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Combating Monday Blues: 5 Ways To Naturally Elevate Your Mood

Combating Monday Blues: 5 Ways To Naturally Elevate Your Mood

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.

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Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

    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!

      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.

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      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

        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!

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        Have Some Chocolate!

          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!

          • Fish
          • Eggs
          • Apples
          • Kale
          • Red beets
          • Bananas
          • Strawberries
          • Blueberries
          • Green tea

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          Get Moving!

            Get Moving

            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!

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            Last Updated on March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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