What is it about Sunday nights that make us feel so overwhelmed with this daunting anticipation that shows up like clockwork? Pair an early wake up call with the notion of having a full week's worth of work ahead of you, and you can count on the Sunday Scaries in full force. I've learned though, that the key to having a great week starts with your Monday morning. (Cue the big grunt, I know.)
This Sunday night as we all prep for another productive week of working hard and chasing our dreams, let's take the time to be intentional with our goals. Here are five things that I do every morning that help me relieve a little bit of the Monday morning blues:
1. DON'T PRESS SNOOZE.
Okay, honesty time... I don't always resist the urge to press snooze. But for the most part, I really try to go to sleep early enough to where I feel awake and rested when that fateful ringing goes off at the lovely hour of 6AM. I also try my hardest to put off checking all my social media networks until I at least step out of bed. If I open up Instagram while still snuggled under the covers, there goes twenty minutes of my morning, AKA goodbye good hair day.
As soon as I wake up, I head to my bathroom and start getting ready. I'm a shower-at-night kind of gal because I have pretty thick hair and drying it can add on an extra 30 minutes to my morning. I also try to already have my outfit picked out the night before (I've been doing this since high school!), and so I'll get dressed last.
2. MAKE YOUR BED.
This is something I've been doing ever since I was a little girl, but I truly believe that it helps me have a better day. Making my bed in the morning makes me feel like I've successfully completed the first task of my day, and so I guess you could say I walk with a little extra pep in my step as I show up to the office. I feel productive and energized leaving my apartment knowing that my room is clean and my bed is made, and if anything- it simply helps put me in a better mood.
Yes... I'm the girl that will literally be late to work because she's making her bed and loading the dishwasher. I just can't have a productive workday knowing there are dishes in the sink, somebody sue me!
3. BE INFORMED.
In the past year or so, I've become much more attentive to what's been going on in the world, our country, and in my own community. I think it's so important, now more than ever, for young women to have a voice in our society and I feel that one of the biggest ways to be heard is to stay informed. I used to be an avid Today Show watcher, and making breakfast with Savannah & Matt was my happy place. However I've just recently started leaving much earlier for work, so unfortunately I miss the live broadcast, and thus hearing Al Roker throw over the weather report to my neck of the woods is no longer a morning luxury of mine.
Lucky for me, Lester Holt is here to save the day! I've just started listening to the NBC Nightly News podcast every morning which is one of the most current broadcasts I could find at the early hour of 6AM. The podcasts are usually only about 20 minutes and so I listen while doing my makeup & hair, but it'd also be great to listen to during your morning commute as well. (I listen to the Elvis Duran and the Morning show on my commute.) But there are tons of different news podcasts out there, so do some research and find which one you like best.
You can listen to the news updates while making breakfast, driving to work, right when you get to your desk, or even on the train ride home. But perhaps watching the news or listening to a podcast isn't for you, so you read the newspaper (vintage!) or peruse your favorite news website every morning to get your fix instead. Staying up-to-date on current events is so important, so take the time to find what medium works best for you and make an effort to stay in the know of what's going on around you.
4. MAKE TIME FOR BREAKFAST.
I loooove making (and eating, of course) breakfast. Even in college, I would make the time to actually make my breakfast and sit down to enjoy it. This is another thing that just really puts me in a good mood at the start of the day, and also gives me energy to get moving. I think breakfast is my favorite meal to make, and I love trying new things. I usually opt for something sultry- eggs over easy with sautéed spinach or an egg white omelette with veggies- but lately I've been all about the oatmeal! Right now, I make organic oatmeal with cinnamon, peanut butter powder, gluten free oats, and whatever berries I have on hand. I used to be pretty avid about making coffee at home to drink with breakfast too, but I've tried to decrease my coffee intake to one cup a day so I usually wait and have my caffeine-fix at the office, around 10AM.
However I do make an exception to making my coffee at home on the weekends, of course. There's nothing I love more than drinking a cup of coffee in my robe on a Saturday morning. This past weekend I made these super delicious healthy blueberry muffins with honey & greek yogurt that were so moist and flavorful! They're definitely going to be a new weekend go-to. You can find the recipe here.
Making breakfast only takes about 15 minutes, and it is so worth it. Aside from it helping you live a healthy lifestyle first thing in the morning by kickstarting your metabolism, more often than not it can help you save money, too. By starting my day eating at home I tend to feel like I'm on the right track for the rest of the day. Now only if I could resist the lunch break temptation...
5. SPEND SOME TIME WITH JESUS.
One of my favorite parts of the morning is my Jesus Time. I try to set aside at least twenty minutes (usually while I'm eating my breakfast) to just spend time in Scripture, setting the tone for my upcoming day. It really helps me start the day off with Jesus on my heart and in my mind. I've been using the Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence daily devotional for about 4 years now, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It is beautifully written, urging us to find peace and contentment through the greatest love of all time: Jesus' love for us. It always knows what I need to hear, exactly when I need to hear it.
I accompany the Jesus Calling devotional with a bible app for women called She Reads Truth. The app is a traditional bible app and devotional with tons of different daily bible studies that also come with discussion threads of women reading and growing together. Currently, I'm reading through the Book of Romans and it's been so amazing to see God's righteousness and how good He is, when we can be so faulty & so weak. The app also comes with the ability to highlight & bookmark words or verses, as well as a journaling capability.
If you don't journal during your quiet time with Jesus, I highly suggest trying it. I love getting all my thoughts and musings down on paper, because it helps me accurately convey what's on my heart. Sometimes I find that when I pray, I can tend to get messy and repetitive or lose my train of thought, so spending my quiet time with a pen in hand helps me stay focused.
Monday mornings don't have to be totally dreadful, and doing these five things helps me stay energized, productive, and focused. I've slowly transformed my mornings to be filled with beneficial and rewarding rituals that help my days go by smoother and my heart stay fuller.
I hope everyone has a fabulous week, and that you always take the time to do the things you love- even on Monday mornings.