It's that time of the new year when we're all coming off our holiday highs, and easing back into the throes of reality. Most of us will be returning to school or work, perhaps even both. After a fun festive season, I find it difficult to shake off the vacation vibe and get back into the groove of things. I've thought up a few ideas to take the dullness out of everyday routines and make the transition back to normality a smooth one. So grab a brush and paint over those Monday blues with a shade of sunshine :)

How To Beat Out the Monday Blues

* Start your day with something that relaxes you, especially if you know the chaos that lies ahead. An undisturbed cup of coffee or tea while watching the morning news, try a hot shower with an invigorating shower gel, write in your journal, watch the sunrise, have a hearty breakfast, meditation or yoga, or even just lying in bed for an extra ten minutes.

* Change something in your surroundings. Coming back from holiday to a place that looks the same can be a little depressing. Rearrange the furniture in your home, bring a new vase or frame to work, brighten up your living space with a new coat of paint. I find that making your workspace more attractive takes away some of the tedium.

* Organize your handbag. Sounds simple, but after the festive season, it can become a bottomless pit of unidentifiable junk. Empty out the contents, edit out anything that's unnecessary, and put things in an order that will be easy to find. You will feel a whole lot lighter, literally.

* Wear a bold shade of lipstick. There's nothing like the right shade of red (or pink) that will immediately boost confidence and morale. And get you a few smiles too.

* This is also a good time to start a creative project. Gather all your holiday snapshots and scrapbook them into something beautiful that will be a reminder of the great time you had.

* Getting into a kitchen routine after endless days and nights of eating out can be grueling. To make it more bearable, start by whipping up your ultimate favourite dish and really make dinner an event. No lounging around in PJ's in front of the TV with a pizza box. Proper plates and cutlery, a nice outfit, decorative table setting or flowers, and relish in that time with your family/significant other. Or by yourself, remember that scene in Eat Pray Love when Liz Gilbert made a gourmet meal just for herself in her apartment in Rome?

* Exercise = endorphins. As unappealing as it may sound, even five minutes of high-impact exercise will have a beneficial effect. But make it fun. Turn up your stereo and dance around, skip rope, hula hoop, jump on a mini trampoline, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park furthest from your work/campus entrance (I call this 'unconscious' exercise).

* Treat yourself to something decadent. If you don't have time to make anything, go out and get a treat from your local deli. Even just one cupcake can make the world of difference at the end of a hard, long day.

* Make an inspiration board. Collect pictures of all the things you'd like to achieve as well as things you've already achieved. Paste them onto a board on the wall. This will remind you of how well you've done in the past and inspire you to reach your goals in the future.

* Take half an hour out of the day just for You. If you don't have that amount of time to spare, even 15 minutes will do. Do something you love: read a chapter of that novel, browse a magazine, take a power nap or relaxing bath, watch your favourite comedy, take a photograph of something beautiful, or call up and chat to an old friend.

If you're feeling a deeper shade of blue this Monday, I hope that you will try out one of these tips or share some of your own with me. If all fails, catching up with your favourite blogs is a sure-fire way of cheering up. Works for me :)

*Pictures found via Tumblr, Google Images and Flickr. 


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