After a fun-filled weekend of good food, indulgence and relaxation, Monday returns for a tough reality check. It gets harder in the cooler months, where we just want to stay wrapped in our blankets and already have seemingly lazy energy levels. Well, as hard as it sounds, here’s what you can do to reboot your mind.
How? Well, here are a couple of methods and hacks, explained by experts. From fun playlists to healthy breakfast plans, we’ve got you covered.
Establish a Sunday evening routine, for starters
“After a hectic weekend, it's important to reset for the new week ahead to maintain work-life balance, and productivity. It's important to establish a Sunday evening routine and prioritise sleep to recharge the body and mind,” says Beverley Wylie, a wellness expert and founder of Wellness We Need, based in Dubai.
Take yourself out for a long walk after dinner. Reflect on the previous week, your achievements, and challenges, she advises. “This is a good way to take your thoughts away from the weekend's activities, and get yourself back into a work mindset,” she says.
Take yourself out for a long walk after dinner. Reflect on the previous week. This is a good way to take your thoughts away from the weekend's activities, and get yourself back into a work mindset...
Ideally write a to-do list for at least the first few days of the week, so that you are not overthinking when you're trying to get to sleep, she adds. When planning, try to avoid meetings on a Monday, or at least the first half of the day. “This will allow you to regain your focus and start working on your to-do list. It's also useful to write goals for the week to help you stay focused and hold yourself accountable, adding progress or completion of each task,” says Wylie.
Detox by Sunday evening
No one’s judging you for indulging in some pizza and junk food over the weekend. However, you need a detox by Sunday evening.
So, enjoy a healthy, delicious meal on Sunday evenings, mixed with fruits and vegetables, says Thelia Newman, a British UAE-based mindset and wellness expert. Keep out the sugar; drink some herbal tea instead, she advises. You’ll feel less dreary and lethargic. And, more importantly, sleep early. “You can leave aside your scrolling through Instagram reels or watching Netflix till late. You need healthy sleep patterns,” she adds.
Pamper yourself with some self-care if you like, she adds. Sometimes lying on bed with some cooling masks on your face can really ease your mind.
A Monday morning playlist
A little jazz, rock, or some pop to add some fun to your Monday morning?
For Dubai-based Joseph Hale, an American entrepreneur, it’s a mix of old rock songs. Sometimes, it’s jazz. “I play different playlists, the moment I wake up in the morning. It really lifts my mood and makes all the normal routines of household chores and getting to work more fun,” he says.
Wylie believes that some fun and uplifting tunes on a Monday morning can really set the tone for the day. “Make yourself a ‘Monday morning’ playlist, which you can listen to, as soon as you get ready, or on the way to work. Make sure it’s full of fun, so it gives you a boost,” she says.
The sunlight fix
Just standing with a hot cup of coffee in the sunlight for a couple of minutes every morning is healing. Dubai-based Tara Tillman, a Canadian expat, relishes this routine, every morning. “I like sitting on the swing in our balcony after watering our plants, and just watching the sky for a bit. It centres me after the weekend and gets me into the work mode,” she says.
It’s a science-backed method, according to Celia Smith, an American Dubai-based holistic physician and wellness expert. “Every morning after you wake up, just sit outside for a couple of minutes. While it balances our Circadian rhythms, which is the physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow the 24 hour cycle. It also boosts our dopamine levels. This helps in boosting the functioning of the immune system and helping your overall mood,” she says.
Making a healthy breakfast
Pancakes might be great for some weekend indulgence, but you should preferably return to healthy routines for the week.
Prepare a healthy breakfast for yourself that doesn’t have too many carbs and sugars, says Smith. Try an omelette, too. There’s some fun in preparing food too in the mornings, like cutting and sautéing the vegetables and cooking it on the pan. “It’s always better to cook food for yourself, rather than trying to use packed and processed food,” says Smith.
You can start preparing the food by the previous evening too, if you know that you have a busy Monday ahead. “It's a great idea to arrange meal prep to save time during the week, and make sure you allow time for a healthy and nutritious breakfast,” says Wylie.
Maybe go to work early?
Yes, we said that, but there’s merit to that statement.
“So, as preposterous as it sounds, do try reaching work a little early the next day. Go through your emails, see your workload and plan accordingly,” says Smith. It will help you settle into the day; you can even have an extra cup of coffee in the cafeteria to change your mood around.