I’m sure a lot of you are sulking in the Monday blues. But I’m actually not here to sulk in the sorrows with you (my apologies)—I’m here to tell you how you can give Mondays and every other day of the week new meaning! Because I’ve decided that it’s time to stop whining about our reluctance to wake up, to stop simply running through the motions every day and to instead live a truly fulfilling day, every day! Now, a fulfilling day can mean something different to any given individual. But if you follow these simple guidelines recommended by the experts, you’ll find that fulfillment and be excited to wake up every morning—even on Mondays.
1) Get a good night’s sleep.
Having a wonderful, fulfilling day starts with resting the night before. “A great day for me starts after a good night’s sleep, so I wake up refreshed and full of energy,” says Paige Arnoff-Fenn, founder and CEO of global marketing firm Mavens & Moguls. It also removes grogginess from the day’s equation and the excuse of being too tired to take on the day. So set a time to turn off the lights, TV, smartphone, and don’t wait a moment more to plop your head onto your pillow.
2) Practice mindfulness.
That is, “be fully present and connected,” as this is a major key to having a pleasant day, says clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg, PhD. “When you take your morning shower, feel the warmth of the water and inhale the steam and smell of the soap. When you eat breakfast, savor each bite. Greet your family, friends, or coworkers mindfully. Take time to listen to them with curiosity and openness.” Enjoy each moment as well as the benefits of practicing mindfulness, such as reduced anxiety and improved cognitive abilities—the cherry on top of this tip.
3) Prioritize your favorite activities.
We often spend the bulk of our days checking items off of a list: go to work, do the laundry, run the dishwasher, go to the gym…and nowhere on that list is hangout with my dog or take a bubble bath. But according to certified counselor and life coach Jonathan Bennett, we should be putting those items on our list or engaging in “pleasant activity scheduling”, whereas you allocate time for doing what you enjoy. “This technique makes doing what you love an important priority, just as important as your daily obligations,” he says.
4) Lend some time and energy to helping others.
Whether it’s volunteering, lending a struggling coworker a hand, or taking the time to help your nephew with his homework, helping others can go a long way. Not only does it benefit them, but you as well! And you can also incorporate other loves. Lisa Sansom, owner of LVS Consulting which helps to build positive organizations, says that for her, helping others learn about her passion is the key to having a good day: “A truly fulfilling day for me is one where I help others learn more about the science and application of positive psychology.”
5) Be grateful.
If you simply appreciate each day for what it is and for what you have, you’ll be so much happier with yourself. Greenberg, who discussed the importance of mindfulness, recommends you “take time to feel grateful for all the good in your life, including your own positive qualities and the people who support you.” Because at the end of the day, our happiness starts and ends with our wellbeing as well as the amazing friends and family we surround ourselves with.