The start of a new week. A fresh page, a blank slate.
If you’re rolling your eyes or yawning or thinking, this lady is crazy… I hate Mondays, just hear me out for a sec.
Sure, the last thing I want to do is peel myself out of my suddenly extra comfortable bed to wake up early. But hmmm that’s really everyday. So besides that, I’m really quite fond of Mondays. It’s the day when we get to start over.
A reset button, if you will.
I haven’t always felt this way, and some days I will admit that it’s not easy but I believe that starting the week off with allllll of the good vibes is the best way for me to be the most positive, productive version of myself throughout the week. Read on for some of my favorite ways start the week….
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1. Plan for success
I like to do this Sunday night so I’m prepared for the week, but sometimes I’m able to set aside time on Monday morning before work instead. I currently have SO much on my plate and try to do everything I can to minimize stress, and so I don’t have to guess what’s going on this week. This means I check my calendar and lay out my schedule, appointments, MUST dos, and goals in my planner to help me have an organized, productive week.
Seeing it all in front of me makes me feel like I can let out a huuuuuge exhale.
It’s a step in the right direction to making the most out of the week ahead. I also love to doodle in my planner and add fun stickers; creating something that helps me look at my days positively helps me de-stress. Plus, it’s pretty! (P.S. that’s Nicole Culver’s Blissful Eats Podcast on my iPad. If you’re a blogger or entrepreneur, definitely check it out!)
2. Pack the night before
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am NOT a morning person and I loooove sleeping in. I try to maximize the amount of time I spend in my bed, which means I do everything I can to make my morning tasks instant. Basically, so I can get dressed and ready to go with my eyes closed.
One thing I make sure to do every night, which is even MORE important on a Sunday night, is packing your bag for the next day. When you pack your backpack, workbag, purse, or lunchbox before you go to sleep, all you’ll have to do in the morning is grab it and go. No more scrambling around in the morning or forgetting something important because you’ve already thought of it.
Some days I’m so busy that I even lay out EVERYTHING for my breakfast the night before like this- bread ready in the toaster oven and everything- so that the morning will run smoothly! (And YES that is an avocado container!!! I use it to save the other half of my avocado from avo toast #veganaf!)
Try getting yourself ready for the day the night before and see how smoothly your morning runs! Bonus points if you lay out your outfit the night before. I can’t go to sleep without setting out my outfit (but I’m also a little weird)!
3. Get in the kitchen
Delicious doesn’t have to be difficult! Nor does it have to include any animal products. Cutting meat out just one day per week can have a significant impact on the environment, animals, and your own health. So think about making today a Meatless Monday– start your week of with a yummy, cruelty-free dessert to get your mind off the Monday blues.
Or treat yourself to the most important (and my favorite) meal of the day: breakfast! Whether it’s a casual cup of tea and bowl of cereal at your desk, smoothie in the car, or toast you’ve thrown into a container to eat at work, start your day off with a full tummy and the nutrients to get you through the day with a smile.
Being hangry is the worst. That’s why for work or nights I have class I like to pre-pack healthy snacks like this (celery with almond butter + raisins, ugly carrots + hummus, Silk yogurt with fruit + my new favorite granola).
Or meal prep to your heart’s content. Maybe for you that means planning out and preparing your meals for the whole week on one day. Maybe it means packing lunch for the night before and sticking it in the fridge or setting out your breakfast. Anything that gets you going and munching mindfully!
4. Move your body
Even though I try, the reality is that I don’t always prioritize fitness. However, I know I’m much more likely to squeeze in workouts throughout the week if I start on Monday. Even though it’s only one day, if I miss a Monday workout, chances are the rest of the week is all out of whack.
Why get moving? Exercise releases endorphins, which literally make you feel like a BO$$. It can also be a great way to clear your head, work on balance, hang with workout buddies, or push yourself to reach physical goals. Plus, it never hurts to sweat it out after the extra pizza/wine/whatever you indulged in over the weekend. (And by you I mean me.)
