By Dr. Danielle Downing You know how it feels: that Sunday night pit-ofyour-stomach dread. You know what you’re in for on Monday morning, so you set three alarms (so you’ll actually get out of bed on time) and mentally curse the traffic you know you’ll battle and that stupid, frost-covered Lean Cuisine you know you will eat at your desk. Ugh. Why do Mondays have to be this way? They don’t! We’re the ones who are making our Mondays miserable. Why not simply choose to make them lovely? Here are seven simple ways to start the week off right, to—dare I say it?—look forward to Mondays. Get out of bed earlier I love doing this! Give yourself some extra time to get out of bed, linger in those comfy PJ’s, slowly sip your coffee, and read a magazine. It will make a huge difference in your mental clarity once it’s time to get to work. Make it a party as soon as your alarm goes off Music puts soul into your day. Jam out. Put your favorite songs on rotation: “You’ve Got the Look,” or “Raspberry Beret,” or “Living on a Prayer,” anything by Beyoncé — you get the idea. (And if my choice of music isn’t your thing… that’s OK! Crank up whatever turns you on. Plan a date with friends on Monday night While we all live for TGIF (thank God it’s Friday), post-work cocktails, a football and other sports, gallery openings, dance classes aren’t reserved for the weekend. Planning something fun at the beginning of your week will help the workday go faster. Wear something new or just dress up If you need a pick-me-up, wear something you love. If you’re already feeling sluggish, dressing sloppily will only make you feel worse. Use Monday as an excuse to wear some of your ‘closet orphans’ — those cute things you bought but never seem to wear. Make a point of working them into an outfit. Take small breaks throughout the day It’s not always easy to transition back from your fun, do-nothing weekend to meetings and piles of emails. Give yourself a few breaks during the day. Take a walk during your lunch break, close the office door and do a few yoga stretches, pop into a new coffee shop and pick up lattes for your co-workers on your coffee break. Break up the grind with some quiet, personal moments to refresh yourself Make Monday the day you start a new TV show or book Game of Thrones! Broad City! Anything by Stieg Larsson! I’ve been reading the Divergent books, and I love knowing that I’m coming home to a fun, can’t-put-it-down book I can escape into. Plan a real, actual meal for lunch None of this “eating yogurt at your desk” business! Actually, leave the office for lunch and try out a new cafe in your neighborhood. If that’s not possible, pack yourself a nice, substantial, real lunch and then eat it off real, actual plates (not directly out of your Tupperware), at a table (not at your desk, while looking at Facebook). Diving back into your work week doesn’t have to be drudgery. With a few tweaks it can be enjoyable!!