It’s official, we’re a nation stuck in routine. According to recent research by Grace Say Aloe, Brits are spending almost half of their lives confined to the same schedule – and psychologists think it could be behind that Sunday sinking feeling. So to help you beat the blues, we spoke to leading creativity and empowerment coach Kate Taylor for her tips on spicing up Sundays…
Keep Sundays As Fun Days
Sundays traditionally tend to be chore days, spent prepping for the week ahead. Try swapping Sunday chores to Saturday morning instead. Not only will this get them out of the way quicker, it means you can keep Sunday free for fun and social activities.
If thinking about your piling to-do list for the week ahead is bringing you down, make sure you counter the have-tos with the want-tos. Having something to look forward to works wonders for motivation; start Monday morning with a new fitness class, or make plans with a friend for a weeknight dinner.
Eat ‘Happy Food’
Sundays are great for cooking and eating good food, so why not make it even better by filling up on ‘happy foods’? Enjoy ingredients that can lift your mood such as asparagus, avocados, cashew nuts, oysters, garlic, oatmeal, walnuts and, yes, chocolate. Try keeping away from heavy carbs or fatty foods in the evening as these take longer to digest, and can leave you feeling sluggish.
Salty Sunday roasts and glasses of wine can easily lead to dehydration, which will make you feel even more groggy come Monday morning. Make drinking water a priority throughout the day and you’ll feel fresh and well-rested for work.
Spending time in nature helps bring you into the present moment. If you’re having trouble switching off, try practicing the ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1’ method. Simply go for a walk, come into your breath, take a look around at five things you can see, then five things you can hear, then five things you can feel, then five things you can smell. Then four things you can see, hear, feel and smell, then three, then two, then one. Regularly practising this method outdoors is one of the easiest way to be more mindful.
Spice Up Your Night
Snuggling up on the sofa and watching your favourite boxset is when the Sunday blues are most likely to hit, so try doing something different with your evening. Get involved in a local pub quiz, take a yoga or meditation class, or get involved with an arts and crafts event. You’re far more likely to go to bed feeling happy.
Create A Zen Den
When it’s time to wind down, turn your bedroom into the ultimate relaxation station. Declutter to keep you free from physical distractions, and try to ban all technology. Create ambience using low lights and candles, play calming music and drop some essential oils (ylang-ylang, lavender, frankincense and sandalwood work well) into a diffuser. When it comes to creating blissful moments, having a bath also works a treat.
Feed Your Brain
Adopt an attitude of gratitude by keeping a journal of all the things you're grateful for, and why. Start off with what you achieved over the last week, the great people around you, what you’ve appreciated about the weekend and how you’ve made the most of your downtime. Gratitude is a superpower which encourages a healthy heart and central nervous system, as well as reducing cortisol; otherwise known as the stress hormone.
Set Positive Intentions
Get your week off to a flying start by stating what you want to bring into your life over the next seven days. Create a list of all the things you’re going to achieve and how good it’s going to feel. Write down the intentions as if they have already taken place; this is a great way to inspire your brain and unconscious mind to make them happen.
Restore Body & Mind
Yoga nidra, or ‘yogic sleep’, is a state of consciousness between sleep and wakefulness. It infuses positive intentions into a guided medidation, promoting deep sleep and relaxation. Practising yogic sleep helps quell anxiety as it calms the central nervous system and reduces blood pressure, stress, and improves sleep quality. Being guided into a restful state means you don’t have to worry about trying to do it yourself – head to a yoga class or use the wealth of guided meditation tracks on YouTube.