When I graduated from high school in 2014 I was 6’4″, 155 lbs, and in desperate need of a change.
A spontaneous decision during my first semester of college put me on the DePaul University Rowing Team where I had to adjust my preconceived idea of what fitness was all about. I began to cherish the grind and the sacrifice that came with results, and at the core of this transformation was an almost religious attachment to the gym.
Four years later I was 185 lbs and in the best shape of my life.
This is when I fell in love with weightlifting. And this is when I fell in love with Sundays. After graduation, as I entered the working world, I realized that people resented Sundays. They despised them. Mostly because Sundays are the precursor to Monday.
The Sunday Scaries. The Sunday Blues. It doesn’t matter what you call them.
Sundays represent a day of anxiety for many people with school or work looming around the corner.
Trust me, I used to feel this way too. But I’ve learned a lot over the last seven years and quite honestly, I haven’t dreaded a Sunday since. I genuinely look forward to Sundays. Here’s why:
Sundays Set The Tone For The Rest Of The Week
Waking up when the world is quiet has an almost meditative relief for me, so my Sunday gym sessions are often very intense and focused. I can’t describe it but there’s something very alluring about getting up early Sunday morning, building up a good sweat, and coming home to start the rest of your day when a lot of people are still in bed. I imagine it’s the same reason a lot of productivity gurus tell you to make your bed first thing in the morning as it puts you in a unique mental space.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’ve never had a Sunday where I lay around watching football while trying to recover from a hangover. But there is a noticeable shift in my mood and energy levels for the next couple of days if I opt to stay in Saturday night. I can expand on creative projects, get a quality night of sleep, and look forward to my morning workout.
However, since I really started taking my fitness seriously years ago, wasted time on Sundays due to poor decisions have become few and far between.
A fulfilling Sunday usually means an even better Monday.
Sunday’s Strike The Perfect Balance Between Work And Play
For some people, Sunday’s are a relaxing day to sleep in, lounge around, run a few errands, maybe grab a coffee or do laundry. For other’s, Sunday’s are just another day to grind. I like to think the perfect Sunday includes a little bit of both.
In college, I worked two jobs, was a full-time student, and had rowing practice six days a week. It became routine for Sundays to include some combination of socializing with friends, time at the gym to do whatever I wanted like play basketball or lift, homework, and preparing for the week. I now use this same approach to extract the most possible value from my weekend.
You don’t want to get so much done that you feel exhausted come Monday morning, but you also don’t want to lay around all day and accomplish nothing. Try and combine some necessary tasks with hobbies and joyful activities every Sunday. Break up your house cleaning and go for a walk or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish.
Sundays Are For Self-Reflection
One of the essential gifts weightlifting has given me is a deeper connection between mind and body. I am more in tune with my physical needs and Sundays are great for tending to aches, pains, and stiffness. If I am particularly tight in one area I make sure to implement mobility and stretching into my day. If I notice that I am lethargic, I go over my eating, sleeping, and hydration habits throughout the week.
A lot of people don’t make an effort to listen to their body. Instead of asking yourself questions like “How do I feel today” or “Why am I tired”, we try and push off these indicators until the next day. And then in the blink of an eye, another week is gone and we haven’t made the necessary changes.
Utilize Sunday’s to really take care of yourself for a happier and healthier week.
When I wake up on Monday mornings I am often surrounded by tired eyes, barely hanging onto the memory of complete freedom they had on the weekend. People are complaining, exhausted, and stressed, hoping by some miracle that they’re still in bed dreaming.
I can’t help but feel sorry for these people. I once felt this way too. Now my Mondays are thoroughly enjoyable too.
All it took was a little Sunday magic.
This article originally appeared on Medium.