Ah, Monday. The day full of panic and dread for the working population. Nothing puts us on edge like the realization that playtime has come to a close. Our responsibilities hover just beyond the shrill siren of the alarm clock. I’ll be the first to admit, my fear of Monday might be a tad irrational, but I have come up with some easy steps that we can take to make it more manageable.

1. Don’t wait until the morning. One of the reasons Mondays are so dreadful is because we continue to shirk our responsibilities until the sun rises on our new week. Instead, if you take a little time on Sunday night to goal set, meal prep, plan, and coordinate with the other members of your household, Monday won’t come as such a shock.

2. Pretend it’s any other day of the week. Poor Monday gets a bad rap for being the first, and therefore the most difficult day of the week, but that doesn’t have to be the case. We spend so much time talking about how we aren’t looking forward to upcoming events that we perpetuate the stereotype. Our dread is a mind-game. So, eliminating the negative talk will go a long way. In truth, Monday is no different than any other day.

3. Spread a little sunshine. If we believe that everyone is in a worse mood on Mondays, we’ll create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, challenge yourself to be the person to spread a little bit of extra office cheer, and see how your positivity changes your coworkers’ attitudes. Bring in doughnuts or offer to help a struggling intern, and you might find that brightening someone else’s day sparks a change in your own.

4. Do the hard stuff, first. Remember how your parents always made you do your homework before you could watch TV? This is the adult version of that concept. To minimize the stress of a new week, I require myself to do the responsibilities I don’t want to do, like accounting, on Monday. That way, they are over and done with and won’t plague the rest of my thoughts.

5. Give yourself something to look forward to. Instead of working for the weekend, give yourself a reward or prize for making it through your first day. Whether it be happy hour with a friend or uninterrupted time to catch up on your favorite show, you can always benefit from a built-in moment of joy on Monday. If you’re consistent with this habit, you might find yourself excited to start your new week!

The ultimate solution for the Monday blues is a shift in perspective. We feel the need to look at our weeks as a race. We begin on Monday with a reckless sprint and end on Friday, limping towards the finish line. We spread ourselves thin because of a lack of preparation, so we spend the entire weekend recovering and pampering our overworked souls. Yet, you would never run a real race without two key elements: training and a positive outlook. Give yourself a pep talk this Monday, and decide to be different. You have the power to make any day a good day, so why not start the week off strong? You have nothing to lose, except for a spot with the complainers in the break room. I think we can all agree; you’re better without that.