Mondays are hard. No matter how much you love your job, making the transition from the weekend back into the work week can be jarring.
Here are my five tips for having a really good Monday.
1. Check an item off your to-do list over the weekend.
You don’t have to tackle a major project, but get something done so that when you tackle your work to-do list on Monday, you’ll know you made some progress on your personal list as well. Pay a bill. Wash your towels and sheets. Go grocery shopping. It will go a long way toward helping you feel you’ve accomplished something and are ready to take on Monday.
2. Read or watch something that offers perspective.
Before you fall down the rabbit hole of work on Monday morning, spend a bit of time with a story, essay or a piece of art that helps ground you. The Lives column in The New York Times always helps me to connect with someone else’s very different life experience. Even a favorite poem you keep by your bed can remind you that there’s more to life than email.
3. Exercise on Monday morning.
This one may sound obvious, but there’s a reason it’s first on the list. If you can only manage to get a couple of workouts in during the week, make it happen on Monday. You don’t have to be a gym rat or daily jogger. Just get up early enough to raise your heart rate for 30–60 minutes and stretch your muscles. It’s even better if you can do it outside and get a boost of vitamin D. You’ll start the week off on a healthy foot.
4. Revisit your commitments.
If there’s anything you’re working on — practicing being more patient or eating less sugar — give it a little thought before the work week begins. Maybe Sunday night or Monday while you’re getting your workout done. Reconnect to the reasons why you’re trying to make a change and recommit.
5. Plan something good for dinner Monday night.
Whether it’s comfort food or a fresh and healthy recipe you’ve had your eye on, making a plan for dinner will help keep you smiling on Monday. It not only gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day, it’s a little reward for making the most of your Monday.
6. Give yourself a break.
The daily grind isn’t easy, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself Monday evening. For me that means watching an episode of my favorite show and getting to bed early. Don’t over-schedule yourself and instead find a way to relax and ease into the week.
This question originally appeared on Quora: How can I make Monday mornings at work more bearable?
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