Blue Monday: Six ways to improve this worst of days
It seems that with every passing week, the world's overwhelming resentment for Mondays only grows stronger. Returning to work after a nice weekend is always going to feel like a chore.
And today, January 21, is officially 'Blue Monday' – the most depressing day of the year. But there are things you can do to make the first day of the week a more pleasant ordeal. Here's a few suggestions:
1. Don't skip breakfast
At the risk of sounding like a nagging parent, don't rush out the door without eating anything. It's a bit of a cliche at this point, but a decent breakfast can make a big difference to how you feel in the morning. One slice of toast and a strong coffee probably isn't quite cutting it, so try to find something a little more nutritious. A bit of extra effort will go a long way.
2. Stay off social media (at least a little)
More and more people are checking their phone for notifications within minutes of waking up, which isn't a great habit to get into. The chances are you won't have missed anything important in the eight or so hours you've been asleep. Instead of taking valuable time to check the latest updates from that Facebook page you keep meaning to unfollow, why not put on your favourite album or take a long shower?
3. Make (fun) plans for the evening
Early Monday mornings can be a drag, but you might find them a little easier if you have something to look forward to at the end of it. Whether that's a trip to the cinema, a meal out or a quiet night in catching up with a few friends – just because you're working tomorrow, doesn't mean you can't have any fun.
4. Start something new (other than a diet)
The logic of starting a diet on a Monday has always been slightly warped. Why make a universally-hated day of the week even more tedious by not letting yourself eat? That's a recipe for disaster. Instead, use your Monday as an opportunity to start something that you might actually enjoy, like a new sport or fitness class, a television show or book. You could even start learning a new language. What's stopping you?
5. Do some job hunting
If you're having trouble with Mondays, maybe you need to think about whether you're getting the job satisfaction you need. There's no reason to do anything drastic – storming into your manager's office and dramatically quitting does not come recommended – but there's no harm in having a browse at what jobs are available and shooting off a few applications. You never know what could come of it.
6. Be productive
Although it isn't always easy, if you can push yourself to have a successful Monday, you'll probably feel more positive about the rest of the week. Making a list of things you want to achieve is always a good way to stay focused, with few feelings more satisfying than crossing off a job you've been dreading for a while.