How to avoid Sunday dread and Monday blues

Even if we love what we’re doing, many of us have a hard time going back to work on Monday. With weekends that fly by too quickly, it’s easy to wish we could avoid rushing back into the hectic workweek.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, says inc.

Your Sunday night habits can have a big impact on your Monday morning, and maybe even your entire week.

Spend some time on Sunday night preparing yourself to start the work week on the right foot, so you can be your most productive, effective self.

Here are eight habits to help Sunday night overcome Monday morning:

1. Set it apart.
Spend Sunday night doing something you truly enjoy, something that gives you energy instead of draining you. The more special your Sunday night, the more fueled and ready you will be for Monday and the rest of the week.

2. Be choosy with tasks.
Keeping firm boundaries is hard, and for a variety of reasons many of us find ourselves doing some work on the weekends. If you can’t take Sunday night completely off, save the best for last by scheduling your work so your Sunday night tasks are your favorites.

3. Give yourself a treat.
If the start of the week is a common stress point for you, encourage yourself with something that relaxes and comforts you. You may want to book a massage, take a yoga class, see a movie–whatever recharges you.

4. Nurture yourself.
Like the body, the soul lives on what you feed it. Give sustenance to your mind, heart, and soul with a meaningful book, a church service, writing, or meditation.

5. Celebrate Sunday dinner.
The most important thing in life is to learn how to give love and, in turn, to let it in. However hard you work all week, however daunting your responsibilities, however demanding your accountability, make Sunday dinner about loved ones and friends, a time to connect with the people who care about you the most.

6. Journal.
After a long week and hopefully a restful weekend, a great thing to do for yourself is to sit down with a keyboard or notebook and take stock: all the things that went right, all the things that went wrong, goals and plans for the upcoming week, brainstorms. Consolidate each week’s events into a learning experience.

7. Get your sleep.
Through much of the week, we stay up late, working long hours, trying to meet deadlines and make progress toward our goals. On Sunday night, make a habit of going to sleep early and getting enough shuteye so your week starts off with you feeling refreshed and rested.

8. Establish a gratitude ritual.
Last but terrifically important, take the time on Sunday–and at other times, as well–to list the things you are grateful for. Start with the smallest things, then broaden and deepen your gratitude. Expressing gratitude shapes who we are, and there’s no better mindset for starting the workweek.

If you want to vanquish the Monday blues, make Sunday night not about finding more to do but about finding and bringing down all the barriers that keep you from being good to yourself. The difference it makes may surprise you.

Image: Dread via Shutterstock