All posts by RFGrassi

The comfort of trust

How can we really define a successful line of action, when we face new opportunities, and need to establish an action line in our business development? I am invited for the first time by LinkedIn to

Source: The comfort of trust | Raffaella Grassi | LinkedIn

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Don’t believe everything you hear about the saddest day of the year

Blue Monday is a hoax.

Once we get through Christmas and New Year, it’s time for Blue Monday – traditionally the third Monday in January, when a combination of weather, debt problems, low motivation, a return to work, and abandoned New Year resolutions create a perfect storm of depression that hangs over the population. It sounds like a plausible enough theory, but don’t fall for it: Blue Monday is actually a hoax.

Or to put it more accurately, it’s a promotional idea dreamt up by a travel company back in 2005, as Atlas Obscura reports, when 24 January was declared the first Blue Monday. That company was Sky Travel, which enlisted the help of psychologist Cliff Arnall (then of Cardiff University) to add some credence to the idea and throw in a pseudo-scientific equation or two.

Designed by ad agency Porter Novelli, the idea was to get potential customers thinking about summer holidays to help beat the Blue Monday misery – perhaps a few weeks in the sun could help keep depression at bay? But despite it being a completely fictional nadir, Blue Monday still gets plenty of media coverage every January, so make sure you don’t get caught up in the negative hype.

As The Guardian’s Dean Burnett points out, depression doesn’t follow a schedule, let alone one set by a marketing firm. Sky Travel has since gone out of business, so any boost in ticket sales it may have received by convincing us we were all at a low ebb obviously wasn’t enough.

We do know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is very much a real condition, as the changing seasons and shrinking number of daylight hours cause chemical changes in the brain. However, there’s no such evidence that this sadness reaches its peak on Blue Monday, even if there are another 11 months to go until Christmas.

As Atlas Obscura points out, the term originally referred to the tradition of lining the church altar with blue cloth on the Monday before Lent. It’s also been associated with excessive drinking and subsequent hangovers in work, and is of course also the name of one of New Order’s biggest hits (though the 1983 single was about relationship problems rather than Seasonal Affective Disorder).

“True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump) is a far more complex condition that is affected by many factors, chronic and temporary, internal and external,” writes Burnett for The Guardian. “What is extremely unlikely (i.e. impossible) is that there is a reliable set of external factors that cause depression in an entire population at the same time every year.”

Even Cliff Arnall has tried to distance himself from his previous claims since 2005, but that hasn’t stopped him identifying the supposed happiest day of the year as well.

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Story Source: The above story is based on materials originally published on sciencealert.com. The original article was written by David Nield. This story was originally published online on 7 Jan. 2016. Images credit  YuryZap/Shutterstock.com. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

15 Signs You’re With A Good Man

James+Michael+Sama+7th+Annual+Shorty+Awards+oLUxoU9NxtJlThe author of this short article is James Michael Sama, who is an award winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.
James’ mission is to bring dignity back to dating and relationships by reinstilling these values that are sorely lacking in modern times. James is also currently working on his first book.

Here is Mr. Sama’s article.

When it comes to dating and relationships, I often find myself wondering how certain people end up with others. Wondering why they don’t walk away if they don’t get what they deserve and hoping that they truly appreciate their teammate if they are getting what they deserve.

I think a big part of the problem blurring this line is that many people aren’t even quite sure what a healthy relationship looks like these days or how a “good man” (or woman) should act towards their partner. To help clarify, I have put together this list of how a good man should act while in a relationship.

1. A good man never lets you forget how much he loves you.

I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had with people who tell me that there is no affection in their relationship. The man in their life does not make them feel loved, wanted or appreciated. This is a profoundly important piece of the puzzle — a good man will always remind you how much you mean to him.

If someone truly loves you, you will know it and feel it. If they don’t, you’ll be wondering all the time if they do.

2. A good man always supports you.

Regardless of whether you want to go back to school after 20 years to get your Master’s degree, start a singing career or stay at home to raise a family, a good man will always support you and what you want out of your life. He will never discourage you or make you feel as though you can’t do what you set out to do. He will be beside you every step of the way, cheering on your victories and comforting you during your defeats.

3. A good man will inspire you.

This goes one step beyond supporting you, which can be more passive. To inspire someone takes effort both in how one lives their own life and how they encourage others to live theirs. A good man’s drive and ambition will rub off on you as he pursues his own passions.

4. A good man will work to gain your trust.

A good man will want you to be comfortable and confident in your relationship. The very cornerstone of this is being able to trust someone, and he will realize that. Without trust, there is no foundation for love or respect.

