Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday ‘blues’

Unless you really, really love your job (and even if you do), it seems we are almost programmed to hate Mondays. Which is a pity, because glumness on a Monday sets the tone for the whole week. To mis-quote Shakespeare entirely – ‘a Monday by any other name would be sweeter’. How can we overcome the grudge we hold against this one day of the week?

Let’s try some mood-lifters, such as:

Get a good night’s sleep on Sunday – I mention sleep often because it is so essential to our mental and physical health. The average person needs seven to eight hours sleep a night. A regular bed time and rising time every day including weekends sets our body clocks, so that after a while we don’t need to set alarm clocks. If we are consistent with our sleep behaviour, it helps us cope with those times when we are stressed and don’t sleep so well.

Stretch and breathe deeply – first thing, while you wait for the shower to heat up, and through the day. Stretching wakes the muscles up ready for action. Deep breathing calms the mind and gives us a much-needed boost of oxygen; we very seldom use our lungs properly.

Sing – in the shower, in the car. Singing is a real mood enhancer as well as being good exercise for the facial muscles and lungs. Sing with gusto and volume. Singing will help you to …

Smile – even if you don’t feel like it! Smiles are infectious – you’ll improve how other people feel and eventually your own mood, too. Smiling activates the release of endorphins (the happiness hormone). And endorphins can boost creativity, too.

Eat breakfast – I’m always going on about breakfast being the most important meal of the day; isn’t that what our mothers taught us? It’s true. Skipping breakfast leads to low blood sugar levels – detrimental to both our physical health and cognitive function. Skipping any meal can lead to weight gain, too, so…

Eat regularly – eating controlled portions of healthy foods throughout the day helps provide stamina and prevents that awful 'slump' in energy and concentration. Some people can manage quite happily on three meals a day, and if that suits you that’s well and good. Other people cope better on smaller, more frequent meals; or three smaller main meals and a couple of snacks in between. Provided your portions are controlled and your food choices wise, you are less likely to over-eat this way.

Eat Omega 3 foods – these are believed to enhance mood, alleviate depression, help with concentration in A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. and help you cope better with stress.

Pay someone a compliment – there’s nothing like a compliment to boost morale and self-confidence and raise a smile (which is infectious, remember?) Maybe someone else will praise you.

These tips are useful every day, not just on Mondays! Try them.

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