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The Moan-day Blues: 9 Ways to Reprogram the Way You Think About Monday

The Moan-day Blues: 9 Ways to Reprogram the Way You Think About Monday

Monday. Moan-day!

The very word sends an array of negative emotions scurrying through the hearts and minds of people across the land. Last Friday is a mere memory, the weekend has come and gone, and it’s about to get real again.

It’s going down.

You have raised your sword to do battle once more with the start of the work week. You know that in order to press forward to Friday, you have to break free from the chains of Monday.

Oh Monday, why do we dislike you so?

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In 2012, a study was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology that concluded people hate Monday just about as much as they hate Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. They seem to like Friday okay, but the rest of the work week is pretty much on the same level as Monday.

Who knew? 

Monday has become universally known and accepted as the most depressing day because of the significant mood swing experienced between Sunday and the first work day of the week.

Let’s reflect a bit, shall we?

There are about 52 Mondays in a year, or about 1,248 hours. Let’s say you work for 40 years. That means you have about 49,920 hours that belong to Monday. That’s roughly 5.6 years.

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Over five years of our working life is devoted to, yes, Monday.

Five years of your life is far too much time spent disliking a day for something that it represents! So, Monday haters unite. Let’s throw down the gauntlet. We are going to change the way Monday is viewed. It will no longer strike fear in our hearts. It will no longer ruin another Sunday because we are worried about the oncoming Monday. In our best Scarlett O’Hara southern accent, we shall say, “As God is my Witness, we will kick Monday’s butt.”

As far as you’re concerned, it’s just going to be another day you have to get through in order to visit the beloved Friday.

1. Prepare for Monday on Friday.

If you have Monday morning work anxiety, be sure to take care of as many dreadful details that you can on Friday afternoon. Clear your desk, review your calendar for the next week, and handle any small projects that are due Monday morning.

When you walk into your office on Monday, walk into a clean office with no small tasks hanging over your head. Your only goal at that moment is to grab that cuppa joe and get busy meeting Monday head on!

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2. Have a hard stop at 4 on Sunday and shut down.

By the time 4 p.m. on Sunday rolls around, make sure everything is complete. Have the house cleaned, your work done, and make it a point to stop checking emails. Just enjoy it. It’s time to relax. If you work late into the evening on Sunday, you’ll never be rested on Monday.

3. Start the day with something that gives you energy.

Get your heart pumping first thing Monday morning. Go for a run, a hearty walk, or hit the gym. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain and they trigger a positive feeling in the body. It gives you an energizing outlook for the week.

4. Start the day with something that lifts your spirit.

Meditation is an effective solution to the Monday blues. Recent studies on meditation link the benefits of meditation to health, happiness, and creativity. Meditation can also have an affirmative effect on positive emotions, which reduces overall stress.

5. Make it a point to do something different every Monday.

Break the pattern of monotony. Get a notepad and start numbering from 1–52. Now, write down 52 different things you can do on a Monday. Then, start working through the list. Make sure each item is doable, but make sure each item is diverse enough to make you excited.

That’s a surefire way to step outside of any comfort zone!

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6. Have date night–with yourself.

After all, you are a pretty hot little number. Whether single or in a relationship, we all need time to ourselves. Take yourself to a movie, dinner, drinks, or check into a hotel. It’s a great way to enjoy your own company and block out the rest of the world.

7. Wear a new outfit on Monday.

What feels better when you get ready for work than knowing you are going to put on some snazzy new outfit? You’ll walk into the office like a Parisian model celebrating Fashion Week.

8. Take the back road to work. 

Get up early so you can take the back way to work. The back road represents back to basics and back to nature. In the broadest sense, “back to basics” means taking the time to refocus on the more essential aspects of your life that may have been neglected during demanding times.

In smooth times, we seem too busy to focus on rudimentary details. But, when times are tough, we should evaluate those things that made us successful and begin implementing those strategies again.

9. Peel back the layers on the onion.

This may be the most vital item of all. A shift in attitude means you have to understand the root cause of discontent for Monday. What’s the real issue here? Be specific. Don’t say that you hate your job. Narrow it down so you understand why specifically you hate your job. Is it your boss? The work? The commute? The culture? Your co-workers?

The question then becomes, what are you going to do about it? If you say nothing, you are sentencing yourself to only partial life satisfaction.

So, what’s your plan to change your situation?  It won’t happen overnight, but if you don’t start developing a plan now, you’re going to waste far too much time overcoming anxiety. It’s just not worth it.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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