3 Simple Tips for Achieving the Ultimate Self Care Monday

How you treat your Sunday nights can mean the difference between a jarring start to your week, or a calm, peaceful (& productive) Monday. Not giving a single thought to how you can set your best foot forward ensures that you waste precious time on Monday executing the mundane tasks that can be done ahead of time instead of freeing you up to focus on those big picture projects that are truly important. Here are three simple ways to transform every Monday from stress-filled chaos into your ultimate productivity boosting workday.  

Get Your Week off to a Great Start With A Special Monday Self Care Routine

#1 Plan to Start Your Week With Exercise

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time on Sunday recharging. My family & I don’t typically watch too much TV during the week, so Sunday’s are when we tend to indulge in some Netflix binge watching. Factor in snacking on the inevitable chips, salsa & guacamole & if it wasn’t for some cardio Monday morning before work, I’d start my week feeling pretty sluggish. Instead of feeling guilty for indulging with my family, I know that I am going to start my Monday fresh by doing something healthy right away that is just for me. By not leaving this decision to Monday morning when I’m more than likely going to want to hit the snooze button & instead prepare my gym bag & set out my workout clothes, I increase my odds of starting my workweek feeling ready to tackle on any challenges as I took care of myself first thing.

#2 Plan Your Meals

Waking up on Monday morning to putter around your kitchen trying to figure out whether to have cereal, some toast or just dash out the door hoping that at some point in your morning you find the time to eat something is not only highly inefficient but not doing your health any favours. You need fuel to begin your workday feeling energised. Think high protein, high fibre, & easy. Smoothies are great for this as well as Greek yogurt with some granola & fruit & my personal favourite, oatmeal with chia seeds & honey. Prepare a big batch on Sunday & partition into small containers so that you can just grab & go on Monday. While you’re at it, make lunch for the next few days. I usually prepare a large meal on Sunday nights for this very purpose, & try to make enough for lunch for my husband & me to last through Tuesday. Not only does this save our family money but it is one less task on my mind with the added benefit of knowing we’re eating healthier fare than if we decided to go through the drive-thru in the morning for a quick bite.  

#3 Plan for Relaxation

The beginning of the week can be overwhelming when you’re facing a growing list of personal & work-related tasks. Try to bring in some much needed bits of joy into your day. I like to occasionally stop at one of my favourite coffee shops & get a before dinner treat, as well as spend extra time with my dogs on Monday night, which helps me release some of the stress that got built up during the day. I try to avoid doing any chores & unwind before bed with a warm bath & a cup of peppermint tea. These small changes make Monday seem less dreadful, especially ending the day with restorative activities that bring you joy & calm.

Ultimately we all have the power to choose whether to live a reactionary life, dealing with everything in the moment as it comes, or putting in a little bit of thought & planning sparing some of your energy, willpower & sanity in the process. Cheers to your next amazingly restorative Monday!

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The Essential Life Monica


Monica is a PhD candidate in Biology attending the University of Illinois.

She struggled with burnout after her first semester in graduate school when, like many people, she took on too many responsibilities while neglecting to practice self-care. However Monica was able to dramatically improve her outlook after incorporating writing & wellness practices into her daily routine. Monica now shares her insights into self-care on her blog & Twitter to encourage others on their own personal development & wellness journeys.