There’s nothing like a morning where everything goes smoothly, the kids get off to school easily, and you get to work without any trouble. If it’s a Monday, it feels like hitting the lottery. Unfortunately, if you haven’t prepped for the upcoming week, the chances of this happening are about the same as you winning the Powerball.

As tempting as it may be to stay in bed all day, or watch non-stop TV, or while away the hours on social media on a Sunday (or all of the above), if you haven’t prepared for the week ahead, you’ll probably be kicking yourself when you’re in full Manic Monday mode.

Here’s my top 12 best ways to get ahead of the game and add a little of the “Sunday relaxation” feeling to the rest of the week.

faded image showing a depiction of my idea of a relaxing Sunday, including a sofa with pillows, a magazine and coffee cup

1. Take your time getting started in the morning. 

Unless you’ve slept in and it’s already time for lunch, I recommend getting in a little coffee-on-my-own time, snuggling with a loved one (pets count), or just meditating for a little while before getting on with the day. You’ve probably had a week of rushing out of bed. Let it go today, if you can.

2. Plan out your week. 

Make sure your regular activities are on the calendar, planner, and/or phone, and check for any new events you’ll need to plan around. The more detail, the better. Collect any materials you’ll need in one convenient place.

3. Get laundry done + plan your outfits for the week.

Get an early start on this. (You can get in some of that TV time while you fold your clothes.) It’s easy to catch the weekly forecast, plan your outfits (and your family’s) around the activities you already know are happening for the week, and make sure there aren’t any panicked mornings because someone doesn’t have any socks to wear.

4. Plan your meals for the week.

Or at the very least, make sure there’s plenty of food in the house to fix and feed the family. I make a list of the dinners I’m planning, and there’s food for all the meals of the week, but that’s about as much of meal prep I get accomplished. Still, that saves loads of time and unexpected grocery store trips. (Kudos to the actual meal-preppers.)

5. Make a meal together.

Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, Sunday dinner or some other meal, share one with loved ones. Even better, get them in on the action and cook together. Sunday is my family’s usual day to do this. Trying new recipes the kids have chosen makes it extra special.

6. Clean up the house. 

Chances are that you’ve had a busy week and Saturday, so getting things tidied up will make the rest of the week more manageable. There’s enough going on during the week and facing a messy house just adds to the stress. Making it a family chore, with high-energy music in the background (like we do), almost makes it fun. And a timer helps, too.

7. Make sure you don’t have “weekend regret”.

There’s nothing like hitting Sunday night and realizing you haven’t done anything memorable. Check out Facebook events for your area if you’re stumped. Of course, if you usually have a full, busy weekend and you’ve chosen to do nothing, then that will memorable, after all.

8. Reconnect with nature.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to do it in the last week, you should do it on Sunday. Studies show that getting into nature, even for a short time, does amazing things for you.

9. Pamper yourself.

In my case, that means doing my nails with my daughter, or enjoying homemade sugar scrub (coconut oil, sugar, and your favorite essential oil), or soaking in the tub. Maybe you like to meditate, or swim, or get a massage. You know what indulgent pampering you enjoy. If you don’t, now’s the time to figure that out. You deserve it.

10. Do a little work-related refresh.

Yes, I know, it’s still the weekend and you still might want to deny that the workweek is coming, but getting in a little new knowledge will help make you more productive. Catch a podcast, read a blog, or do some research. Even learning new tips about how to be more organized, efficient or confident will add to your work arsenal.

11. Check your email.

Assuming you haven’t kept up on your email all weekend, you should check it before it gets too late. You’ll be able to address and plan for anything that might have come up, and you won’t get caught unaware on Monday morning. Just don’t get lost in it and use too much time. Set a timer or a limit to how many emails you will open, if needed.

12. Engage your buffer zone.

Give yourself around 2 hours before bedtime. You’re prepared for the week, organized, and well-fed. It’s time to completely decompress. Watch an entertaining movie. Get in some reading. Turn off the electronics. Get to bed at a reasonable hour (early, even!).

Are you saying “How can I fit in 12 things all in one day?” Oh, yea. I used to think that, as well. But I’ve found that I can double up on a few and since most are less than an hour, it’s really not much of a stretch. Even though I work from home now, I face most of the same challenges that people who work outside of the home do. If you don’t get to all 12 at first, figure out what would help you the most and do that. And then do a little more the next Sunday. And repeat. Let me tell you, it’s worth it.

I want to hear how your Sunday Recharge is going! Share your experiences and definitely share your tips, if you have any others to add. We’d all love to hear them!

Woman on a deck with feet on railing, facing trees with text overlay 12 best ways: Prep for the week ahead with a Sunday recharge and avoid the Monday blues.
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