That awful moment when you hear the sound of your alarm at 8:00 a.m. and the dreadful feeling of actually having stuff to do casts its veil over your entire world. Ugh, it’s Monday.
A change of perspective
The truth is, it’s quite sad that Monday morning is such a dread for most of us. The majority of our week consists of well, Monday through Friday. The fact that we’re so opposed to Monday morning is concrete evidence of our eagerly waiting Friday afternoon to arrive so we can get just a few days of “peace.” What is it about those awful things called weekdays that we’re so against?
If we each take a second to answer that question with some sincerity, we quickly come to the conclusion that…maybe we’re not as happy and excited about our lives as we think.
Think about it.
If you were utterly happy with your life, wouldn’t the moment of waking up to this beautiful world you live in with all the opportunity embedded in it to make the most of your existence on this planet be the best part of the day, every day?
Wouldn’t you love being awake more than you love being asleep? Wouldn’t you finally reach that truthful conclusion you know in your heart that the snooze button might actually be your worst enemy and waking up to get mentally, physically and emotionally ready for the week every Monday morning would significantly enhance the quality of your life?
The root of the problem
The real issue with Mondays has nothing to do with Mondays themselves—but rather the way we associate with the beginning of the week. For most of us, Monday signifies obligations, the need to satisfy others, the lack of time to simply be lazy, the lack of opportunity to do something we might “actually want to do.” We associate Monday with so much negativity that we literally wait all day for it to end until we can see the light of Friday afternoon start to make its appearance.
So how does one change the way they think so that they might actually look forward to the beginning of the week?
It begins with a proper Monday routine.
A proper Monday routine
Step One: Ignoring that negative voice in your head
We all have one. “I’m so annoyed I have this meeting… I really don’t want to see that person today… wow I’m exhausted… I wish I didn’t have to go to work… how am I supposed to get everything I need to done today… I’m thirsty…I shouldn’t have drank all that wine last night… I can’t wait till tonight.”
As soon as that voice kicks in with the never-ending stream of complaints about all the negative associations you have with Mondays, it is absolutely imperative to take a second to gather yourself.
The difficulty is that we usually think we’re the ones “thinking” our own complaints about just how big of a dread the morning is, but the truth is that no active thought really goes into it whatsoever. We open our eyes and the associations start running in our minds without any decision on our part. So long as we take those automatic, negative associations to be the product of our own choosing, we’re subject to whatever we happen to feel the moment we get up.
Here’s the solution.
When that voice starts running with all its glorified negativity, you have to make an effort to insert conscious action in its place. One way to do this is to literally scream at the top of your lungs, only you do it in your head and not out loud with your mouth. It instantly stops the flow of automatic thought and gives you a chance to make a true decision about how you want to approach the morning and your day.
To really begin to break the negative connection you have with Mondays, there has to be a process of re-wiring the way you think. It’s necessary to ignore the negative associations that appear the moment you open your eyes, and to make an effort to replace them with what might lead to a positive association with the morning. Take just one moment to place yourself in the situation you find yourself in. You’re at home, you’re awake, you have some tasks to do for the day, but who on earth doesn’t. You don’t have to hate the day you’re about to have. It might end up being the best day of your life.
Step Two: A moment to appreciate your life—Your “first world” problems
I hate to have to say it, but the way we approach Mondays – the thousands of memes that are posted every week by people all around the world making jokes about how bad it sucks, the constantly waiting for it to end, the hours of imagining what we’d be doing if only if weren’t Monday—is the epitome of a “first world problem.”
The fact that we have such luxurious lives so as to be enable us to have complaints about what day of the week it is and have the time to sit and imagine what incredible activities we could be doing if only it were Saturday, makes the thought of complaining about the quality of our lives just a little bit sad.
We all do it.
Life is all relative. No matter what we have, we each find a way to complain about something.
But you can begin to associate positively with Mondays by taking time, immediately after you get up and ignore that voice in your head spewing out negativity, to appreciate what you do have.
This job you’re dreading going to—is an opportunity people would die for—no matter what your job is.
These screaming kids you have to take care of—are the best thing that ever happened to you.
The classes you’re about to go sit in and learn about—can provide you with knowledge for the rest of your life.
That coffee you’re about to wait 15 minutes in line for—is a luxury.
No matter who you are, what you do, or where you live, I promise you have no lack of what to be appreciative of in your life. Start your week by taking a few minutes every Monday morning to be appreciative for the day to come, and the way you associate with the beginning of the week will begin to change on its own.
Step Three: Do something you love
Another important habit to add to your Monday routine is your absolute favorite activity.
Mondays, for whatever reason, are difficult. It isn’t in your imagination.
One of the easiest ways to change the way you associate with Mondays is by inserting an activity that you genuinely love doing into your day. Whether it’s a morning hike, watching a night-time movie, going on a date, having a glass of wine with a book open isn’t important. If you have an activity that you look forward to specifically on Mondays, Mondays won’t be quite as awful.
We spend fourteen percent of our lives on Mondays.
It’s a full day that most of us have written off as “difficult, annoying, frustrating, upsetting,” for what could be the rest of our lives if we don’t change the way we think.
It’s an entire day that signifies the start of our opportunity to make what we want of this life—that we give some negative label to and live by it. Whether we do it jokingly through memes or we actually, genuinely hate our lives when that alarm rings on Monday morning, the way we approach a week, a day, or a given moment is extremely powerful.
When we give Monday a label and decide that the contents of that label are an “absolute truth,” we give up the power we have to approach life with what could be creativity, positive thoughts and love for ourselves and our lives.
Start taking steps to change the way you associate with Mondays by ignoring the negative voice in your head that shows up on Monday mornings, taking time to appreciate what you usually complain about, and planning your favorite activity on Mondays.
Ariel Banayan is an attorney, and healthy lifestyle entrepreneur. He is a co-author of the Master Your Morning Sidekick Journal – a journal specifically meant to help those individuals who always desired to be “morning people” finally add the habit. You can follow his blog at habitnest.com. You can also follow him on Quora to see more of his writing.