Monday’s are the worst. They’re the beginning to a long, stressful week of work and responsibility when we’d love nothing more than to spend a few more days living a couch-potato life. Begrudgingly, we force ourselves up and out, heading to work or school to suffer through another week, dreaming of the next weekend.
It’s what we’ve come to accept and expect, right? That’s what it means to be an adult, isn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 ways to naturally elevate your mood and combat those Monday blues.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
I get it — we’re all busy adults! Sometimes, in order to accomplish everything we need to get done, we have to sacrifice sleep. An hour here or there may seem like it’s nothing, but consistently losing sleep can have some real consequences: health problems like migraines, high blood pressure, and worsening of pre-existing conditions. Lack of sleep also has definite connections to our moods and can contribute directly to the development of mood disorders.
So how much sleep should you be getting? If you listen to classic suggestions, we should all be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. That seems to be a solid rule of thumb, though experts have suggested between 6 and 9 hours of sleep for proper recharging. Find what works for you and commit to it!
Get Out Of The Office And Into The Sunshine
So you’re stuck in an office for eight hours a day, staring at a computer screen. Music can help. So can some wall art or plants. Or, you could go outside for some much-needed sunshine! Not only does the warmth and light help you stay awake and feel refreshed, but it boosts your body’s natural production of Vitamin D and endorphins, lifting your mood.
Can’t take a trip outside? Consider changing the filter on your fluorescent lights! Filters which mimic natural lighting brighten the room and help you maintain your energy throughout the day. Other options include painting your office a color which promotes energy, happiness, and creativity. Consider these colors:
- Orange: expands your thinking, boosts confidence
- Deep Blue: encourages efficiency
- Green: promotes wealth, encourages healing, and promotes emotional well-being
- Light Blue: creates a sense of peace, aids in communication
- Yellow: increases focus, mental agility, and intelligence
Play With Your Pet
Puppies, kittens, and other adorable pets! Who doesn’t love playing with their favorite furry (or feathery, or scaly) animals? Spend a few minutes in the morning enjoying your most loyal companion, and repeat the process in the evenings when you return home. Not only will this enhance your bond, but studies have shown that contact with animals helps lower stress levels and boost your natural production of dopamine.
Don’t have a pet? Well, guess what? Those adorable puppy and kitten videos online have the same effect — no wonder they’re so popular! Take a few minutes to watch a couple — just make sure you don’t get too carried away!
Enjoy Some Chocolate
Need an excuse to get that chocolate bar from the grocery store? Well, not only does it have antioxidants, but eating chocolate boosts dopamine naturally, too! Keep a bar on hand for those especially grueling days. Or, you can stock up on a hot cocoa stash in your desk — just make sure your friends and co-workers don’t turn you into the office candy supplier!
Not a huge fan of chocolate? Trying to watch your caloric intake? That’s okay — these foods have the same effect!
- Red beets
- Green tea
This one is something I struggle with myself: having a 9-to-5 desk job can severely limit how active we can be throughout the week. That inactivity can contribute to our sour moods and subconsciously lead us to dread Mondays even more than we already do. How do we combat that? Get up and get moving! Even something as simple as taking a quick lap around the office or jogging in place can lift your spirits and re-energize you.
Now, understandably, if you share office space or work in a cubicle, you may not be able to do 20 jumping jacks. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything! Get a couple small dumbbells and pump iron while you’re on that business call, or do some stretching once an hour. Simple things like that re-engage your muscles and can improve your mood quickly!