7 things you should always do on a Monday

7 things you should always do on a Monday

Start a diet

No matter how tired you are on a Monday morning, you’ve got to admit, the first day of the week provides a refreshing opportunity to start anew. That feeling is particularly helpful when it comes to starting a diet, according to a University of Pennsylvania report. “On certain days, called temporal landmarks, you have a different view of yourself,” said Jason Riis, co-author of the report. “You become more forward-looking.” The trick is in not tiring of your new plan by Wednesday. And if you do fall off the wagon, don’t wait until the following Monday to restart. Jump back in the next morning.

Gossip with co-workers

The Monday blues are real, and scientists guess that one reason we get them might date back to our caveman days. “Humans are social animals, and to feel happy we need to feel comfortable in our place in a ‘tribe,’ so to speak,” writes Mental Floss. “Even after just two days away, according to scientists, we need to make sure our place in our work environment is secure. Gossiping with your co-workers is an important part of gearing up for the work week, and if you don’t do this, you might feel out of sorts.” It’s an interesting idea, and at the very least, you’ll value the catch-up time.

Wash your hands

For one reason or another, Mondays are the most common day of the week for calling in sick. In fact, according to one British study, more than a third of all sick days take place on the first day of the week. It’s hard to say whether that’s because Monday is truly the day you’re most likely to fall ill, or because a stunning number of folk want a three-day weekend. Whatever it is, we’ll leave you with this advice: on Mondays – and every day – wash your hands.

Head to the gym

For similar reasons that Monday is a great day to start a new diet, it’s also the perfect opportunity to hit your goals at the gym (or pool). One Jawbone report found Monday is the most popular day of the week for gym-goers. And while that might mean you have to wait in line for the best machines, it also means you’ll start your week on a healthy footing. We can’t argue with that.

Schedule surgery

Researchers already know that the morning is the safest time of day to go under the knife. It’s when hospital staffs are most alert and least likely to make a mistake. That same earlier-is-better approach applies to days of the week as well. The risk of death after undergoing a non-emergency surgery is lowest on Monday and goes up every day of the week thereafter, according to a report in the British Medical Journal. But don’t freak if your surgeon only has spots on Thursday. The increase is a mere fraction of a percent – from 1% on Monday to 1.44% on Friday.

Invest in the stock market

If you’ve invested in the stock market, you already know that the key is to buy low and sell high. And it turns out, because of a slew of market factors, stocks have a tendency to drop on Mondays. That’s bad if you plan to sell, but if you’re in the market to add to your portfolio, you may just snag a bargain.

Make the ultimate to-do list

When it comes to goal setting, what better day of the week to lay things out than Monday? Research published in Psychological Science suggests that we may be more likely to follow through with our professional goals if we start on a Monday rather than a Thursday. And while there are a ton of ways to make the perfect to-do list, we like this goal-setting idea from Peter Gasca: “I make it a point to set one new and aggressive personal goal for the week, such as trying a new exercise, reading a book, or learning a new song on the guitar,” he writes on Inc. “The point is to provide you motivation during your busy week to pursue an interest that you enjoy outside of work.”

Written by Juliana LaBianca. This article first appeared on Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.