How to make Mondays not suck

Almost everyone I know hates Mondays. And those who don’t hate Mondays are looked upon with either wonder or disdain. But no matter how many times we wish it would never come, it always arrives after Sunday.

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So instead of complaining and whining about it, why don’t we take some concrete and practical steps to try and not make it that much stressful. And who knows, maybe after a few weeks, months, years, you’d end up actually looking forward to Mondays. Okay, maybe not looking forward to it, but maybe tolerating it like you would an annoying friend whom you love and can’t really live without.

(And I’m sorry, this post doesn’t include how to get out of traffic and rush-hour madness. Sadly, that is something people in the city have to deal with every Monday. And that’s a whole other post eh?)

So over the years since I started hating Mondays (which is basically since I started studying), here are some things I’ve tried to do for me to reach this point where I’m past the hate and more at the acceptance stage.

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Think of Monday as a blank slate

If you screwed up, mostly cheated on your diet, was late almost everyday, or you just had a bad previous week, then try to think of Monday as that day when you can start all over again. Of course, technically, the consequences of all that you’ve done last week might still be there to haunt you, at least you can tell yourself that you can start trying all over again. Start the week with a clean slate, try not to suck so much this time. And if you still do, you have another Monday to try and start again.

Sleep early on Sundays

You already know that you’d have to wake up early (or whatever time you need to get up) on Monday, so why would you still sleep late, or go out to a late party/dinner/date on Sundays? Do yourself a favor and get the necessary 6-8 hours of sleep so that you won’t wake up cranky or stressed the next day. Speaking of which…

Make a Monday Morning Power Playlist to start off your Monday

If you’re the kind of person whose mood is affected by the kind of music that you listen to, then get ahead of your mood by making a playlist of all the songs that you either love or perk you up or make you smile. You can even set your alarm to this playlist, but just make sure you don’t put your favorite song at the beginning if you don’t want to end up hating that song eventually. Oh and hey, I made a Monday playlist on Spotify

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Pray and/or meditate

Of course this is something you should probably do everyday, but make sure you do it especially on a Monday. It helps to seek guidance, to read His Word, to listen to what is really in your heart, and to air it out in prayer, and then to listen to what He is saying through His Word. Of course I know not everyone believes in this kind of thing, but if you do, don’t forget to do it not because you’re supposed to but because you want to. And if you don’t believe, try it sometime. You might be surprised.

Prepare/Eat a good Monday breakfast

If you’re the type whose mood is affected by food or lack of food, make Monday breakfast extra special. Reserve your favorite kind of breakfast for this day of the week. Better if you can prepare it yourself. But if you’re not that breakfast cooking/preparing kind, then go out and get your fast food or friendly carinderia on the corner breakfast. Believe me, food and coffee (or tea) goes a long way to make you happy.

I love overnight oats!!!
                I love overnight oats!!!

Exercise

If you get your rush from endorphins, then make sure you don’t miss your workout, whatever that may be. It doesn’t work for me, but other people have attested to it, so maybe it should be something we should try yes?

Don’t work yet in your first 30 minutes at the office

Unless you work in an industry where it is imperative that you start working on the dot the moment you enter the office, then don’t start working yet, at least for 30 minutes. Enjoy that cup of coffee first while reading a newspaper, browsing through your news feed, or even talking with colleagues and catching up on what you missed during the weekend. It helps ease you into work mode while making sure your body and brain isn’t “shocked”.

Start your week with a list

Making to-do lists makes some people anxious, especially when it turns out to be a super long list, but seeing things on paper or on your smartphone/tablet/computer helps a lot in trying to figure out your load and how to come up with a strategy in getting those things done. And there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing things off on that list. Make your list colorful, creative. If you’re more of a visual person, then make it a visual to do list!

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Visual to-do list

Read a few pages of your current read

Well, this applies if you’re a reader. But be warned, you sometimes don’t want to stop and so your work will get affected. So try to learn disciplined and prioritized reading. And then reward yourself with a few more pages at lunch and after work. If you’re not a reader, try searching for articles on why reading is good for you. Or just ask me. Or read this.

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Remember why you get up in the morning

As cliche as this may sound, it really helps to remind yourself why you’re doing this, dragging yourself out of bed at 6AM (or even earlier). Whether it’s for family, for loved ones, or for your personal fulfillment, you need to find that reason. And if you haven’t yet, and you hate your work, and you don’t even know why you’re doing this every freaking day, then that’s a whole other problem that’s beyond just hating Mondays. And that’s a whole other blog post.

