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The Power of Mondays

How many people dread Mondays? Most of us, right? Not me. I love them.

The reason I love Mondays is because no matter what I did the week, or worse yet, weekend before, I get a fresh start. On Mondays I know I will eat right and exercise for my arthritis because I’ve done it long enough that it’s become a habit. I don’t eat pizza or potato salad or pie very often but when I do, I know on Monday I’ll be back to taking excellent care of myself because I’ve conditioned myself to this unwavering resolve. Monday is my own personal reset button day and I never break agreements with myself on Monday.

The Importance of Keeping Agreements with Ourselves

For each of us, each new week brings about the ongoing responsibilities of work and family as well as the also ongoing commitments we make to ourselves like following a healthy eating plan and getting daily exercise. If on top of those responsibilities and commitments you suffer from arthritis like I do, it’s sometimes easier to keep bare minimal obligations with the former and completely avoid the latter! And not following through with the latter is called ‘breaking agreements with ourselves’. But having arthritis is exactly why you can’t avoid commitments like healthy eating and exercise.

Train Your Brain

Another reason Power Monday’s are so helpful is they give your brain the added advantage of “expectation”. Telling your brain about your plans to eat right and exercise at least three days in advance gives it (your brain) time to prepare you for a commitment. 

Perfect Your Monday 

If you have arthritis or other chronic pain, you absolutely must commit to a healthier lifestyle. Think of Mondays as your days of steel. They are the one day of the week you commit to to make up for any damage you may have done over the weekend. If you commit to a perfect Monday consistently for a few months it will be a habit you can always rely on.

Don’t overdo it eating inflammatory foods on Saturday and Sunday and use Monday as a fall back plan. That’s not what I’m saying. Strive every day to follow an anti-inflammatory eating plan and exercise plan knowing this will help you manage your pain levels and live a happier, healthier life.

Don’t Even Try to Be Perfect 

Know in advance you won’t be perfect and sincerely tell yourself that’s okay. Don’t even try to be perfect. Just prepare to do your best seven days of the week and if you only manage five and a half or six days that will still go a long way towards alleviating your pain level.

Eat the Good Stuff First

Always eat the good stuff first then if you still want to have a slice of your husband’s pizza you’ll be full and satiated and won’t eat nearly as much. Encourage family members to save pizza day for Saturday and see if they’ll have a big raw salad with you prior to pizza. 

Always Find a Way to Move

With arthritis it’s harder to exercise on some days than others. This is another area to give yourself grace. If Monday rolls around and your knees won’t tolerate Yoga or the Elliptical, please… do not beat yourself up! Get on the stationery bike instead. There is nothing wrong with altering the plan. Remember some type of activity is imperative every day (especially Monday) and the bike is a perfectly acceptable, enjoyable way to achieve movement.

Systems and Support

Having arthritis is a vicious cycle because you need to take care of yourself so you won’t hurt but… you hurt so you can’t take care of yourself.

The answer I’ve come up with is to have all my systems in place to inspire and support me to take care of myself every day like a beautiful, well planned home and kitchen, a refrigerator stocked with lots of organic fresh raw vegetables and fruits, and a great self-care space to encourage you to take excellent care of yourself, right where self-care begins, at home.

Live beautifully. eat beautifully, Shiree’

Click “Pain Free Design and Wellness” for a free chapter of my powerful new book that helps women with arthritis create beautiful, functional homes and take better care of themselves every day because home is where it all begins.