September 14, 2020
Most of us can relate to that 'Monday feeling' at some point in our lives (or even Sunday night blues). For many people the sudden change of pace on a Monday morning, after a weekend or holiday time can be quite overwhelming and a shock to the system.
It's important to realise that we are all human and even if you are mostly a positive person, time constraints, getting multiple children ready to go out of the door, navigating through traffic etc can just be a lot to deal with in a short time frame. Of course that's also magnified if you've had a sleepless night or have extra life challenges going on. It only really becomes a bigger concern if you find you are nearly always feeling like that.
Try to reset your day as soon as possible after a 'stressful' start by doing something to fully ground you or to bring everything back into perspective. You could try:
1. Spending a minute or two breathing in calmly through the nose, holding briefly (eg count of 3 or 4) then breathing out slowly and calmly through the mouth.
2. If you have the chance take yourself off on your own for a couple of minutes, focus on your feet and imagine strong roots going down into the ground.
3. Spend a moment thinking about something you are really happy about in your life or someone you love; to create a warm glow from within.
4. Have a 'happy' song or some positive words (like a mantra) on standby that are your 'go to' choice to always lift your mood (repeat the words a few times or quickly sing or play the song).
5. Divert briefly via a park or green area (especially if there are trees); on your way to work or following the school run. Alternatively have a quick cuppa in the garden at home or work if that's possible.
It's really easy to get stressed in the mornings in general and things within any household can quickly 'blow up' emotionally. Please don't judge yourself when this happens. Just find a calming technique that works for you.
It can be a tall order to completely eradicate any stress but some simple techniques can often help with overall stress levels and getting in the right mood for the day ahead:
1. Set the alarm a few minutes earlier. Not a favourite for many people but it might just save some stress later on.
2. Lay out school uniforms and bags the night before and think about your outfit for the next day too.
3. Play some uplifting music while you get ready.
4. During the weekend write some motivational and calming words to place on your fridge or in a prominent place for the week ahead.
5. Try to smile whenever you can, even if you're not feeling it to begin with... others will often smile back at you and that will help your mood too. I don't mean to be 'fake' but just set an intention to be happy!
If you're reading this and thinking it's really way off being achievable for you; to bring mornings and particularly Mondays back under control; I totally hear you. Believe me, there have been times when I thought the stress would never end and people's positive posts on social media etc have actually just wound me up. I do understand!
In this hub we want to keep things real for you too and if you're not feeling it, it's simply not right for you at this point in your life. Maybe you actually need some extra support to help get things back under control and find routines that work for you.
There are many organisations that can help with practical support (particularly for lone parents or those going through extra tough times) and it can really help to find a local support group or someone to share your experiences with. Check out our local organisations information on this site and watch out for news of meet ups including those for lone parents, in the near future!
Morning stress or blues is only temporary; you've got this! But remember if things are not changing or you can't lift your mood at all it may be time to reach out for help.