5 Ways To Beat The Monday Blues
Tips on sparking a brighter start to the week
How often do you battle the Monday blues? If the thought of returning to work is one that floats an uneasy cocktail hopelessness, stress, anxiety, give the following activities a go this weekend.
Roll out your yoga mat
Keeping a regular yoga practice is not only a good way to increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and build muscle strength. It also helps to flip your happy switch. A range of studies reviewing the efficacy of yoga practices suggests that the discipline has an effect on reducing the impact of our body’s stress responses. A recent study put a group battling depression through a 12-week yoga practice. At the end of the course, the mood and anxiety measures of these individuals improved with scores equivalent to those of non-depressed individuals. Indeed, even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, consider devoting that time to your mat to help you keep the Monday blues at bay.
Take a slow walk in nature
Nature has long been a green sanctuary for many, so much so that in Japan, people practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. At its root, the practice sees one taking in the forest through the senses, ‘bathing’ in the atmosphere of lush greens, gentle breezes, and fresh air. These elements provide a sense of comfort and rejuvenation. Seems a little too good to be true? Numerous studies conducted have shown that forest bathing does in fact reap real health benefits, with practitioners reflecting an increase in vigour and a dip in anxiety and depression.
In Singapore, green respite can be found at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 74-hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site studded with a stunning heritage trees, rare orchids, and flora native to the region. A newly opened therapeutic garden at Telok Blangah Hill Park also provides visitors with a 40m-long viewing deck that looks over an unobstructed, canopy forest.
Enjoy an aromatherapy steam facial at home
Smell is one of our most powerful senses. A waft of lavender calms the mind while a wisp of lemongrass begins to energise it. It is no surprise that aromatherapy has been an ancient tradition used to heal mental imbalances such as fatigue or stress. To take the edge of the Monday slump, turn to the remedial use of essential oils to change the way you feel, and ultimately, act.
If you have 15 minutes to spare in the morning, you can easily squeeze in a quick aromatherapy steam facial. Simply bring water to a boil, pour it into a mixing bowl, and add five drops each of peppermint and sweet orange essential oil. Lower your head over the bowl and drape a towel over your head. Then focus on breathing in and out until the water cools. Thereafter, use a clean towel to gently wipe your face. The simple combination of peppermint and orange is a bright, invigorating blend to kickstart your Monday morning.
Tune in to positivity
If you find yourself scrolling through Instagram and feeling slightly envious of everyone’s highlight reels, just remember that’s exactly what it is – a highlight reel. Behind each photo of pure hedonism lies a silent struggle with work, relationships, or health. As you go into the start of a new week, put yourself on a digital detox and tune into your own thoughts. Find an evening to journal all that you are thankful for in the week that had just passed – be it a colleague who carved out time to assist you, or a delicious meal you managed to share with family over the weekend. Sometimes, simply being alive and healthy is something we take for granted all too easily.
Instead of thinking about how much you dislike your job, think about how lucky you are to have one. Frustrated with having to take on a new project at work? Envision the new skills you can add to your expertise. Each time a negative thought arises, replace it with a positive one. Carry this sense of gratitude and positivity as you go about the new week and you’ll find the motivation and inspiration to tackle any challenges you might encounter.
Sip on a herbal tonic
Tonics are medicinal plant-based drinks thought to enhance feelings of vitality and general wellbeing. Once you begin incorporating tonics into your weekly routine, you’ll notice how a small glass of tonic can outshine even your standard cup of coffee.
While some tonics might feature ingredients that require a trip down to the specialty food store, there are others that you can easily put together with ingredients you are likely to already have at home.
A ginger, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, and almond tonic is one such option. It might comprise of bold, punchy ingredients, but the inclusion of almond milk helps to soften its edges. This tonic is inspired by ancient Ayurvedic home remedies aimed at boosting the immune system and supporting internal unrest.
Simply blend two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger with two tablespoons of freshly grated turmeric, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of ground cinnamon, and 100ml of almond milk until the mixture is combined. Strain the mixture into a glass and enjoy your tonic.