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10 Ways To Make Monday Your Favorite Day Of The Week

Who said Mondays have to suck?

Workin' Girl

If you read the title of this article and already, you're ready to punch your computer screen, I feel you. Try and bear with me, though. I'm hoping that, by the end of this, you'll see Mondays a little differently than (maybe) you currently do.

I must admit that while I was reading an article about why so many of us loathe the first work day of the week, a lot of the reasons made sense. Many of us don't use Sunday to prepare for the week, so we stay up late; this prevents us from getting enough rest which makes us irritable on Monday morning. Another thing that's irritating about Mondays is social media isn't usually as popping. This means that we can't even look forward to what's on Instagram or Black Twitter as much (ugh). Plus, if you're not exactly thrilled with your job and/or the people you work with, you can feel like you live in a hamster wheel—just going round and round your desk until the next Friday—which is hopefully a payday—rolls around again. Some things that suck about Mondays, we can't change. At the same time, there are things that we can do that will totally alter our perspective, no matter what is happening—or not happening—around us.

If for as long as you can remember, Mondays have been your least favorite day of the week, here's hoping that the following 10 suggestions can at least move it up into your Top Three. Ready?

1. Dress Up

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A girlfriend of mine recently switched jobs. When I asked her what the dress code was at her new gig, she was moderately annoyed. "Girl, it's casual up in here. They've got on jeans and everything!" While a lot of us would find that to be an absolute dream, my friend is the kind of gal who likes to dress up to go to the grocery store. She says that it makes her feel regal, feminine and, with the right pair of pumps, pretty powerful too.

She's not weird to think that way.

According to some scientific research, while dressing down can sometimes lead to more productivity, dressing up can result in "higher abstract thinking". Plus, it's hard to be in a bad mood or not to feel uber confident when you know you're killin' the game on the style tip.

So, if you're someone who hates Mondays with a passion, psych yourself up by putting a little more effort into what you put on at the top of the week. You'll feel better. You'll probably perform better as a direct result too.

2. Go into Work Early

You don't even have to say it. I already know that some of y'all read this point and was like, "Shellie, what are you smokin'?" As if it's not hard enough to peel yourself out of bed, now I'm up here trying to get you to go in at least an hour earlier? Yep. I am. Here's why. By going into work early, there's a good chance that you can bypass a lot of your morning commute traffic. You can also get a heads up on your morning routine when it comes to checking phone calls and emails. If you never seem to be able to enjoy your breakfast, going to work early can probably make that easier for you. Without as many people in the office, you can get a few things done quicker, without any distractions. Not to mention the fact that walking in with your boss or even before them can earn you some pretty major cool points.

Hey, I didn't say that you should do it all of the time. I just said that Mondays are a good day to consider doing so because it can give you quite the leg up on having a productive rest of the week.

3. Post a New Quote on Your Computer or Desk

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There's an author by the name of Shauna Niequist who once said, "It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about." Tell me that doesn't help you to put things into perspective. Another author by the name of T.F. Hodge once said, "To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles." Doesn't that encourage you to concentrate on your objectives more? One of my favorite quotes by Zora Neale Hurston is, "Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me." How can that not remind you to love yourself?

Words have power. We all know this. What I adore about quotes is they are concise messages that can get into our brains and inspire us. I'd be shocked if you didn't already have a couple of quotes hanging around your work space. But in order to switch things up and motivate you in a different way, why not use Monday as the day to post one that is new? It's a great way to gas you up to do the next point that I'm about to mention.

4. Set a New Short-Term Goal for the Week

Personally, I like short-term goals because they help me from getting discouraged while I'm in the process of getting some long-term goals accomplished. But in the article "The Power of Setting Short-Term Goals", the author brings up some other benefits that are related to short-term goal-setting. It minimizes procrastination. It helps to keep you focused. And, it can give you quite the self-esteem boost; that's because, once your short-term goal is completed, you will end up with a profound sense of achievement.

What are some examples of short-term goals? Making lunch all week instead of eating out. Completing a project outside of work that will take your personal ambitions to the next level in the new year. Having that much-needed conversation with a family member or friend. Figuring out what you want your updated style to be over the next couple of months. Downloading some apps that will make you more productive. Getting to bed 30 minutes earlier. Finishing that book that has been taking you forever to read. Finally implementing a nighttime routine for your hair. Putting a budget together. Setting hours for social media engagement. I think you get my drift.

They say you've got to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. If you make it a point, once a week, to set at least one short-term goal on Monday with a deadline of Friday, you'll be amazed by how much you'll be able to get done within a few months. You really will.

5. Find a New Podcast

Is this about to be a shameless plug? Eh. Maybe a little, but it doesn't make the point any less relevant. I've got a friend who is an absolute podcast junkie. She digs them because of all of the new things that she's able to learn. There are some other reasons why you should get into podcasts too. They're free. You can listen to them while you're doing other things. They significantly improve your listening skills. They can also help you to connect with people because most podcasters have websites and many podcasters are open to networking.