A few of myare trail running, hitting the gym, or yoga videos on YouTube (especially Yoga with Adriene lately)! I LOVE yoga for sleep to get my body ready for the night. Even if I only have 10 minutes, I go away feeling more relaxed, focused, and clarified. There’s no better way to start the week!
5. Discover Weekly
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Spotify. As in, it’s constantly open on my phone, iPad, and computer and I compile playlists for every occasion. But have you ever tried out Spotify’s playlists?
Every Monday, Spotify customizes a 30 song playlist for your listening pleasure called Discover Weekly. 30 songs! Every week! I LOVE starting my Monday discovering new music based on artists and songs I already vibe with. And let me tell you, they are on point 99% of the time! You’ll find so many hidden gems without any work. You can listen to my Discover Weekly above and check out your own on Spotify!
6. Check something biiiiig off your to-do list
Erin wtf! I thought this post was gonna be fun, you think. It is, though- accomplishing your goals is fun! Okay, sometimes putting in work sucks. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Nobody wants to deal with that heaping pile of laundry to put away, inbox full of emails to answer, Tupperware containers in the sink, or homework assignment that’s been on the back burner all weekend. Oh… just me?
Whatever the big ticket item on your to- do list is, take a step – or LEAP – in the right direction. Maybe even get ‘er done. You may have to isolate yourself in your office/creative space/room but you’ll start your week feeling like an absolute rockstar who can tackle the world and will more than likely end up making moves on other goals. See- look how happy I am because I was doing WERK (lol jk my computer is not even on + I was totally just posing because I’m so excited about how this room is coming together. More on that later).
And the earlier in the week you get all your stuff done, the more time you have later in the week to relax instead of working on that project you procrastinated. Still working on taking my own advice on this one TBH.
7. Treat yo self
Speaking of relaxation, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times. TREAT. YO. SELF. Self care is anything but selfish; if you don’t stop and take some time to relax and show up for you, you’ll burn out and won’t be able to show up for others.
You can treat yourself in so many different ways so think about what helps you relax. It can be anything from a bath bomb to meditation to a chocolatey face mask to spending some extra time snuggling up to your pet. When you allow yourself the gifts of rest and relaxation, you’ll be able to better function to plow through all the things you have to get done. AND you’ll most likely feel happier and more focused. Check out the instrumental playlist (above) I love for meditation, studying, and slooooowing down 🙂
8. Read for fun
I laughed out loud for a second when I typed that because it reminded me of “Read for 20 minutes” which my students write in their assignment pads every day. I’m not giving you homework even though it sounds like I am!! I just know that it can be a challenge to make time to read something that isn’t school, work, or blogging related.
I don’t know about you but some days I’m so tired from reading a zillion things that the last thing I want to do is put ANY more words in front of my face. But I always forget how much I love to curl up with a good book or catch up on my favorite blogs. Or a few of the 10439074897 articles I’ve saved to read later- It’s finally “later.”
Don’t have enough time where your eyes aren’t glued to a screen or your hands aren’t glued to a steering wheel? Try an audiobook! YAY for multitasking! A novel can’t hold your attention right now? No worries! Lately I’ve been loving memoirs and books of short stories or essays, which are usually broken up into smaller chapters or sections.
9. Get inspired
Oooooh this one’s FUN! Do literally ANYTHING to get yourself inspired and your creative juices flowing. I enjoy listening to a podcast, giving my guitar some quality time, doing a craft (like these crayon cupcakes melted from old crayons), watching an inspirational video, or reading a get-your-life-together kind of book. Find a fun way to get inspired today and challenge yourself to create something!
10. Subscribe to my new weekly emails!
Starting Monday, January 2, 2017 I’ll be sending Monday love straight to the inboxes of all those that will have me. These emails will be chock full of quotes, stories, tips, and more so you can get your weekly dose of inspiration (and a little comedy)! My goal is to help you start your week off feeling like a rockstar so that just maybe you’ll start seeing Mondays the same way I do! Plus, it’s the easiest way to keep up with The Wanderess happenings (and my weird and wonderful life). Pretty much a win-win, I must say.
How do you start your week off right? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #MakethemostofyourMonday!