Mondays always get a bum rap. Monday means the weekend is over, the work week starts, the alarm goes, life gets crazy.
I actually like Mondays. It’s a clean slate each time, the first day of another week filled with activities, accomplishments, even adventures.
Perhaps that sentiment comes from the fact that I am basically retired. Oh yes, I write, but I do that on my own schedule (sometimes I don’t even do it at all!). It occurs to me that I didn’t always love Mondays when I was a busy mom, when I worked full-time, when our family calendar was over-filled with activities and commitments.
One thing I do know is that Mondays are always better when I go to bed on Sunday night feeling organized and on top of things. Usually I spend an hour or so each Sunday planning out my week, preparing whatever needs to be prepared (in my teaching days it was the week’s curriculum), organizing to-do lists, plotting out my schedule. After doing this I feel in control of whatever the week might throw at me.
So here I am this Monday morning, sitting at my desk with my to-do list beside me, feeling very motivated and on top of things. I will glow with a sense of accomplishment each time I cross something off that list. This feeling will last throughout my day, because on Mondays I can do anything.
Tuesday, however, is a whole other story…
Gratitude seems to be a buzzword these days. Whatever you read, wherever you go, people talk about how practising gratitude can have untold benefits and change your life.
Practising gratitude involves taking time to notice and reflect upon the things that you’re thankful for. According to scientific studies, incorporating this into your daily life will have you experiencing more positive emotions, express more compassion and kindness, and even sleep better.
This doesn’t surprise me as I have always believed that appreciating one’s advantages is a value one must insert into one’s daily life, and appreciation can’t help but life one’s mood. The trouble is that when challenges crop up, I tend to forget to focus on the positives and feel overwhelmed by the things I am not thankful for.
Recently I read “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan, and as a result I have begun my own Gratitude Diary. Every day I write down three things (sometimes more) for which I am grateful. I don’t just focus on the big things, although often I do, but I try to take notice of the many small positive details in my day.
And you know what? I am noticing positives all the time, not just when I write them down. I feel better and more enthusiastic every day, because I do have a lot to be thankful for.
Can you imagine a world filled with people who reflected continuously on things in their lives they were thankful for? What positive energy there would be all around us!