We all look forward to the weekend, but sometimes Sunday evening just comes around way too quickly! So how can we enjoy every minute of our weekend and wake up ready for Monday morning? From eating eggs to doing a stretching routine before bed, our experts give us their top tips for a Super Sunday and Marvellous Monday…
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Sunday morning is the perfect time to get cooking, whether it’s an early breakfast or a lazy brunch, starting your day with some tasty eggs is the best way to set you up. “Eggs are a great source of protein which, when broken down in the body, will make amino acids and these are then used to make neurotransmitters to help keep our mood balanced,” says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com
Get out in the sunshine, or get sunny from the inside
Heading out for a brisk walk in the sunshine can do wonders for our health and mood, but with the UK’s unpredictable weather, we sometimes have to get our Vitamin D in other ways. “Vitamin D can help with the symptoms of mild depression. The best way to get it is through sunlight on the skin. Although you can get some vitamin D from foods such as butter and oily fish, it’s not really enough. The best way to get vitamin D is from spending lots of time in the sun. Make sure you take a supplement, such as Once A Day Sunshine D (£5.24, QNutraPharma.com)”, says nutritionist Cassandra.
Catch up with a friend
Whether you’re brunching with friends or visiting family for a Sunday roast, seeing our loved ones can have a positive effect on our health. “Oxytocin is a ‘feel good’ hormone. Released when we bond socially and feel general trust, comfort and love, this hormone is just as powerful as serotonin. Whenever you feel low and need a lift, spend time with your family and friends to mellow down and feel instantly better,” says Shona.
Don’t forget to treat yourself now and again
“New research has shown that eating a square of dark chocolate a day can relieve emotional stress. It’s the high quantity of antioxidants called flavonols, which are responsible for these positive effects. Stick with dark, organic, unprocessed chocolate for maximum benefits,” says Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight-loss expert at LilySoutterNutrition.com
Stressing before bed on a Sunday? Write a to-do list
“If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right. There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say ‘no’ if you feel that you have taken on too much. Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is or is not a priority and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, nutritional health expert and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, MarilynGlenville.com
Unwind in the evening with a chamomile tea
“Chamomile is a calming herb with potent anxiety-reducing effects. Chamomile can be consumed daily as a tea, infused in oils or honey, and can be added to smoothies,” says Lily.
Stretch out before bed
Do some stretches before you hit the sack to help you fall asleep faster and better. “Try Pilates, which will increase your flexibility and improve posture as well as help to release tension,” explains Lynne Robinson, author of Pilates for Life and founder of Body Control Pilates. To find a teacher near you, visit BodyControlPilates.com
MARVELLOUS MONDAY MORNING
Open your curtains as soon as you wake up
“Sunlight or bright daylight stimulates our body’s production of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’. So the dark and dull days of winter can easily deplete your serotonin levels, making you feel low, sluggish and tired. Do what you can to maximise your natural light exposure,” explains Shona.
Kick-start your day in stitches
Whether it’s popping on your favourite comedy while you get ready, or scrolling through funny animal pictures on your phone during your morning commute, make sure you have a laugh before you get to your desk, the experts say. “Many studies show that laughter boosts our energy, decreases stress hormones, improves immunity and diminishes pain. But what’s very important for anyone who is stressed or feeling down, is that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville.