week.
Try this delicious overnight oats recipe:
100ml milk (Almond, soy or cow)
1 Scoop (25g) Vanilla protein powder (optional)
125g Greek yogurt (Fat-free)
1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds
1 Tbsp Honey (optional)
You'll want to prepare this one ahead of time (Preferably the night before).
1. Add the oats, milk, chia seeds, and honey to a jar. Screw the lid on tightly and give it a good shake.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the protein powder and yogurt until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Add the berries and yogurt to the jar and give it a good stir.
4. Seal and store in the refrigerator overnight.
5. Rise and chow down.
Coffee, despite what some critics say, is damn good for you. I have authority to say that as my sister in law is a Registered Dietitian and she swears by it.
Evidence shows that moderate levels of coffee consumption (defined as 3 - 4 cups per day) has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including longer lifespan and reduced risk of numerous chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Best make it a double then!
Whether you're in need of a deep sweat to purge your system of the weekend's toxins or simply need to get moving, the sooner you can get your workout done and out of the way the less likely you are to make excuses not to later.
Exercise has a variety of benefits but most importantly for Mondays, it helps beat the blues, reduces anxiety, helps kickstart self-control, promotes a healthy routine and can also boost brain power).
If all else fails, pamper it up!
A hot stone massage, light restorative yoga session, pedicure, manicure, haircut. Whatever you get the most joy from, do it! If ever there was a day to dedicate it to yourself and your wellbeing, Monday is it!!
A final word
Monday's aren't inherently bad. They can be a fantastic opportunity for a fresh start, to improve oneself or to try something new and exciting.
Even if you only follow 1 of the steps above, you'll be better prepared to command not only Monday but the rest of the week too. By starting the week with things that promote positivity, productiveness and healthy habits, you'll feel more physically and mentally prepared to tackle whatever the week throws at you.
With that in mind, have a great week!!
Related: How to improve your health at work