Monday mornings can be tough. A 2018 survey by LinkedIn found that 80 percent of American workers get the “Sunday Scaries,” worrying about the week ahead. Add a time change to that mix and the beginning of your week can carry even more drag than usual.
What can you do to turn things around today—and into the future? Check out these three articles for ideas to help reset your mood, improve your energy, and protect your wellbeing.
1. Shape your mornings so they work for you
Mindset is a critical part of any day and experts say it starts by taking control of your morning. That can seem easier said than done: Organizing your family, enduring your commute, or logging on for a cross-timezone conference call first thing can quickly knock things off course.
But, as Sarah DiGiulio wrote for NBCNews Better in “9 Things to Do This Morning to Make Your Whole Day More Productive,” experts recommend a number of actions that can help you boost your energy and face the day with confidence.
It starts by having a plan. “Habits that get you out the door in the morning without having to stress over decisions enables you to have more willpower to make [other] decisions during the day about important things,” productivity expert and coach Ellen Goodwin told DiGiulio. Other tips include:
- Drinking a glass or two of water as soon as you wake up to rehydrate your body.
- Taking time to be mindful, whether that’s through meditation, journaling, or coloring. Goodwin said how you do it doesn’t matter as much as the goal: to calm down, slow down, and focus.
- Stepping into the sunshine, something Goel explained signals to your body that it’s time to wake up and start your day.
And—good news—your morning cup of coffee also gets the thumbs up. DiGiulio noted that “There’s a lot of data to show it really does help most people feel more alert and less groggy.”
Why we like it: Everyone’s daily routine is different, something that can be particularly true if you’re self-employed or working remotely. What matters is creating a morning routine that puts you on the path to a positive day, and this article provides helpful research-backed advice—including tips you may still be able to work into your morning today.
2. Adjust your priorities to find more happiness
It’s little surprise that being happy can help your week go more smoothly. But a study that’s been going for more than eight decades underscores how important it can be for both your short and long-term wellbeing.
“An 81-year Harvard Study Says Staying Happy and Mentally Sharp Boils Down to 1 Thing” summarized key findings from the research so far—or, specifically, the one critical thing the study’s current director, psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, said the study has revealed:
“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
As Procter & Gamble veteran and author Scott Mautz wrote for Inc.com, it turns out that the quality of our relationships can actually protect our brain and memory—we experience less stress and anxiety when we know there are people who have our backs.
But creating and maintaining quality relationships is no small feat: It takes ongoing effort, good communication, a willingness to forgive when things go sideways, and the ability to keep those relationships strong while meeting your other commitments, such as work.
“If success starts and ends with nurturing relationships, then everything else gets re-prioritized,” Mautz said. “You’ll find the things that go by the wayside to make room for relationships will soon seem trivial in comparison.
Why we like it: While relationships take time to grow, every small step is a move in the right direction—whether you schedule a call to check in with a friend, send a quick text to let your parents know you’re thinking of them, or wake up a few minutes earlier tomorrow to spend time with your family before everyone runs off to start their day.
3. Find a way to reduce or eliminate your commute time
If you don’t currently have the option to work remotely, this likely isn’t something you can swing for tomorrow. But with a growing number of companies adapting to distributed teams and remote workers, the possibility may not be out of reach.
In “The Average Worker Spends 51 Percent of Each Workday on These 3 Unnecessary Tasks” for Inc.com, contributing editor Geoffrey James calls out activities that take up far too much time and energy in our day-to-day lives: commutes, meetings, and emails.
“Add up those three huge time-wasters and it comes out to roughly 51 percent of your working life,” James wrote. “Think about that for second. How much more could you accomplish if you were twice as productive? How much better your life would become if you always had plenty of time?”
Why we like it: For better or worse, emails and meetings are still pretty well-rooted in business culture—although there are efforts, such as walking meetings and five.sentenc.es, that aim to inspire change. Remote work, however, is spreading as companies learn to leverage the global talent pool, and many skilled workers migrate away from cities in search of more affordable living and better quality of life.