Ugh, Mondays. And specifically ugggggh this Monday, AKA Blue Monday, which has earned a rep as officially the most depressing day of the year.
Now the first thing to say before we go any further is that Blue Monday isn’t actually true. Got that? Not. A real. Thing. The title was invented in 2005 by an advertising agency for a travel company campaign, and it’s based not on science but on a ‘maths equation’ of vague, gloomy factors, like how long it’s been since Christmas, how broke everyone is before payday, and, obvs, the weather. In fact it bears so little relation to fact that even the guy who originally dreamed up the formula is now campaigning to #StopBlueMonday. Don’t use it in an exam, is all we’re saying.
But… the thing is, Mondays do suck. Sometimes. Cold, dark January Mondays can suck especially hard. And even if Blue Monday is all just a cynical PR stunt, there’s nothing wrong with using it as a reminder to spend a little more time focusing on our happiness.
So here are some small, easy ways to make Mondays just a little bit less horrendous. Blue, who?
Get plenty of sleep
Yawn. It’s the oldest advice in the book, but that’s because it works. And teenagers need even more sleep than adults (seriously, that one is a scientific fact) so sacrifice more of your Sunday to getting an early night, and you’ll feel a bit less like death when the alarm goes on Monday morning. Or alternatively, skip your hairwash and hit the snooze button. That works too.
Plan a lovely breakfast
Everyone knows it’s 100% easier to get out of bed if there is great food waiting for you, so make a bit more effort for Monday breakfasts than your usual bowl of whatever. Go to town on fancy porridge toppings. Make scrambled eggs with avo and chilli. Or try our fave overnight oats recipe – all the work is done the night before, so on Monday you can just grab it and go. Look how jealous Wednesday is now.
Same goes for lunch
Our instinct is normally to have the favourite sandwich/the sausage roll/the best Muller Crunch Corner or whatever on Friday, the day of celebration. But Fridays are already great whereas Mondays need all the help they can get, so think about saving your best lunch treats for the start of the week.
Have a seriously great Sunday
“It’s not Sunday unless you totally waste it and then feel really sad around 8pm for no reason” goes the meme, and oh how it speaks the truth. But what did Sundays ever do to hurt you? Instead of frittering the day away and then getting furious when you remember Monday is just around the corner, try filling your Sunday ram-jam full of fun things. Go on a big walk. Make a roast. See great people. Embark on a craft project. Read a whole book. Go on a day trip. Do some competitive sport, get covered in mud, then have the longest, bubbliest bath that Lush/your boiler will allow.
Basically, head into Monday with a load of news and a full camera roll, and watch how much easier it is to drag yourself out the door.
Which leads us onto… don’t leave everything till Sunday night
We know, we know – you’re human, and when faced with a long weekend stretching out before us, the most human response is to leave that massive essay till 7pm on Sunday evening and then bash your way through it in an angry rage until midnight, while crying. Which then means on Monday morning, you’re a sleepy, grumpy subhuman (with, let’s face it, a pretty terrible essay).
But instead, imagine if you did a little tiny bit of it on Friday evening, or Saturday morning – even just an hour, even just scribbling down a few notes or writing the title in BIG LETTERS so that when you sit down on Sunday to do the rest, it doesn’t feel like starting from scratch. Or imagine if you did quite a lot of it on Saturday morning. Imagine if you did it all. You’d be basically superhuman.
Give yourself a badass theme tune
Turning your Monday frown upside down could be as easy as finding the right soundtrack. So make a playlist of songs that make you feel happy and energised, and let them pump you up while you’re getting dressed or walking to the bus stop. Sing along. Even better – dance. A little endorphin kick never hurt anybody.
Get (at least slightly) organised
Monday-You is trying her best, but sometimes Sunday-You won’t give her a chance. So get off your arse and find your PE kit. Iron your shirt. Pack your school bag. Do that thing you’re meant to do for form time, and find a pair of tights without a hole in them now. Minimise the amount of hassle you face on Monday morning so you can focus on your lovely breakfast, your pumped-up playlist, and not end up running late, creased and laddered with one trainer in your bag. You know how that’s going to end.
Make nice Monday plans
Having something to look forward to at the end of the day will make the long, slow plod towards the final bell just a little bit easier. So plan something fun. It doesn’t need to be a punishing extra-curricular activity – just getting your BFFs round to ‘study’ (read: laugh until you pee) for a couple of hours should do the trick.
And if all else fails…
Remember: Blue Monday doesn’t exist. And regular Monday? Well, it’s already half over.
Image: Hailey Hamilton