Wearing Your Heart On Your Sleeve

She tries not to stare too much

She tries not to smile too obviously

She tries not to listen to the chants and jeers and teasing

She tries not to sit too close

She tries not to overthink

She tries not to dream too big

She tries not to dream at all

She tries not to think of what could be

But at the end of it all

Her heart is still on her sleeve

But again, at the end of it all

As Elpheba said

“I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl”

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A Year After: Our Hongkong Football Experience

(Because I realized I never really blogged about it before)

 

One of the greatest things for die-hard football fans to experience is to travel to different countries (or even provinces) to support your national team or club.  My Kaholeros friends and I had a great 10-day trip to Bangkok in 2012 for the Suzuki Cup (which was also my first trip out of the country!) where the Azkals competed and so we were eager to repeat the experience.

This time around though, it was just four girls (Andi, Pam, Ysabs and me) plus one guy (Cedelf, who is now forever known as our HK group boyfie). It was for one game, a friendly against the Hongkong National Team. Easy peasy. We had other plans too, like visit Disneyland, shop, have a picture taken with the giant yellow rubber duckie, eat, etc. It was supposed to be a simple, fun, no-frills trip.

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Yep, didn’t turn out to be that way.

While I would always cherish the other parts of our trip (especially bonding moments between the five of us), what we experienced at Mong Kok Stadium on June 4, 2013 would forever be etched in our memories as the day we saw the ugly side of football.

Okay, it’s not technically clearly etched in my memory. Some details are now hazy, but some scenes you will never forget

How the four of us, all girls, were nervous and excited coz it was the first time we’d try to lead a bunch of strangers to cheer for the boys (Cedelf was there as media so he was on the other side of the stadium)

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How we found nice and cooperative and enthusiastic kababayans (mostly women, children and some foreigners who had Pinoy friends or loved ones) in the bleachers section

How proud we felt when we unfurled that big Philippine flag (which traveled with us all the way from Manila) and sang the National Anthem with tears in our eyes, because almost the entire stadium was booing us

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How the actual game was exciting, especially when James Younghusband scored in the 33rd minute (the only goal of the game) and Neil saved an unjustly given penalty

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How we felt a little hostility from the cheering home fans (which is normal for any football game) but did not expect things to escalate later on

How we were shocked and then angered when one HK fan threw a tetra packed juice at us, hitting one of the kids in the process

How the security people told us to calm down coz “you are winning anyway” and did nothing to quell the rising tension between the two sets of fans

How when after the game and the players went over to thank us, some HK fans started hurling water bottles at them and shouting expletives at them (again, a common scene at unruly football matches, but one that should never be tolerated)

(VIDEO: 24 Oras: PHL Azkals, na-boo at binato pa raw ng fans ng natalo)

How incensed HK fans started screaming at us, with some of them calling us a nation of slaves (later on, some of them claim that it was not because they lost the game, but because of their anger at the Philippines because of the Luneta hostage taking where a lot of HK citizens died)

How a group of Europeans protected us from the HK fans who wanted to rush at us in the stands

How the security people told us afterwards to not go out first because some fans might be waiting for us outside (we had to go out the side entrance when everyone had already left, with matching security escort)

How after we started tweeting about our experience, Philippine social media blew up, with a lot of people getting angry at what we experienced and expressing their support for us and the team

(ARTICLE: Racist issue mars Azkals win vs HK)

How, when regional and local media picked up the story, some HK fans claim that Filipino female fans in blue (we were wearing the blue kit) were the ones provoking them

(ARTICLE: Football hooliganism in Hong Kong? Filipino fans claim racial abuse)

How six months later, after filing an official complaint with FIFA about the behavior of the HK fans and the failure of the HKFA to control the situation, we got justice when FIFA fined them P1.4 million for the fans’ racist and unruly behavior

(ARTICLE: PH complaint upheld: FIFA fines HK over fans’ unruly behaviour)

How after all was said and done, we’re glad we got out of their physically unscathed, despite being emotionally scarred for life

How I don’t think I’ll be going to Hongkong anytime soon

How the experience has made us closer and most of the Filipino football community, despite being small and “young” for now,  reacted with righteous anger but still with grace and aplomb

How we realized first-hand that racism and discrimination should never ever have any place in football or any other sport or any other aspect of life for that matter

 

Why I Love Riding Planes Alone

Don’t get me wrong. I love traveling with my family and friends, But there is just something about riding planes alone that I truly love and prefer to be honest. Probably 3/4 of all my travels have been on solo plane rides and while some would find that sad and maybe even terrifying, those are some of my favorite traveling moments. Why?

Surprisingly I am more patient when I’m alone
There’s something about having people around you who are as upset as me that makes me more annoyed and upset at delays and the heat and incompetent employees. But when I’m alone (like right now when I’ve been bumped of a flight and we’re two hours delayed) I’m like the most chill person in the midst of the angry horde.

People-watching
Airports are fascinating places to observe human behavior. There are the parents pushed to the brink by their screaming or bored kids. There are the couples oblivious to everyone else and just stare into eah other’s eyes or PDA to their heart’s content. The loners who are content to read, or stare into space or write or draw in their hipster journals. The old white guys with their young Filipina gfs or wives. Or the people like me who love to watch people and sometime invent stories or pass judgement or wonder. Oh and of course the random cute guy sightings.

