People seem to either love them or hate them.
I used to spend the second half of Sunday dreading Monday morning — what a waste of a perfectly good evening! Over the years, little tweaks to my routine and shifts in my intention have changed things to the point that I am definitely in the “I Love Mondays” camp.
Here’s what I’ve found that works:
When you are intentionally creating a life you love, Mondays begin to feel less like drudgery, and more like a beautiful new start!
1. Start Monday morning with your Sunday night routine.
When you get ready to exercise, you warm up first. Consider Sunday nights your warm up for Monday. Get everything you need for the morning (and for your kids, if necessary) ready to go. Locate everything you need to get out the door or get started with your day on Monday, and have them in clean, working order and a convenient location. For some people, this is second nature; they do it daily. If mornings are a struggle...give it a try at least for Mondays and see if it makes a difference.
Once that’s done, consider a special “Sunday Night Only” winding down ritual. It might be tea and a favorite TV show (We almost always watch Once Upon a Time on Sundays!), or it might be a long hot bath and reading until you’re ready for sleep. Whatever it is, savor this Monday morning warm up, and consider turning in a little earlier than you’re used to, in order to help with #2.
2. Get up early enough to start slowly, and extend the weekend feeling a little bit more.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend is sleeping in and waking up when I’m ready instead of fighting with the alarm for “just five more minutes!” Turning in a little early Sunday night can help with getting up a little early Monday morning—not to pack more into your morning to-do list, but to give yourself time to take it slowly. When you have a little extra time in the morning, you can gently settle into the day and keep that weekend feeling of ease as you start your new week. Even an extra 10 minutes to sit quietly with your tea or coffee before you have to get everything going can make a huge difference in how you approach the rest of the day.
3. Find a theme for the week.
Every Monday, I post an inspiring quote or saying with the tag, “Monday Mantra.” These are intentional! It can become a knee-jerk reaction to click “like” on cutesy Pinterest-worthy quotes without even stopping to consider what they’re really saying. Each week, as part of my Sunday night winding down time, I consider what I’d like to focus on in the coming week, and look for a quote that’s a good fit to reinforce it. It can be a word, a quote, a scripture, a song lyric...whatever encourages you to be your best and inspires you for the week ahead.
4. Look at the week’s tasks as opportunities instead of problems.
What are you excited about for the new week? What problem-solving opportunities do you have? What’s been hanging over your head undone from last week? During your prep time Sunday night, take a peek at the week ahead and highlight a few things that you want to get done and can reasonably accomplish. If possible, schedule at least one of them for Monday, so you’ve started your week off feeling triumphant, instead of feeling like there’s a mountain of tasks ahead of you. The work is the same either way, but our attitudes are always within our control.
5. Make Monday night dinner something special.
It’s easy to make a special Sunday dinner, or go out somewhere fun later in the week, but Monday dinners often get short-changed. It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal, but sitting down for it, getting out special dishes, lighting a candle...anything that feels special to you can become a wonderful thing to look forward to and to close out a well-spent Monday.
Growing up, my Mom would visit her Chinese herbalist, then come home and boil whatever herbs he prescribed for hours and then make ME drink it. YUCK!
Although Mom's herb teas were not appreciated by my younger self, it did instill in me a preference to use natural remedies instead of the "take 2 pills and call me in the morning". Luckily, these 7 natural spices add flavor to your meals and may help you renew your health!
Every week I boil a ginger root with lemons, dates, and oranges, let it cool and pour it into a pitcher to store in the fridge. I add a spoonful of local Texas honey to my reheated concoction for my daily morning and evening tea.
Comment and share below if you have a favorite natural spice recipe.
Turmeric is a brilliant yellow spice common in Indian cuisine that you can find in any grocery store. Turmeric has been used as a medicine for centuries to treat wounds, infections, colds, and liver disease. Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, may reduce inflammation in the body.
Ginger is a zesty spice used in many cuisines. You can buy it powdered or as a fresh root in most supermarkets. Ginger has been used as a traditional medicine to treat stomach upset, headaches, and infections. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been praised for centuries, and scientific studies have confirmed it.
Cinnamon is a popular spice often used to flavor baked treats. But cinnamon is more than just a delicious additive in our cakes. Studies have shown that the spice has anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease swelling. Keep a good supply of cinnamon on hand and sprinkle it in your coffee or tea, and on top of your breakfast cereal.
The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic have been proven to ease arthritis symptoms. Use fresh garlic in almost any savory dish for added flavor and health benefits. If the taste is too much for you, roast a head of garlic for a sweeter, milder flavor.
Cayenne and other hot chili peppers have been praised for their health benefits since ancient times. All chili peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids. These are what give the spicy fruit its anti-inflammatory properties. Chili pepper is widely considered to be a powerful anti-inflammatory spice, so be sure to include a dash in your next dish. It has long been used as a digestive aid as well, so that’s an added benefit.
If cayenne is too hot for your liking, you’ll be happy to know that the milder black pepper has been identified for its anti-inflammatory properties as well. Known as the “King of Spices,” black pepper has been valued for its flavor and antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have shown that the chemical compounds of black pepper, particularly piperine, may be effective in the early acute inflammatory process.
Cloves have been used as an expectorant, and to treat upset stomach, nausea, and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Research is still mixed, but evidence suggests that they may have anti-inflammatory properties. Powdered clove works well in baked goods and in some savory dishes, like hearty soups and stews. You can also use whole cloves to infuse both flavor and nutrition into hot drinks like tea or cider.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
By Kristy Smith
It’s October, and along with all things pumpkin spice and (hopefully soon) dropping temperatures, October also means Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society website, “breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers.” Even though it is common, breast cancer can be treated, and that treatment has a high success rate particularly if found early. One method of early detection is the mammogram.
I know. It’s scary. You don’t wanna get your boobies smashed. You don’t want to think about the implications of the results. But, let me tell you, and I can speak from experience, it doesn’t hurt. Not really. It’s uncomfortable, sure. But, many hospitals do their best to make the procedure as smooth and painless as possible (the location I use gives warm robes and refreshments in a private female-only pre-screening waiting area – it’s not the Ritz, but it helps soothe the nerves). And, as far as the results are concerned, yes, it’s scary to think about what we might find out after the exam, but knowledge really does equal power. Regardless of the outcome, you will have the knowledge and the power to move forward – whether that simply means scheduling your well-woman exam and mammogram for next year, or making appointments to get further tests and taking steps to managing your health.
Another reason to get it done: it’s free. Usually. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), annual well-woman exams, including mammograms, must be covered at no cost to the patient (there are always exceptions to these rules, so be sure to contact your insurance and health care providers to confirm). There are many locations in the Katy area that provide these services. Click the map link below for more information.
The American Cancer Society website is a great, fact-based resource for guidelines and information regarding all aspects of breast cancer, from determining your risk level to early detection screening and healthy living; and it includes many resources for living with a breast cancer diagnosis and managing your treatment.
It’s not easy to talk about breast cancer, but we must. The more comfortable we are talking about it, the more likely we’ll be to act on it and make responsible, healthy decisions.
Links to topics discussed in this article are provided below, or you can contact your primary care physician for more information. Be certain when you’re sleuthing online to use sites that are reputable and deliver fact-based information. There are plenty of myths and misconceptions regarding breast cancer, early detection screening and mammograms, so make sure you’re getting accurate information. Then, call and schedule an appointment.
ACS Early Detection Screening Recommendations
ACS Staying Healthy Guidelines
ACS How Common is Breast Cancer?
ACA Mammogram Coverage Information
Map of Katy Area Mammogram Imaging Centers
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