Sunday night jitters in the last hours of the evening followed by a less than smiling start to the week. We’ve all had those days (usually Mondays) where we’d prefer to just roll back over and not teach, thank you very much. But what can we do about that feeling? Here are 11 ways to attack Monday morning blues.
Identify the problem
Are you burned out from planning late into each weeknight? Maybe you’re dreading dealing with a certain colleague or aren’t feeling prepared for a particular lesson? If you know why you are feeling anxious, there are specific ways to take action. However, if your sporadic Sunday night jitters are fairly infrequent, head towards more general strategies for teacher wellbeing.
End well on Friday
It’s hard to enjoy your weekend when you know there’s a deskful of planning to do at the end of it. Instead, make Friday afternoon your designated planning time (and know that, while you may be working until evening, you will have the rest of the weekend to regroup your energy).
Plan a great weekend…
Seeing friends? Not seeing anyone? Taking a yoga class? Going for a long walk? Planting yourself firmly on the couch? Only you know what will make the weekend fun and restorative.
…but take action on Saturdays
Avoid a final rush on Sunday night by doing your big tasks on Saturday (errands, appointments, washing, DIY projects, etc), and leaving Sunday for relaxation and time with family and friends.
Prep for Monday mornings
Choose your clothes, pack your work bag, set the table with breakfast dishes and program the coffee machine (if yours is so amazing!). This all helps make Monday morning flow just that little bit more easily.
Make Monday delicious
Got a favorite breakfast you don’t usually have time to put together? Or a killer lunch that always motivates you through the afternoon? Make Monday the day you eat extra well. Every other Sunday make and freeze awesome Monday meals, or just slice and lay out a few key ingredients you need for that incredible breakfast.
Make Monday night fun
Organize a regular after class Monday coffee date, take a class, make Monday night pizza night, chocolate and Netflix night, or anything else that you think sounds like an awesome way to spend the first night of the week.
Stop the guilty talk
If you have gotten into the habit of badmouthing your teaching efforts, know this: You are doing enough and you are improving every day. When you catch yourself talking negatively, stop. You wouldn’t pull a good friend down—so why is it acceptable to do that to yourself? Instead, treat yourself as you would your best friend.
Remember what you like about teaching
Taking a few minutes to remember this helps build gratitude (yes, gratitude works!) and directs us away from negativity. (Consider doing this on Sunday evening to boost your positive feelings about Monday.)
Put on music
Music calms the mind—plus energizes, brings back memories, helps us think, disconnect, focus, and a hundred other things! Keep your favorite tunes coming to boost and balance your mood.
Take things day by day
Remember that each day ends: for better or for worse. There’s no point worrying about things that might happen later in the semester. By focusing on today, every day, you’ll start to feel more in the moment. Even on Sunday nights!