He will understand that trust is not just handed over to someone — it has to be earned, and then it has to be kept.

5. A good man will always make you feel beautiful.

He will understand that making you feel beautiful does not just mean saying the words to you. It will mean truly making you feel beautiful. In the way he looks at you, touches you and treats you. He will notice details when you put effort into your appearance and remind you how attractive he still finds you, even when you don’t.

A good man will understand that whether you are in your sweatpants on the couch or in your evening gown heading to a gala, when you love someone for who they truly are, everything about them becomes beautiful.

6. A good man will make you feel safe.

I have always said that I believe one of the best compliments a woman can give her partner is telling him that she feels safe around him. Regardless of how attracted she is to you or how funny she thinks you are or how much money you have, if a woman cannot sleep soundly by your side at night, none of it matters.

7. A good man does the little things.

Do you need a prescription filled, but have to stay late at work? Did you mention an art exhibit coming to town and he made plans to take you to see it? Regardless of how small certain things seem, he will understand they are really the big things that matter most.

8. A good man never crosses the line.

It is natural to have disagreements and even arguments in a relationship, but there is no reason to make things personal, become insulting and never, ever to become abusive. A good man will remain calm and focus on the topic at hand.

9. A good man is always trying to improve himself.

Whether it be learning new things, developing a new skill set, reading a new book or watching a documentary, a good man who prides himself on continuous self improvement will always be intellectually challenging you and keeping your attention. He will be doing these things for himself, but the added benefit will be the positive impact it has on your relationship.

10. A good man understands actions speak louder than words.

Having the right man in your life will make you understand that people who make empty promises do not deserve your respect. People who keep promises deserve your respect, and he will be one of them.

11. A good man will open up to you.

It can be difficult for some people to express their emotions, fears and even inner-most desires, but having the right person in our lives often helps to open those doors. A good man, while understanding of course that some things are to be kept private, will not hide things from you or bottle up his feelings, knowing that doing so will cause tension and frustration.

12. A good man will always be honest with you.

When building a foundation for a happy, healthy relationship, a good man will understand that honesty is always the best policy.

13. A good man will make you feel comfortable being honest.

Comfort in a relationship (the good kind, not the kind that makes you stop trying) comes from the ability to be open and honest with your partner — and the ability to do this comes from knowing you will never be judged. A good man will encourage you to open up and share your feelings with him. There should never be any fear of him flying off the handle or overreacting if you share something with him.

This means being able to be the most genuine, uncensored version of yourself around him.

14. A good man will never be abusive.

Perhaps the most important point of all. Whether it be mentally, emotionally or physically, a good man will never even think about being abusive towards you or harmful in any way. If this happens to you, please have the courage and respect for yourself in order to talk to someone or walk away immediately. No good person would ever act like this, and it will not get better on its own.

15. A good man will stand by you.

When a man commits his love and his time to someone, there are no stipulations or circumstances required. There will be good times and there will be not-so-good times. There will be challenges and unexpected situations that arise. But he will stay by your side and be your teammate through it all.

Of course, there is an asterisk to this. This does not mean you can disrespect your partner, lie or cheat. It does not mean you can betray his trust and expect him to stick around because he promised to commit to you. This point is about things the two of you go through together and him having the integrity to not walk away when times get hard.

Any man can be by your side on the sunny days. The real test of character is whether or not he will hold the umbrella over you during the stormy days.

Remember, if the person you are with puts in the effort to be this person for you, please let him know how much you appreciate him. No matter how kind someone is, there is no emptier feeling than giving your heart to someone who you feel takes it for granted.
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Story Source: The above story is based on materials originally published on JamesMSama.com and found on huffingtonpost.com. The original article was written by James Michael Sama. Images credit Tetra Images Yuri Arcurs via Getty Images. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You: In 15 Steps

Even When Forgiveness Feels Impossible

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth.  Your experience of someone who has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more that a thought or feeling that you carry around. These thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will dis-empower you if you continue to let these thoughts occupy space in your head. If you could release them, you would know more peace.

Below I share how to forgive someone who has hurt you in 15 steps:

Step 1: Move On to the Next Act

Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play.Embrace them all, and move on to the next act.

Step 2: Reconnect to Spirit

Make a new agreement with yourself to always stay connected to Spirit even when it seems to be the most difficult thing to do. If you do this, you will allow whatever degree of perfect harmony that your body was designed for to proliferate. Turn your hurts over to God, and allow Spirit to flow through you.

