Reclaim your Sundays...
Oh, that horrible Sunday dread. You know the one.
The dread that creeps in ahead of Monday's alarm. The dread of going to work after a fun-filled weekend. It's the pits, isn't it? Well, we're over it. It's time we reclaimed our Sundays people, once and for all!
No more feeling nauseous at 3pm in the afternoon. No more staying up watching rubbish TV because you are trying to avoid going to bed. No more 'I'll do it in the morning'.
Mondays aren't that bad, and guess what? Monday morning is going to arrive one way or another, so you may as well be prepared.
We spoke to some of the UK's leading experts about how to banish those darn Sunday doldrums for good, and it's actually easier than you might think...
1. Start your Sundays right
Sunday is traditionally a day of rest, so treat it as such. And this starts from the moment you wake up. Life coach and personal trainer Francesca (creator of The Francesca Method) emphasises the importance of greeting the day positively.
'Make yourself a luxury breakfast,' says Francesca. 'Smell the fresh coffee and eat magnesium rich food. Magnesium will improve your mood & energy as it supports the brain chemical serotonin.'
Both avocados and bananas are packed-full of magnesium, and are a great way to start the day. Mash up a ripe avocado with a little salt and pepper, then spread on some freshly toasted sourdough. Top with a poached egg to totally up the nom factor. Perfect brekkie = sorted.
2. Tidy your life
Holistic and lifestyle expert Sarah Jones recommends having a good pre-Monday life tidy, using Sunday to 'empty out all the unnecessary things you’ve collected throughout the week, and organise the important stuff so you know where everything is.'
'By the end of the working week your handbag has become a black hole filled with random receipts, gum wrappers, loose change, and that random flyer the guy handed you on the way to into work,' Sarah says.
Getting ride of all this bag garbage, according to Sarah, will ultimately make your life seem 'a little more together' ahead of Monday morning. She adds: 'Sundays are also a great day for washing the bed sheets - there really is nothing better than the smell of fresh linen. Clean the bins and rearrange your wardrobe. A clean house gives you a clean fresh mind for the week ahead.'
3. Get outside
We all know how important it is to stay active, but we agree that Sundays aren't the day to try that new hardcore barre class. But, getting out into the open air is incredibly important. Sunshine (however fleeting in the UK) is packed full of lovely Vitamin D that helps beat back depression.
A brisk stroll, even as far as the local shops, will improve your mood tenfold. Also, make time to see pals. Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com stresses the importance of meeting up with chums on a Sunday - it's actually a medical thing.
'Oxytocin is a ‘feel good’ hormone. Released when we bond socially and feel general trust, comfort and love, this hormone is just as powerful as serotonin. Whenever you feel low and need a lift, spend time with your family and friends to mellow down and feel instantly better,' says Shona.
4. Think ahead
Sarah recommends thinking about your desk diet ahead of time - a brilliant suggestion if you are one of those peeps that likes to self-remedy the Monday blues with a sugary coffee and/or chocolate croissant.
'Prepare lots of healthy snacks for the week ahead,' she suggests. 'Having tons of pre-made munchies for the week means you won’t have to dip into a convenience store every time you’re famished and need something right now.'
Sarah also suggests making a to-do list. Now before you give that notion a massive eye-roll, think about it: the smallest bit of effort can in fact get you totally sorted for Monday, plus why not buy yourself a nice new notebook to house all your chores?
'Take some time to plan for the week ahead – when you’re going to work out, what you’re going to eat, what you have to get done at work, etc. – so that you can keep the Monday Blues to a minimum,' Sarah says.
'It’s great to make checklists, take care of chores, and get organised for the week ahead, but don’t forget to make some YOU time as well.'
5. Treat yourself
Sundays are absolutely THE day for treats, and lovely pampery things can be anything from a delicious takeaway coffee to a candle-lit bath before bed - give yourself a couple of hours on a Sunday to feel special. Oh, and chocolate? It's medicinal.
'New research has shown that eating a square of dark chocolate a day can relieve emotional stress,' says Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at Nuffield Health.
'It’s the high quantity of antioxidants called falvonols, which are responsible for these positive effects. Stick with dark, organic, unprocessed chocolate for maximum benefits.'
6. Digital detox
Right, guys. It's time to officially ditch the digital. According to Sarah, our electronic gadgets are completely taking over our quality time, and on a Sunday (especially before bed) we should be 100% powering off.
'If you have trouble going to sleep at a decent time try powering down your technology — phones, computers, iPads etc — an hour before you go to bed. Switch off and spend the last hour finding something inspirational – a picture, quote, song, book, video – that you can reference every time you need a little push for a positive Monday morning.'
Also, enhance your sleep with a cup of camomile tea and some mild stretching.
Mondays? Bring it on.