It’s Sunday night. France has just beaten Croatia and won the Soccer World Cup 2018. Kevin Anderson lost the Wimbledon final to the formidable Djokovic. It’s cold and rainy in the city that I live in. And like I said – it’s Sunday night. It takes work to get motivated for the week ahead, with many people reporting feeling Sunday and Monday blues. This is no laughing matter people. It’s a real thing. The sinking, foreboding feeling of doom and gloom; but how rational is this feeling really? Now if you were supporting France and Djokovic, you are probably feeling grand and so this post may not be relevant to you at all.What to do to ‘up’ your energy, your mood, and your ability to go to bed tonight feeling content, and to wake-up tomorrow looking forward to the week ahead? Here are some tips and tricks (supported by science) which actually work. You have to do them though. It’s not enough to just read about them.
- Hydrate. Make sure that you are drinking enough water all day. Water is the magic mixture that makes our bodes operate optimally. Your brain cannot operate effectively if it is dehydrated, and you’ll feel it in your mood and in your energy levels. Before you go to bed, drink a glass of water; and as soon as you wake in the morning – you got it – a glass or two of water. This will not only help your overall mood, but it will help your digestive system to work effectively too.
- Get grateful. Take 5 minutes to reflect on the things that you really enjoyed about your weekend. There has to be something. The opportunity to have slept in and cuddled your cat, dog, spouse, child. The book that you’re reading and enjoying. The fact that you saved some cash when you were shopping, because you observed the specials. The fact that you have a healthy body, and that your family are safe and sound under your roof. The great coffee that you’re sipping right now perhaps. There is such joy in the simple things which are often right in front of us.
- Get excited about something. Now depending on what is going on for you, this may take only a few moments or a bit longer than that. The point is that you need to think of one or two things to get excited about that will be happening in the week ahead. Now I’m not saying that there is nothing to get anxious about. I’m just suggesting that you park that for now, and we’ll worry about it later. For now – focus on the things that you are looking forward to. Are you going to see somebody that you’re excited to connect with? Are you going to start that book that you’ve been eager to read? Are you going to wear that cool new shirt that you look great in? Again there must be something that you can get excited about. Now hold that feeling…hold it…don’t let it go.
- Get positive about the challenges. Using the positive feeling from 3. above, now you can consider the things that you are anxious about. Here’s the thing though – try to replace anxiety with enthusiasm so that you think about the challenge as an opportunity. Perhaps it’s a tough meeting that you are preparing for. Or an appointment that you are not looking forwards to. Or maybe you just have a big week, with a lot to do which is going to be taxing. It is possible to change your mindset about these, so called ‘negative’ things, and instead turn them to opportunities for you to stretch, to use your unique skills and strengths, and to show the world (and yourself) what you are capable of. How cool is that? This will take some practice, but the sooner you start practicing this, the better.
- Go to bed. Getting enough sleep is so underrated. It’s almost like it’s cool to be sleep deprived. What rubbish! 8 to 9 hours is optimal. And again, that is what science tells us we need. Your brain is an organ and it needs to recover, regenerate and rest. If you suffer from Sunday night blues – you definitely want to get at least 8 hours of great sleep. If you go to sleep with a content feeling of optimism, you are more likely to wake up feeling rested and positive about the day and week ahead. There are many more tips I will give you which will help you to get a good nights rest, but we’ll leave that for another post.
So, as I tune out of the weekend, and get ready for my great week ahead – I wish you an epic week, a week in which your awesomeness is apparent to everybody you come into contact with through your actions and your words; a week in which you stretch and grow and you lift people up. After all, we must all take responsibility for the energy we bring. Dr Jill Bolte TaylorBe awesome!
Champagne Castle, Drakesburg, South Africa. July 2016. Photo taken by Alison