Another way to make Monday your favorite day of the week is to seek out a new podcast to add to your personal library. One that immediately comes to mind is ours. It's called xoNecole's Happy Hour Podcast and new episodes are uploaded on Wednesdays. If you're already ahead of the game and you're looking for a few more to add to your collection, a few articles that you might want to check out include "Top 25 Black Podcasts You Must Follow in 2019", "20 Must-Listen to Black Women Podcasts for 2019" and "Here Are 11 Black Female-Led Podcasts You Should Be Listening To".

Oh, and if you're someone who likes to watch podcasts that are filled with random insights on any and everything, check out Dam Internet, You Scary , Aba & Preach , The Grapevine or Righteous and Ratchet. A cool relationship podcast from Black men's perspective is The Roommates Podcast. A fave woman-related one is Shan Boody. A wonderful marriage and family-focused one is How Married Are You?!. Or, if you want a totally NSFW podcast (although you could put your headphones in and no one would know what you're up to), one that popped up in my YouTube feed a few months ago that had me like, "Wow. Y'all really said that?!" a few times—WHOREible Decisions. I could go on and on, but those are some that immediately come to mind. (If you've got some faves, feel free to leave them in the comments so we can check those out too.)

6. Treat Yourself to Lunch

Aight so, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends around $3,000 a year, simply by going out to eat. While you might think that you aren't spending anywhere close to that amount, if you're going out for lunch every day and you're spending around ten bucks each time, that's already $50 a week and $200 a month. Just think about the kind of vacation you could take or the debts you could pay off (not to mention how much healthier it would be) if you stayed away from drive-thru windows and decided to bring your lunch to work instead?

If you do decide to take this route, treat your dedication and financial responsibility by letting Mondays be your "cheat day". Since you know that the rest of the week, you'll be in the break room or at your desk, set aside $20 to not only eat out but to eat at a restaurant that doesn't have a drive-thru window. Not only is this another way to turn Monday into a fave day, but since you'll be going in early on Mondays more often, it's a great way to get a change of scenery for an hour or so too.

7. Go to a Monday Happy Hour

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After a productive day, you deserve to kick back and relax a bit. One way you can do that is by nixing the whole Wednesday or Friday happy hour plans; instead, hit up some of your friends and ask them to make at least one Monday a month y'all's happy hour tradition. If you need a little help figuring out which restaurants have a first day of the week happy hour, and also which ones offer the best deals, check out "22 Restaurants With Awesome Happy Hour Deals". (You're welcome.)

8. Do Something That Pampers You

A lot of us are wired to pamper ourselves towards the end of the week. I get why because it's basically like rewarding ourselves for getting to another Friday without losing our minds. But shouldn't you also reward yourself for heading into work after an absolutely fabulous—or even just rest-filled—weekend too? I totally agree. That's why I think you should consider scheduling your mani/pedi appointments on Mondays, that you plan out a totally luxurious bath on Mondays and/or that you stop by to pick up a wine that you've never tasted before on a Monday this month. Shoot, you and your significant other can even make Monday your nookie night.

Some of us find ourselves lagging all throughout the day because nothing is really motivating us to get our work done and get the heck up outta there. But if you know that a pamper—or great sex—date awaits, that will give you the extra "umph" that you need to finish everything in record time—so that you can get onto what makes Mondays super special in your world.

9. Watch a Favorite “Non-Monday” Show 

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A lot of us have a series that we've been meaning to catch-up on or a movie that we've been wanting to check out. If it seems like, no matter how hard you try, you are never able to carve out enough time, why not designate Monday as your binge day? Purposely set aside two hours in the evening to do nothing but sit on the couch with a favorite snack and to watch a film or a show that comes on a different day of the week. If you make this a standing appointment with yourself, you might be surprised how quickly Monday nights end up becoming your favorite night of the week too.

(By the way, Ambitions airs on Tuesday nights on OWN. If you keep missing it, make it your Monday show of the week.)

10. Toast Yourself

I'm a huge advocate of people toasting themselves as much as possible. Not to the point where they become a low-key functional alcoholic, but enough to remind themselves that they don't need a special occasion or monumental reason to take out a moment and remind themselves how absolutely bomb that they are.

The fact that you were able to get through yet another Monday and live to tell about it? That sounds like a good enough reason as any to toast yourself. Not just with any drink either. Why not come up with your own signature drink that you reserve for Mondays only? If you're worried that it could result in you having a hangover the next day, you best bet is to avoid drinks that contain congeners (that would basically be whiskey, cognac and tequila), that you drink lots of water following your one or two toasts, that you head to bed early and that you eat a healthy breakfast (in order to get your blood sugar levels back up) the following day.

If you do all of this, you should be able to have your cake and eat it too. Or, in the case, kick it on Monday and still be refreshed and ready for work on Tuesday. Happy Monday, y'all.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Life-Changing Habits To Start Your Week Off Right

No More Monday Blues: A Prayer For When You Need God's Strength To Carry You Through

12 Podcasts For Women Trying To Glow Up This Year

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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