Monday morning is looming right around the corner, and you’re already starting to panic about everything you’ve got going on. But instead of freaking out, prep! Here are our top tips for getting up on the right side of the bed Monday morning and keeping the good vibes going all week long.
1. Take stock of your week
Instead of getting sidelined by unexpected commitments and last-minute errands, take a few minutes to set some goals for the week. Think about what you’ve got going on in every part of your life (as a parent, child, sibling, coworker, employee, etc.), and decide the most important things you want to accomplish. For example, you may have a goal of eating homemade meals all workweek, crushing a presentation at the office, or throwing your spouse an amazing birthday party.
2. Schedule for success
Look at your (or your family’s) calendar and take note of anything else you may need to do throughout the week. Break down your high-priority goals and find time in advance to finish those things. Then, pencil in the other to-dos (don’t forget about exercise!) around them. Get together anything you need in order to accomplish these things. For example, you could throw the bag of clothes you want to donate in your trunk so you can drop it off at Goodwill when you’re nearby. Or you might decide to help your kids pack up their bags for sports practice or science fair to avoid a last-minute dash later in the week.
3. Ask for help
Once you’ve got a handle on how much you’ve got going on this week, ask for help! Instead of suffering through your chaotic to-do list, look critically at your week and decide where you need help. Try sharing carpool or childcare responsibilities with a friend or family member, ask your partner to help with some of the housework, or get the kids to help pack their lunches. Be specific when asking for help (think: “Can you unload the dishwasher and then load the dishes in the sink,” instead of, “The house is a mess! Can’t you help clean up?”) and try not to be too critical of others’ efforts. Your 4-year-old may have a different opinion about how his clothes should be folded, but at the end of the day, done is better than perfect.
4. Prep your meals
Whether you decide to prepare everything in advance, or just plan a few dinners and hit up the grocery store — or something in between — planning your meals in advance can help save time, money, and calories. If you’re just starting out with this prep-in-advance thing, focus on the meal that most often gets you off track. If you’ve already got your healthy breakfast routine down, you can ignore all those make-ahead breakfast recipes!
5. Eat the frog
We often hear about the idea of doing the worst thing on your to-do list first so the rest of the day is all downhill (this is also called eating the frog first). The same principle can apply to your whole week. What’s the one thing that, if done, would make you feel like you could start the week already having achieved something huge? Limit yourself to no more than 30 minutes to an hour and just get that one thing done. Maybe it’s clearing out your inbox, calling your mom, or cleaning out your junk drawer. Pick something that’s been at the bottom of your to-do list longest and that you’ll feel great about finishing.
6. Find time for exercise
While the weekend is prime kick-back time, it’s also the perfect time to get a little extra exercise in. Exercise (particularly outside) is an excellent way to boost your mood and eliminate any stress or anxiety you’ve got about the upcoming week. Get the whole family involved by taking a walk together or partaking in a seasonal sport like swimming in the summer or sledding in winter.
7. Get some sleep
Sleep has a huge impact on your mental and physical well-being. Being well-rested makes it easier for you to problem-solve and focus during your workweek. Sleep deficiency is also associated with a whole slew of health risks and may cause us to put on weight. Missing sleep also contributes to depression, mood swings, and lack of motivation (yeah, your case of the Mondays might not be entirely Monday’s fault). All weekend, try to keep as close as possible to your normal Monday-Friday wake-up time while also getting 7-8 hours per night of sleep. P.S. Yes, it is possible to make up for lost sleep as long as you haven’t lost too much and you make it up quickly.