20 ways to beat the weekday blues.

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Monday’s back and bringing long meetings, deadlines, responsibilities, household upkeep, gym routines, and meal prep along with it. To manage the week long anxiety, stress, and blues here is a list of small, manageable, and easy self-care tips to incorporate when feeling overwhelmed:

  1. Include a small walk into your lunch breaks.  It’s a chance to clear your mind from previous meetings or prepares you for the remainder of the workday. Plus fresh air, light, and color are proven to be instant mood-boosters.
  2. Get some sleep. Doctors aren’t kidding around when they say that 7-8 hours of sleep each night is best for you. Sleep restores the mind, resets your body, and decreases stress levels.
  3. Start a bullet journal. Bullet journals are a great way to see your calendar, goals, thoughts, finances, meal tracking, and appointments all on one page!
  4. Pick up a good book. Instead of watching re-runs at night, unwind with a new book! Share what you’re reading with friends, colleagues, or even start a book club for more book recommendations.
  5. Call a friend. Either on the drive to and from work, during lunch breaks, or when making dinner. Calling a friend for a quick catch-up is an immediate stress-reliever.
  6. Volunteer. I know during the week this may be hard to fit in, but even a small donation to a charity of your choice such as the humane society and CT Food Bank or setting up a time to volunteer over the weekend is a feel-good opportunity to help others
  7. Cook. Learning a new meal and incorporating new foods takes your mind off the day and challenges you into trying something you haven’t done before.
  8. Laugh! They say laughter is the best medicine. Go watch some good youtube videos during your down time and get a good laugh in. I suggest Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets. They aways put a smile on my face.
  9. Take a bath. What’s better than relaxing in a nice warm bath after a long day of work. Take it a step up and add in a cool bath bomb for ultimate relaxation.
  10. Clean out a small part of your closet, cabinets, food pantry, or shoe bin each night. Once you compile a large enough collection, go and donate it to Goodwill.
  11. Go get a manicure, pedicure, hair-cut, facial, or [insert other self-care activities here]. A little bit of pampering is never a bad thing.
  12. Write a letter. Put that pen to paper and write a friend or relative a nice letter. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a letter addressed to them in the mail.
  13. Exercise. You may be tired after a long day of work, but going to a gym class or even spending 20 minutes walking on a treadmill gets your blood flowing enough for a second wind.
  14. Surf Pinterest, Groupon, or Etsy for some fun DIY crafts or some local activities to try.
  15. Listen to music. Music has a way of pumping you up, calming you down, or getting you out of the unexplained funk that you’re in. Put some tunes on when getting ready, cooking dinner, or when falling asleep to reduce anxiety.
  16. Write down your bucket list. As extravagant or simplistic as it may be, setting your sights on things you want to accomplish in your lifetime is empowering and can even motivate you enough to try one of them.
  17. Practice mindfulness. Taking a moment to reflect or meditate is a great way to help resolve why you may be feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed at that time. Taking a step back and examining the situation causing you discomfort allows you to think of external factors such as communication barriers, environmental barriers, time-management issues, or personal upsets that are getting in the way of your success. It allows you to prepare a plan of action rather then react without thought.
  18. Redecorate. Sometimes moving around furniture or hanging a new picture on the wall in order to create the feel of a new living space is just the pick-me-up you need.
  19. Paint, color, sketch, or doodle. Having a distraction such as this is a great way to get your mind off of the laundry list of things to do the next day. Hello adult coloring books! 
  20. Pet an animal. If you own a pet or if  your family, friends, or close neighbors have an animal that they will let you pet, go do it! Petting an animal is proven to lower cortisol levels in humans and act as an immediate stress reliever.

Start small and incorporate one each week! Sooner or later you will be looking forward to doing these activities instead of dreading the work week ahead!