Real talk: Is anything as universally unpopular as a Monday after a much-deserved—but of course too-brief—weekend? There’s something cruel about this first day of the workweek, all chipper and insistent about forcing you to forfeit your relaxed ways and plunge, head first, back into to-do lists and emails awaiting reply. The sweet memories of a weekend well spent slowly fade as your stress levels spike over looming deadlines and important meetings. Yes—Mondays are unpopular, but to paraphrase a popular love story, better to have lived it up on the weekend and experienced the dread of Mondays than to have never experienced weekends at all.
So how do you make this notoriously unpopular—and frightfully regular—day of the week bearable? We’ve already teased out our best Sunday evening tactics that should help set you off on the right foot and even touched on how to be productive on Mondays, but once that alarm sounds, how can we actually feel enthusiastic—excited even? Not all hope is lost. We've outlined our best hacks to trick ourselves into not hating Mondays.
The weekend is over. It’s all a bit of a tragedy, but here we are—Monday. The first thing you must do is take all efforts to start this week off fresh, in every manner of the word. Wake up a bit early and take a long shower. Do your hair. Freshen your nail polish. Make your bed and tidy your room before you leave for work. When you get to your desk, make a shiny and new to-do list with long-term projects and things you need to get done on a tighter turnaround.
Have It Your Way
What’s your favorite breakfast food? What about your favorite song to get dressed to? Is there a street you love ambling down as you walk your pup? Take that route. Listen to that song. Eat your favorite food at that café. Much like tricking yourself into being a morning person, tricking yourself into not hating Mondays less is all about transforming a traditionally loathed thing into a source of pleasure—even if it’s fleeting. Bottom line: Treat yourself here and there throughout the day and you may find yourself hating Mondays less and less.
Plan Out Your Day
Whether you do this the night before or the morning of, it’s helpful to know exactly what’s heading your way come Monday. Even if it just means taking mental stock of everything on your to-do list, the simple act of checking in with what you have to do and where you have to be will cut down on surprises—and on a Monday, nothing threatens to stress you out and derail your already fragile state like an unexpected shock. If you know exactly what’s on your plate, you’ll be able to coast through the day like the organized zen master that you are (ha!).
Wear a New Purchase
What’s better than a shiny new purchase? Wearing it at the start of the week, of course! Wearing something new does something to the psyche that snaps us into first-day-of-school mentality—everything just feels a little more special and full of opportunity. Even if it’s something small or only recently purchased, it can be the little lift you need to go into Monday with a pep in your step.
Commute With a Friend
Whether you walk to work, take public transit, or drive, commuting with a friend will make your Monday morning trip to the office—the most dreaded of all commutes—fun. Yes, really! Catch up on the weekend’s antics, chat about upcoming plans, vent about the workweek if you must—it’s all good.
Set a Lunch Date
Packing a lunch is without question the responsible, budget-conscious way to do workweek lunches. We support them every day—except on Mondays. You’ll be amazed by how much an out-of-office lunch can change the tone of a workday. Even if you’re slammed on Mondays with catch-up emails and new projects, at least make a point to walk to grab food, or make an afternoon coffee run with a co-worker or friend who works nearby.
Plan Something After Work
Have something to look forward after the workday—be it a happy hour, a dinner, a screening of your favorite TV show, or an exercise class. Whatever it is, it will make the drag of Monday feel purposeful. Having a light at the end of the tunnel will give whatever Monday blues you’re experiencing a little silver lining.
Real talk: Monday is nothing if not a fresh start, a new canvas to which you can set the tone for better habits and the wheels in motion for exciting new projects. The world is your oyster!
Do you have any secrets for turning your case of the Mondays around? Share your tips with us.
Ed. note: This story was originally published on July 13, 2015, and has been updated by Gabrielle Savoie.