Clark airport

Catching up on my reading list
My reading list never ends. At least when I travel alone I get to scratch of a book or two from that list. Then I add one or two more .

Sleep
I love talking to my friends during plane rides So I don’t get to sleep . The drawback is I probably snore so sorry stranger /seatmate.

from popsugar.com

Think and listen to yourself
I seldom get to do that, so yeah plane rides are for that.

Have a conversation with God
Of course not aloud. That might be cause for me to get thrown off the plane. But Some of my more interesting conversations with my Father have been when I’m in “the air”. Nothing like seeing the clouds and seeing how small everything is in the scheme of things to make you long to ask Him existential questions.

from babble.com

To reminisce but to not hold yourself back

Walking down the streets that shaped the rest of your adult life

Looking at the trees and flowers that bore witness to countless laughter, tears, triumphs and heartaches

Haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes and right decisions whose consequences resonate to this day

Regrets, could’ve beens, should’ve beens, might’ve beens

May all of these inspire us not to dwell too much in the past, but to look at what was and feel blessed with what is and strive to become who we should be and are meant to be

What kind of friend are you?

I am always thankful for friends who are there for you during times that you need someone to just listen to you. They know they can’t really do anything about it, but they’ll just let you rant your heart out and then give you a virtual or actual pat on the back and hug, just to let you know that everything will work itself out in the end. These are friendships that have seen the test of time and distance and disagreements and anger and have still come out stronger than ever. I will forever be thankful that I have been blessed with a few friendships like this.

As for those who you expected to be there for you but somehow were not, you need to learn to let go of the bitterness or anger. Maybe they had their reasons, their own problems to deal with. Maybe you have not reached that level of friendship yet where they would genuinely care when they notice that you need someone to talk to or even when you actually tell them explicitly you need someone to hear you out. Maybe they are not that expressive but are still thinking of you and praying for you. Or maybe they are not the people you thought them to be. But whatever it is, if you think that they’re still good people and worth holding on to, then don’t take it against them. And try to be there for them in their time of need even when they weren’t there for you.

Friendship is never about “I’ll do this for you if you do this for me.” It’s about loving someone because and in spite of themselves and even yourself. It’s about thinking of them when you know they need someone to think of them. It’s about going out of your way to say a kind, loving word through any way you can even when you cannot be physically there for them. It’s sometimes about sacrificing your own comfort and time just to go out of your way for them, even if they didn’t ask for it. It’s about doing something unexpected just to bring a smile to their face. It’s about expressing gratitude when someone does one of these things for you.

During this so-called love month, since I’ve chosen (ahehe) not to engage in any form of romantic love (this month and the other 11 months of the year), I always take this time to examine the friendships that I have and ask myself not if they’ve been good to me, but rather, have I been good to them.

I urge you to do the same. As they say, life is short and you don’t want to wake up one day and realize you’ve run out of time to be a good friend to someone

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Love through affirmation

“Man lives by affirmation even more than he does by bread.”

– Victor Hugo

The other day, I had to make three FB posts for three friends who were celebrating their birthdays on the same day. I always find it nice whenever I have to write even just a few lines about people I love, just to let them know how wonderful they are and to let other people see why they are awesome.

And then it dawned on me that I (or we, actually)  rarely do that anymore. I can wax enthusiastic about all my favorite pop culture things of the moment, but it only takes a friend’s birthday to make me eloquent about all the things I love about them. Is it easier for me to express my feelings about some fictional character rather than tell actual people that I think they’re awesome, even if there is no actual occasion? And worse, it’s much more common to complain about why so and so people are acting like this and that, rather than talk about why I am grateful for a certain person in my life.

I am speaking from experience when I say that even during my lousiest days, even just one word of appreciation or affirmation from a loved one, a friend or even just an acquaintance can immediately save my day.  You never know when one text, email, FB message or a more public FB post or tweet, saying something wonderful about your brother or sister or classmate or officemate can actually be the very thing that they need right at that moment.  And you’ve also read stories about how an unexpected word of praise actually meant saving the life of a suicidal person.

So I’m challenging myself, and you, if you feel inclined to do so, to speak private and public words of affirmation every once in a while. Or if at this very moment, you feel that you need to say thank you to a person even if he or she hasn’t done anything for you at that particular time, don’t squash that instinct; just do it. And remember ,affirmation is not just for what someone has done for you or for others; it is also simply an expression of appreciation for someone just for who he or she is.

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PS.

Regarding that “number game” that some people are playing on FB and Twitter: why do you have to “anonymously” tell someone what you think of them, when you want to say nice things anyway? I say, say it loud, say it proud 🙂

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