As far back as I can remember, I’ve been told that my Monday will suck. The real world out there seems to agree that you must live your life only on the weekends, and the weekdays—mostly Mondays—are good for nothing. Who says your Monday has to be the crappiest day of the week? Here are eight habits outlining how I have a happy Monday with my family, even though it’s just an average Monday.
Ridiculously easy ways to have a happy Monday:
1. Curb the bad attitude.
Don’t be a grump just because it’s Monday, and you have to go back to work. You can still have a happy Monday. We’re all adults now, and it’s time to do adult things. The sooner we can all accept that simple fact, the better off we will all be. Wake up and tell yourself, “Self, we’re going to have a great day!” That might seem like a silly thing to do, but it works. Be the source of your positivity, and don’t rely on an outside source of positivity.
Waking up and immediately rushing around in a hurry to not be late is always an attitude killer, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time in the morning to enjoy a morning routine.
Also, I’ve come across a couple of studies now showing people of all ages feel at their least attractive on a Monday, so maybe choose an outfit that is a little nicer, or even your favorite, most flattering ensemble. Then, give yourself a “good job good looking,” high-five.
2. Always make your bed.
Something so simple, yet so often neglected—guilty here. Making your bed every morning helps set the tone of accomplishment! I don’t care who you are; being productive feels good and boosts your self-esteem. Admiral McRaven sums this one up better than I can:
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.Admiral William H. McRaven
There’s nothing like a good feeling of accomplishment first thing in the morning!
3. Don’t complain at work
Seriously, no one cares. Fellow complainers might act as they care, but they don’t. The phrase “misery loves company” rings true. Realize that no one owes you anything. Count your blessings, say a little prayer of thanks, and choose to have a happy Monday. The only thing fair about life is that it’s not fair for anyone, and going through life feeling like the world owes you something will always end in complete disappointment.
If your co-workers complain to you, stop and ask if there’s anything you can do to help change their current situation. Assist in coming up with some positive solutions to help improve their daily grind. Being kind makes us happier and has a positive impact on everyone around us.
Venting is one thing, but complaining is just negative—no way around it. Complaining makes what you’re complaining about that much worse, so just make a promise to yourself not to do it. If necessary, take this to the next level with pinky promise! If our childhood taught us anything, it’s that you absolutely CANNOT break a pinky promise!
4. Take your lunch break at home.
If you work close enough to home and have family members at home through the day, then make Monday a day to enjoy lunch at home. Seeing my beautiful bride and kiddos in the middle of my Monday gives me a good dose of positive energy to knock out the rest of my day! It reminds me of why I do what I do and the love I have waiting for me at home.
If you don’t live close to home, or if you and your better half both work through the day, then have a lunch date via video chat on your phones. Why not? Make funny faces at each other, ask each other silly questions, and act like you’re both teenagers again. Having a lunch date will give you both some quality one on one time while filling your bellies. Seriously, there’s not much better than that!
Have lunch with the important people in your life often if you want to kick your positivity up a notch. Have lunch in a park with close friends, or bring lunch to a grandparent. There’s also nothing wrong with taking a nice quiet lunch outside with just me, myself, and I—perfect time to think about the next steps in achieving your goals.
5. Don’t stay late at work.
Monday is the first day of the week, leaving you with the rest of the week to complete your tasks. There’s no good reason to stay late on Monday unless specifically demanded due to your specific job’s nature. More often than not, whatever you don’t have done at the end of Monday can absolutely wait until Tuesday.
Play catch with your little people before you’re old and gray, and they’re not around to play catch anymore. We have today, but tomorrow is never promised.
Understand the real priorities in this life are those that cannot be replaced.
6. Cook and eat dinner together.
Cooking dinner together is an easy and free way to spend quality time together. We all can always benefit from an opportunity to work on our communication skills in our relationships. This gives us that opportunity, all while dicing up some potatoes.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the best person to have next to you in the kitchen, and that’s totally fine. I’m usually on dicing and corny dad joke duty.
Let your kids be in charge of setting the table—they can handle it. Make plates, and sit down together as a family. Our family says a family prayer together before digging in. We’ve found that blessing our meal expresses thanks and gratitude, which creates joy in our hearts.
Talk about your days with each other! Life isn’t perfect, and we all face our own tribulations throughout the day. Talk about them with your family. You might be surprised by how good it feels to talk about that proposal that didn’t go well with those who care about you the most.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart.Acts 2:46
7. Enjoy time outside as a family.
Don’t grab the television remote after dinner. We were guilty of doing this often, and our kids would bounce off the walls because they needed to burn energy. Instead, grab your shoes and put them on. Go outside and do something together as a family! Go for a walk, look for bugs, have a snowball fight, go to the park, go sledding into the night, dance in the rain, blow bubbles.
It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it together—and do it outside. Create the simple memories that will mean the most to your children in their adulthood.
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research shows that spending just 20 minutes in an outdoor environment is enough to improve well-being. For the study, researchers surveyed 94 adults who visited parks over the summer and fall. Each person answered questions about their life satisfaction and mood before and after their visit. Their responses were used to calculate a well-being score, with a maximum value being 55.
The average park visit lasted 32 minutes. Well-being scores rose during the park visit in 60% of people, with an average increase of about 1.5 points or an average score of 37-39.
To sum this one up, do something outside and do it together as a family.
8. End the day with the one you love most.
End your Monday on a high note by spending the last bit of your Monday with your significant other. Try not to ask closed-ended questions. Close-ended questions can be answered with only a “yes” or a “no” response.
Instead, ask each other open-ended questions to help create further conversation. Questions like, “What was the best part of your day?” or “What is your favorite memory from when we were dating?” are good ways to start! Let the conversation flow, and try not to give one-word answers.
You could also work on a bucket list together. How many similar things do you want to accomplish?
Maybe even start up a hobby or a passion project together. As an example Angela and I spend a lot of time working on this blog together!
Be sure you and the better half go to bed together at the end of your Monday. No words needed anymore—just get warm and comfortable together and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Your Monday is what you make it, and it certainly doesn’t have to suck. You can have a happy Monday with your family by following 8 easy habits:
- Curb the bad attitude
- Always make your bed
- Don’t complain at work
- Spend lunch with your loved ones
- Don’t work late
- Cook and eat dinner together
- Go outside as a family
- End with quality time with the one you love most in this crazy life
Having a great Monday with your family doesn’t have to be something you rack your brain over. Solving calculus equations isn’t required. It truly is the simple things that matter most in this life.
My family is worth it, and so is yours. My soul needs it, and so does yours.
This list is my secret for having a great Monday with my family, and it works every time. I hope it works for you too.