I envy my toddler for so many reasons. No one bats an eye if he spills on himself. Naps are part of his daily routine. Making friends is a piece of cake. And he loves Mondays.
Truthfully, he loves every day. He never stops adventuring and always finds something to look forward to.
I’m positive that right about the time this post goes live, he will be trying to convince us to let him sleep a little bit longer. But once he’s awake, he’ll bound through the morning with unlimited enthusiasm and spend the rest of the day doing much the same.
I, on the other hand, am less enthusiastic about Mondays. I love my job. I have fantastic coworkers, and I find my work to be deeply rewarding. But teaching is also really hard, and I love spending time with my family. Transitioning back from the weekend always feels bittersweet.
While I might not have my toddler’s never-ending energy, I do think I’ve cobbled together a fairly effective arsenal of ways to combat a case of the Mondays.
Here’s what I do to make sure Mondays don’t get me down.
Spend Money When I Want
I’ve written about this at length before, and it continues to be one of my favorite things to do.
No, I’m not talking about anything particularly lavish. But we do still try to plan our little splurges to coincide with Mondays. For instance, if we know we want to go out to eat once or a twice a month, we’ll make at least one of those days a Monday. Why? It’s not just something to look forward to. It’s also the promise of convenience and less clean up. Meal prepping be darned, someone still has to scrub the darn slow cooker.
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Remember Why I Work
Uh. Because I have to?
When I frame it like that, work feels like a punishment. But it’s not. Really.
I love what I do, and I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to blend my passions and interests with a steady paycheck. I am not a fan of clutter at work (mostly because my desk always looks like it’s buried under papers anyway!), but I do keep a family photo in a frame. I also display a poster that my first group of students made me when I finished student teaching. Both help me remember that I work to support my family and do what’s best for my students.
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Take Time to Be Kind
I don’t look Italian, but I am nearly 100%. As such, I firmly believe that it is stamped in my DNA that I show affection via saturated fat. We have a community candy bowl at work, and I try to fill it up at least once or twice a month. Last week, to commemorate the last Monday of the longest month of my life (why was January 2020 948432161325 days long?!), I grabbed two dozen cookies from a local bakery. I also brought in two dozen donuts for my students who completed a reading challenge. (Side note: I guess I know where my money went last month!)
Kindness doesn’t have to mean cookies, though. I also try to start my week by sending a positive email home to at least one family about their child and recognizing a coworker via a little staff nomination system our building has set up.
It doesn’t cost much–or anything!–and I think it really does shift the tone of the week. Or at least a few minutes of the day!
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A Book Giveaway – CLOSED
A surefire way for me to cheer myself up is to do something unexpected and kind for someone else. I also really love to read. Can you see where this is headed?
Work isn’t optional for me yet. But I do think that Work Optional is a phenomenal read. (I’ve actually reviewed it before!) Plus, Tanja devotes a significant portion of the book to exploring what work optional living looks like. If you’re someone like me who is fairly certain you want to keep working, it’s really refreshing to see an author dive into options like sabbaticals and part-time work.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to read it or simply want to own your own copy (it’s so worth writing notes in the margin of this book!), drop me a comment. I’ll pick an email from the comments at random by the end of this week and send you a copy. The catch? I’m doing this totally on my own which means US addresses only, and I’m sending it slow-as-molasses Media Mail. Frugal to my core.
So Tell Me…How do you cope with a case of the Mondays? What should I add to my list of strategies?