Everyone of us deals with a case of the Mondays. As a pastor, Mondays are particularly hard for me. I’ve come off the high from Sunday, a day in which I exert a tremendous amount of physical, spiritual and emotional energy. Mondays I feel like I’m hung over. I’ve actually never been drunk, so I’m just basing this on how I’ve seen other people look. Mondays I’m exhausted and a little irritable. Trying to get going for the work week is extremely difficult. Whether you had a chill and relaxing weekend or you were on-the-go non-stop we all understand the difficulty of tackling another week. I’ve found a few things that have helped me tackle a new week with excitement and passion when I’m feeling anything but excited or passionate.
- Lay out your schedule for the week
One thing that has helped my wife and I tackle the start of a new week is scheduling/planning it. If you’re single, you can do this with yourself. If you’re married, I would encourage you to meet with your spouse. Chrissy and I meet Monday morning and lay out our schedule for the week. This involves our work schedules, kids’ schedules, and our fun schedule. This has been a game-changer for our family, marriage and week. It gets me excited to see all the opportunities with work and fun that will be coming up that week.
Also, Mondays I typically try to make my work schedule as light as possible. This let’s me ease my way into the week. It may not work with every job, but If you can control it even a little bit, a lighter Monday will help strengthen you for the rest of the week.
- Spend time with Jesus
This one probably should have been #1. When Monday hits and I’m feeling down, low energy, tired, maybe even discouraged, nothing fixes that like some Jesus time. This doesn’t have to always look the same. Sometimes I read my Bible first thing on Monday morning. Sometimes I listen to the audio Bible. Sometimes I start Monday with worship music that gets me in the right mindset and spirit. At times, I’ve gone straight to prayer sharing with God my thoughts and emotions. Other times I’ve just sat in silence and meditated on God and allowed him to speak to me. I write this list because some mondays I need something different. I try to be in the scriptures every day, but I get bored easily, so variety in how I connect with Jesus is a huge catalyst to jump-starting my week. Do what works for you, but make sure you do something with Jesus before you tackle a new week.
- Do something for you
As a parent you are always giving. As a spouse we should aim to serve one another. As a pastor, I am usually giving to someone my time, energy, prayers. I think we have this mindset that doing anything for ourselves means we are selfish, but I don’t believe that to be true. Jesus himself would often retreat and spend time in solitude. He was getting some “me time,” which is something we all need. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be a small thing, but do something for you at the start of your week. Do something that enriches your life and makes you feel good about life. Go for a drive blasting your favorite music. Purchase a book you’ve been wanting to read. Buy yourself your favorite coffee on your way to work. Go for a walk during your lunch. My wife loves manicures and pedicures – get pampered. Maybe you swing by McDonalds for fries and sweet tea (I’ve been known to do this). For all introverts reading, you probably need to do something by yourself, but for extroverts, being around people may be the thing you need to get going.
I joke with my wife, “Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself.” This isn’t a mantra to live by in all things at all times. I am not encouraging lavishing gifts upon yourself every Monday. However, I’ve found that when I do something small for myself on Monday, I feel better about the week and I’m much more enjoyable to be around.
- Do something for someone else
The best cure for feeling sorry for yourself or discouraged about another Monday is to serve someone else. Nothing makes us feel more purposeful than when we are looking outside of our own concerns and to the concerns of others.
Call a friend you know would love to hear from you just to see how they’re doing. Grab coffee with someone you know that could use some encouragement. Send a text asking a friend how you can be praying for them that week. Bring doughnuts in for your office. Bring a homeless person some lunch. Bring your wife some flowers. Write your wife a note about how great you think she is. The list could go on and on, but think of ways to serve your spouse, kids, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone you come across on the street.
Nothing helps a case of the Mondays like doing something for someone else. You’ll be rejuvenated through one simple act.
This one could fall under #3, but I see it as a consistent way to jump start your week. Mondays, as I’ve said, are usually my lowest day of the week for energy. So, every Monday I make myself go to the gym. I’m usually not as strong and can’t run as far or fast. It’s often an internal battle where I tell myself on the way to the gym to just rest. But let me tell you, no matter how bad my workout may feel the second I leave the gym, I feel better and the rest of my day, my energy level is higher. I’m less irritable, more excitable and energetic. Generally, I’m more enjoyable to be around. Exercise is a game changer for my life. Your body is a temple and when it comes to starting my week, exercise is the cleaning crew that comes through after a packed weekend. That activity sets my temple on point to tackle a brand new week with all the people I’m going to encounter.
This is not an exhaustive list for tackling a new week, but these practices help me. Maybe you’ve found other things that help you at the beginning of your week. Do them. The goal isn’t more stuff to do, but rather doing things that will help you be the best version of you and fulfill the purpose God has given you here on earth.
What are some other practices or habits you’ve found help you to tackle the start of your week? Comment below some of your best practices.
Caleb Cole is the Lead and founding pastor of Project Church. He loves co-leading with his wife Chrissy while joyfully raising their three children. As a family, their vision is to lead others into life and freedom in Jesus. Caleb also loves playing basketball and cheering on his beloved Sacramento Kings.