sayonara, sunday blues

Here is the thing. When I was deep into hating my job, Sundays were the worst. The day would start amazingly- brunch, walks, hanging out- but as it progressed, and the start of a new week drew closer and closer, a dark cloud seemed to move in. If you feel like your job isn’t where you want to be, or that you are destined for something bigger, Monday morning can bring a lot of stress into your life. And even still, if you love your job, Sunday afternoon signals the close to a perpetually too-short weekend.

Here’s my six favourite things to do to show up on Monday morning, calm, cool and collected (giving you time to spare to do other things, like look for a new job).

1. Plan.

Go old school with paper, or get snazzy with technical—I’m not picky. But use some of your Sunday to review what is coming up this week. Who are you going to see, what is going on, when are the big meetings? Once you’ve got that sorted, start to plug in the things you want to do- the workout class, the friend date, running errands. Personally, I’ve got Zumba on the books with my sister, and a standing yoga class with my husband.

2. Meal prep

I am nothing without meal prep. While you’ve got that calendar out, figure out what meals you are going to make and when. Do a scan of the fridge and cupboards, check out a new recipe and add your meals to the calendar. Favourite meals around here include tacos, curries, chili and basically anything the Happy Pear posts to YouTube.

The key to success is then getting some of that cooking out of the way- almost every Sunday you will find me with a pot of wild rice on the stove (the one that takes 45 minutes to cook that you NEVER have time to make in the middle of the week), and a sheet of sweet potatoes, red onion and peppers in the oven. Depending on my meal plan, I’ll have other things on the go—today it was pesto, baby potatoes, cookie dough (!) and plant-based parmesan. These things can form the basis of a lunch or dinner, and make the difference between a quick meal and a painful meal later in the week.

3. Lists

One of the most anxiety producing patterns is running through everything you have to do, in your head. Clear out that brain space and get it down on paper! Whether it is a to do list for work, trying to remember all the house things you need to follow up on, or annoying adulting tasks (taxes! bills! oil change!), getting it down on paper will be the first step towards tackling some of this shit, head on.

4. Phone a friend.

Or a family member. If you are feeling down, give someone a call or FaceTime. Shoot an email to that friend who just moved overseas for work. By reaching out, you’ll shift your energy and focus on engaging with a person you love. It can be powerful to get you out of your head, while also giving you the opportunity to vent, if need be. Catching up with someone over the phone, or writing an email, reminds us that we aren’t alone. It helps me stop spinning whatever Sunday story I have in my head, and allows for the bigger picture. It is that refreshing perspective I crave.

5. Do you

Do something for yourself. It is Sunday- savor the rest of that weekend and squeeze the last bit out of it! Paint your toenails, finish that book, go for a walk, take a bath. Just get the last bit of relaxation in before you…

6. Go to bed early.

I know! It sounds so completely boring, but trust me on this.

Starting your week off in a calm headspace is critical, and slowing down and intentionally hitting bed early is the best way to do it. So many nights I’ve fallen asleep on the couch, deep into some Netflix marathon. Waking up at midnight, contorted on the couch, is the farthest thing from restful there is. Getting into bed, getting your eight hours- these things will set you up for success come Monday morning. You’ll wake up easier, thinking clearly and feel better.

At the end of the day, it is all about your intentions, and how you show up. Ignoring the fact that Monday is looming will never work. Instead, take back your Sunday, and make it work for you. Clear out all the superfluous stuff, so that you can focus. Making sure you’ve got a planned week, stockpiles of healthy food and have carved out time to connect with yourself, as well as others, allows you to slow down and be intentional. That’s what will get you through Monday, and onto the rest of a successful week.

alex kelly

public health + personal wellness