Coming down from your weekend high and transitioning into Monday can be a bummer for some of us. A long work day, a never-ending to-do list and kids that are resistant to go to school or daycare. It can be a grind, especially when the weather is dreary and cold.
Here are some simple ways you can elevate your mood and energy when you experience the Monday blues:
1. Take a contrast shower first thing in the morning (alternating between hot and cold water). Exposure to cold water stimulates the nervous system and causes a dopamine surge which improves mood and energy. The key is to stay in the cold water for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the hot and cold cycle 3 times total.
2. Have a protein rich breakfast to stabilize blood sugar levels, insulin and subsequent mood and energy. Eggs or a protein shake are my go-tos!
3. Get some movement in the morning. Plan to do something that you enjoy doing - go for a walk outside, do a quick HIIT workout, or join a virtual yoga class.
4. Plan ahead by meal prepping on Sunday. Prepare a slow cook meal that you can enjoy on Monday for lunch or dinner. I find meal prepping on Sunday and cozy way to spend a few hours. My husband turns on the football game, the kids play and I tune into a podcast while I cook.
5. Get outside for fresh air and oxygen. Even if it is not sunny outside, the fresh air will increase oxygen in your brain which helps release dopamine and happy feelings.
6. Plan for some evening self care on Monday night. Do something for yourself that is indulgent and cozy: soak in the tub, do a face mask, read a good book, do a puzzle, watch a movie. Try to avoid mindless scrolling on social media and this tends to perpetuate a crumby mood.
7. Get to bed early on Sunday and Monday evening. A good night sleep of 8 or more hours will do wonders for your mood and energy.
When you struggle with the Monday blues, don't forget to celebrate where you are in this moment. Celebrate the small wins of the day. Celebrate all the little things you are doing to help you and your family thrive. Celebrate that you are simply surviving winter.
Yours in health,
Dr. Melissa Bingeman
Dr. Melissa Bingeman, ND is passionate about mental health, hormones and gut health. She has a virtual and in-person practice in Kitchener, Ontario.