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Beat the Monday blues


Do you dread Monday mornings? When they have you singin' a sad tune, consider these 10 tips to jazz up your day.

You've just wrapped up a relaxing weekend free from emergencies. On Saturday you chilled, read a book, and watched a movie. On Sunday you trounced your kids in a rousing game of Wii Sports. Now it's Monday, your least favorite day of the week. Every Monday morning, you drag yourself out of bed, snarl through your first cup of coffee, and scoot through the practice doors with just minutes to spare. You're in a funk the entire day. You're suffering from the Monday blues, and you're definitely not alone.

Sheila Grosdidier

But Mondays don't have to be a complete buzz kill. Consider these tips to bring a little sunshine to the beginning of your workweek. Then brainstorm your own ideas for how to greet every morning with a smile.

1. Start preparing for Monday on Sunday night. What will you eat for breakfast? Plan something rewarding that will energize you. For instance, this might be the one day of the week you stop by a coffeehouse on the way to work. Or maybe you treat yourself to a hot breakfast at home.

What will you wear? If you lay out your clothes the night before, you should be able to indulge in an extra 15 minutes of sleep. You'll also avoid the stress of scouring your closet for the right shirt.

2. Start a tradition. Energize your co-workers by asking for their ideas to make Mondays special. For example, you could take turns bringing treats to work, like donuts, veggies and dip, hot chocolate, or ice cream sundaes.

3. Vary your schedule so you have something to look forward to. You might arrange your yoga or Pilates class for Monday night. Or why not make Monday your designated day to meet a friend for lunch or to go out with some of the gang from your practice?

4. Center yourself. Too often, there simply isn't time for all the work you need to do. Despite your super efforts, tasks and issues pile up. And feelings of stress from the previous week often linger through Monday morning.

So take a few minutes at the beginning of the day to center your thoughts and feelings. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale, releasing the tension in your shoulders, neck, and back. Tell yourself today is only one day and you're just one person. You may not get everything done, but there will be more time tomorrow. Remind yourself that it's better to complete tasks correctly. Take a few more deep breaths. As you let the air out say, "I'll accomplish amazing things today, and tomorrow is a new day."

5. Leave your problems at the door. Set up a bowl inside the practice doors and attach a sign that says, "Leave your problems in this bowl. They'll be here for you to take when you go."

Then think about what you'll do during the day to help pets live longer, healthier lives. Take a vacation from life outside the practice and focus on what you're doing at work. This will cut stress and increase satisfaction during those challenging Mondays.

6. Get happy. If you start the week off right, your attitude will be better, and you may help others along the way. Visit happyposts.com, a Web site with uplifting content. It will remind you to smile. And instead of greeting people with comments like, "Of course this happened, it's Monday," or, "Don't you hate Mondays?" say, "Good Monday!" with a smile. What you say sets the mood for your co-workers.

7. See the sun. Everyone knows sunlight is good for your mood as well as your health. So get outside. Sitting on a bench to eat your lunch can feel like a picnic. Or better yet, take a walk at lunch for triple points: fresh air, vitamin D, and cardiovascular exercise.

Use outdoor time to meditate or think of the blessings in your life. Many times we forget to focus on all the wonderful things that happen to us. The power of positive thinking can affect not just Mondays, but the rest of the week, your life, and those around you.

8. Do something. Quick! Answer this (trick) question: Three veterinary technicians are standing in the lab and one decides to help in the hospital ward. How many technicians are left in the lab? Three. Deciding to do something isn't actually doing it. So don't just decide you're going to have a shining Monday. Actively create a great Monday. Most often, once we start doing a task, we can see it through. Your action overcomes any tendency for procrastination.

So consider breaking your Monday into 10-minute increments. You'll do a task for 10 minutes. When that 10 minutes is up, commit to continuing for 10 minutes longer. Before you know it, the task will be finished.

9. Adopt a victor attitude. Victims let life happen to them; they have no control. Even when we don't control the events around us, we choose how we'll respond. Decide that Monday is your day to show the world you're a victor, the creator of your life, the person unaffected by others' words and actions.

10. Put your shields up, Captain Kirk. Don't you wish a warning bell sounded when certain people walk into the room? Their cutting remarks smart long after they've left the building. And their bad attitude sucks the life out of every day, not just Mondays. But you can defend yourself.

The next time these Klingon positive-energy suckers approach, take a deep breath and repeat to yourself, "I'm protected from their remarks and attitude. They won't harm me." Visualize a force field around you. As you breathe out, revel in the knowledge that what they say isn't going to ruin your Monday. Oh, and hey, it's OK to let the shield down when you're in the safety zone with positive team members and clients.

Happy Mondays don't just happen: You must plan them. Once the day's begun, it's too easy to make excuses. So keep a list of opportunities to make your day shine taped to the inside of the mirror on your medicine cabinet. Look at the list and set some goals. If you plan ahead, blue might become your favorite color and Monday can be the best day of the week. Now, make it a great day.

Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a partner with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. Please send questions or comments to firstline@advanstar.com.

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