I love a new word and mine is Hurkle-Durkle for November.  Hurkle-Durkle is another way of saying you have the Monday morning blues. Yes really, it’s a term from the dialects of southern Scotland – meaning to stay in bed, feeling sluggish, lazy and lounging around long after it’s time to get up. Sound familiar?

Monday morning blues is not a feeling I like, and actually have not struggled with for a very long time, being lucky enough to enjoy what I do and usually feel challenged and motivated by the week ahead.

None the less I would be lying if I said I leapt out of bed every Monday morning without an ounce of hurkle-durkle in me. Of course, there have been times, for example – when I have had an amazing weekend that could have done with being two or three days longer, am exhausted from the said weekend or don’t like the sound of the rain on the skylight…

So how can you avoid feeling hurkle-durkle, especially in winter and even more so during these COVID times? Here are my top five tips to get your week off to a good start and banish your hurkle-durkle demons.

1. Preparing for a productive and positive week actually starts at the end of the previous week. No matter how much you are desperate to throw in the towel, switch of your computer and walk away from the week, never mind getting that first Friday drink started. As you approach the end of your working week, take a few minutes to review your week, and note what you achieved and what the priorities are for next week. Capture them in your format of choice – digital or old school pen and paper and then go have that drink and start the weekend. It’s your metaphorical drawing the line in the sand and will help you to relax and enjoy your time off.

2. Look after your whole self over the weekend/days off.  Be nice and kind to yourself finding time to do things you enjoy that nourish your very soul and being – whatever they are. Even for super busy people with a ton of responsibilities, just a little time and investment in you will pay dividends on Monday mornings as you return to work.

3. Plan your week out – your choice as to when you do this, at the end of the previous week or make it your first task of the new week. And, I don’t just mean plan work, plan in when you are going to make time for self-care and looking after yourself – whatever that looks like for you. Go for a run, a walk, take a yoga class, some time out or whatever floats your boat and gets you moving and supporting your wellbeing. Put these things into your schedule for the week and make them as important as anything work-wise.

4. If you have got a long list of things to achieve in the week, break the list down into bite-size chunks and each day prioritise three things that you are going to get done – these could be work or home type things. Having “A Big Three Things To Do Today” checklist from the talented Angela Chick may just help with this. Really importantly cross them off as you go. Very satisfying and if you make this a habit starting on a Monday – your hurkle-durkle demons will be less dominant.

5. Extend your weekend by a day.  Sound obvious right, but that extra day of not working can be the magic fountain of rejuvenation that will energise you through the next few weeks and again help to banish those Monday morning hurdle-durkle feelings. I hear lots of people working from home through these COVID times saying – “I have so much holiday to take……….”, well, get on and take it, even if you can’t go away. Take the day off and just invest in you – call it a duvet day, a being kind to you (or others) day, an organising day, a day to try something new day…….a day just for you. The wheels will not come off the bus – I promise you.

I hope these tips are useful and please forgive me if they seem light or glib given the current world we live in. However, I am a firm believer in focusing on what we can control in our own lives – rather than what we can’t. Many people do not have Monday to Friday jobs, many don’t have regular work patterns and indeed many don’t even have work at all. But whatever your circumstances, you still have to get up and face your “Monday morning” whatever day of the week it falls on for you, and I wish you strength and courage to face it.