Do you experience Sunday blues?

Do you get Sunday blues? I wanted to follow up on my comment on Linkedin recently, with my response to a great article from an ex-colleague of mine, and something which interests me deeply.

The Psychology of us, and our approach to ourselves and our work.

You can read it here, (the website, Headspace, is great by the way) and in a nutshell, it discusses the often commonly felt anxiety of ‘Sunday’ and why so many of us dread it. There’s also another really well written Medium article on the things you should do on a Sunday if you want to win in the week here.

Instead of writing in a conceptual way though, I wanted to detail some real practical advice that I think you can execute to make your Monday’s more bearable.

Prepare Physically

It sounds really straight forward but if you put quality oil and petrol in your car, give it regular maintenance and keep it clean, it’ll perform better. If you keep your computer Virus free, well maintained and set up correctly, it’ll last a long time. Yet the massively complex bio-mechanical machine that’s your body & brain, you ignore that and just expect it to keep going. You expect it to serve you every day, your brain to perform quickly, your body to be strong & your mind sharp – in fact, you expect it to outperform others. But you fill it with junk food, bad liquid, toxins and poisons and do nothing to nourish either your physical body or your mind.

Spending some time ensuring your body is flushed of poison (yes that’s the booze and fags), you’ve given your brain a chance of peace away from the Digital world, and you’ve done something which has released feel good chemicals (which have proven impact on your wellbeing), is a really good idea.

Practical steps – Get some exercise on a Sunday. Go for a walk with a friend or your family. Listen to some music or read a book before bedtime. Stay away from your email and Social media and eat well. Have a bath. Light some candles. Relax.

Prepare mentally

The physical aspect of looking after yourself is only one part of it. Everything which happens to you in the world is 80% or more down to you & the lense you choose to view the world around you. Your mental state has such a massive impact on your actual capability. If you’re not in tune with this you’re not realising your potential. Your default outlook either positive or negative in life will actively shape your experiences, interactions with people and your outcomes. Do something which makes you happy. Really think what makes you happy & excited & do that. If you’re in a job you don’t like, spend time setting goals to change your job. If you like your job but want more, prepare a plan to perform so you can get that promotion or that pay rise. Don’t settle for a ‘rut’ that you may be in. Change it. Be positive. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. Atheletes are a classic example of people who channel mental prep to allow them to do things most of us couldnt.

Practical steps – Consider meditation or mindfulness practises. Too new world? Listen to some peaceful music before bedtime. Give yourself time to think. Set some goals, write them down. Have a plan. We perform better and become more positive when we have a goal to work towards.

Be organised

I always try & work three or four days ahead – sometimes you meet yourself coming back but that’s by-the-by. Plan your week, keep a diary and tackle those things you don’t want to do first. Never procrastinate. I always try & put myself in a position whereby I’m waiting on others, they never wait on me. I remove pressure by ensuring I’m always in that position. That pressures for other suckers, let them soak it up. To be this way, you have to be organised. You have to have foresight & you have to be disciplined. Eliminate meetings, have calls instead (where possible), keep to a schedule, and don’t spend too much time doing nothing. Every minute of every day can be used for something productive, consider that.

Practical steps – You have the same 24 hours as everyone else does per day. Removing 8-9 for sleep, that’s 15 hours. Ensure you use them wisely. Eliminate dead time whereby you achieve nothing. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a day if you’re prepared to sacrifice that 15 minutes scrolling through Facebook every hour.

Hack your Feel Good Hormone release.

I’m staggered you’ve not worked it out. You may smoke because you enjoy it. You may drink for escapism but these are things which have shit side effects. But you rarely take the benefits from being good, in fact you’re probably not even honest enough about how much you enjoy doing the right thing. Know why I give to charity beyond any other reason? Because it makes ME feel good. I may care about the charity, but the main reason I do it is selfishly for me. Do you know why I help people? Because it makes ME feel good. They always ask me ‘why I’m giving this advice at my detriment to help them’ or ‘why I’m helping a potential competitor’ or  ‘why are you doing this for free’ but they fail to realise what I’m getting in return. It’s those chemicals baby and they are way more valuable than charging someone an extra £10,000 for a page on a website! Its like literally being high all the time I know it sounds bullshit but until you’ve tried it……

Top tips

  • Don’t allow negative people, opinions or attitudes pollute your view of the world. Misery loves company and you don’t need to be part of it.
  • Eat good food especially for breakfast and lunch. This has a direct impact on your mood and performance. Stay away from heavy Carbohydrate, fizzy drinks and caffeine. Drink more water.
  • Sleep, please fucking sleep and stop looking at your phone – if you want to talk to someone, TALK to them. And Stop watching those YouTube conspiracy videos – you know who you are!
  • Stay away from gossip – keep focussed on what you are trying to achieve and try & minimize your involvement in idle conversation or needless negative conversations often about other people.
  • Have meaningful interactions with people. For gods sake put your phone down. Be present. Be in the room. Listen far more than you speak and remember what people speak to you about. Replay those details back in future conversations. Demonstrate you listen!
  • Do things which make others feel good. You’d be amazed at the impact this has on you.
  • Speak up – always say how it is, and what you think. Be truthful and be strong. If someones upset you, tell them. If you need to be straight, be straight. If you have a problem with your boss, tell them. Don’t’ be scared of speaking up. If you’re respectful and honest, there’s very little you can’t say to anyone at any level and receive repercussion for it.

Summary

The reality is it’s all on you. In fact, 80% of the bad shit which happens in your day is your fault? Don’t believe me? Read about my opinion on this here.

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