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Making Mondays less manic

Written by Sarah on

We've all got parts of our life where we struggle to stay on track. Mondays used to be my nemesis until I realised there was a healthier and happier way to start my working week!

We’ve all got specific triggers which can lead to making choices which aren’t in line with where we’d like to be when it comes to nutrition.

I used to find Mondays were a terrible day for me for making food choices which left me feeling tired, frustrated and bad about myself.

The working day started with a really long energy sapping Zoom meeting which often over ran. I’d then be playing catch up all day trying to respond to emails and get pieces of work done ahead of more meetings in the afternoon. Taking a lunch break just didn’t seem possible and I’d come out of my long meeting feeling drained, craving (and then eating) something sweet.

After finishing work I’d be jumping straight into the car and heading to a yoga class (healthy behaviour right?). I wouldn’t have time to eat anything before as you’re not supposed to eat within a couple of hours of class (we often do upside down poses which can lead to being sick if you’ve got a full stomach) so by the time the class finished at 9pm I would be starving and fantasising about the McDonalds round the corner from the studio (hmmm, not so healthy…!) I’d (usually) be able to talk myself out of a Big Mac but would instead swing by the garage on the way home for an overpriced protein bar and a packet of crisps.

I’d end the day feeling under nourished, tired and annoyed at myself for making bad nutrition decisions and barely moving all day. It was a horrible way to start the week and did nothing to ease my Sunday night work anxieties. I felt resentful that my weeks started this way but also realised that they didn’t have to and it was in my power to start the week differently by changing the things I could control:

  • I couldn’t get out of my super long meeting but I could request that we could have a halfway break in it to allow me to move my legs and grab a snack to keep my energy levels up for the rest of the meeting.

  • I could also get up a bit earlier and go for a 20 minute walk before the meeting which allowed me to get some steps in, feel more awake and lift my mood ahead of the working week.

  • I got organised and made sure I had something in the freezer ready to whack in the microwave so I didn’t need to make decisions about lunch (I’d already have decision fatigue from work) and it was ready to go with no prep.

  • I might not have been able to fit in a full lunch break but I realised that taking a 10 minute walk around the block, doing a short yoga practice or meditation or on really bad days having a micro nap could massively make a difference to how productive I was in the afternoon. We feel so much pressure to keep powering on, just answering one more email or checking our messages whilst we’re waiting for the kettle to boil but we’re actually becoming less productive by not giving our brains a break.

  • I also started planning ahead for the evenings and bringing a salad with me to yoga to have straight after or a piece of fruit and some nuts.

Noticing the bad habits I was getting into and making small changes to overcome them really helped me to start the week feeling more energised and also improved how I felt mentally.

If you’ve got certain days or routines which regularly make you feel rubbish have a think about why that is and what is in your control to change about them. It can make a big difference to your mental health as well as your physical health. Even if you just make one small change it can have a big impact.

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