Your new agreement with reality in which you’ve blended your physical self and your personality with your spiritual God-connected self will begin to radiate a higher energy of love and light. Wherever you go, others will experience the glow of your God consciousness, and disharmony and disorder and all manner of problems simply will not flourish in your presence. Become “an instrument of thy peace,” as St. Francis desires in the first line of his famous prayer.

Step 3: Don’t Go to Sleep Angry

Each night as I drift off to sleep, I adamantly refuse to use this precious time to review anything that I do not want to be reinforced in the hours of being immersed in my subconscious mind. I choose to impress upon my subconscious mind my conception of myself as a Divine creator in alignment with the one mind. I reiterate my I ams, which I have placed in my  imagination, and I remember that my slumber will be dominated by my last waking concept of myself. I am peaceful, I am content, I am love, and I attract only to myself those who are in alignment with my highest ideals of myself.

This is my nightly ritual, always eschewing any temptation to go over any fear of unpleasantness that my ego might be asking me to review. I assume the feeling in my body of those I am statements already fulfilled, and I know that I’m allowing myself to be programmed while asleep, for the next day I rise knowing that I am a free agent.

In sleep man impresses the subconscious mind with his conception of himself. — Neville Goddard

Step 4: Switch the Focus from Blaming Others to Understanding Yourself

Whenever you’re upset over the conduct of others, take the focus off those you’re holding responsible for your inner distress. Shift your mental energy to allowing yourself to be with whatever you’re feeling — let the experience be as it may, without blaming others for your feelings. Don’t blame yourself either! Just allow the experience to unfold and tell yourself that no one has the power to make you uneasy without your consent, and that you’re unwilling to grant that authority to this person right now.

Tell yourself that you are willing to freely experience your emotions without calling them “wrong” or needing to chase them away. In this way, you’ve made a shift to self-mastery. It’s important to bypass blame, and even to bypass your desire to understand the other person; instead, focus on understanding yourself.
By taking responsibility for how you choose to respond to anything or anyone, you’re aligning yourself with the beautiful dance of life. By changing the way you choose to perceive the power that others have over you and you will see a bright new world of unlimited potential for yourself and you will know instantly how to forgive and let go of anything.

Step 5: Avoid Telling People What to Do

Avoid thoughts and activities that involve telling people who are perfectly capable of making their own choices what to do. In your family, remember that you do not own anyone. The poet Kahlil Gibran reminds you:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you . . .

This is always true. In fact, disregard any inclination to dominate in all of your relationships. Listen rather than expound. Pay attention to yourself when you’re having judgmental opinions and see where self-attention takes you. When you replace an ownership mentality with one of allowing, you’ll begin to see the true unfolding of the Tao in yourself and other people. From that moment on, you’ll be free of frustration with those who don’t behave according to your ego-dominated expectations.

Step 6: Learn to Let Go and Be Like Water

Rather than attempting to dominate with your forcefulness, be like water: flow everywhere there’s an opening. Soften your hard edges by being more tolerant of contrary opinions. Interfere less, and substitute listening for directing and telling. When someone offers you their viewpoint, try responding with: “I’ve never considered that before—thank you. I’ll give it some thought.”

When you give up interfering, and opt instead to stream like water—gently, softly, and unobtrusively— you become forgiveness itself.

Picture yourself as having the same qualities as water. Allow your soft, weak, yielding, fluid self to enter places where you previously were excluded because of your inclination to be solid and hard. Flow softly into the lives of those with whom you feel conflicted: Picture yourself entering their private inner selves, seeing perhaps for the first time what they’re experiencing. Keep this image of yourself as gently coursing water, and watch how your relationships change.

Step 7: Take Responsibility for Your Part

Removing blame means never assigning responsibility to anyone else for what you’re experiencing. It means that you’re willing to say, “I may not understand why I feel this way, why I have this illness, why I’ve been victimized, or why I had this accident, but I’m willing to say without any guilt or resentment that I own it. I live with, and I am responsible for, having it in my life.”

If you take responsibility for having the experience, then at least you have a chance to also take responsibility for removing it or learning from it. If you’re in some small (perhaps unknown) way responsible for that migraine headache or that depressed feeling, then you can go to work to remove it or discover what its message is for you. If, on the other hand, someone or something else is responsible in your mind, then of course you’ll have to wait until they change for you to get better. And that is unlikely to occur. So you go home with nothing and are left with nothing when peace is really on the other side of the coin.

Step 8: Let Go of Resentments

What causes annoyance and anger after a dispute? The generic response would be a laundry list detailing why the other person was wrong and how illogically and unreasonably they behaved, concluding with something like, “I have a right to be upset when my [daughter, mother-in-law, ex-husband, boss, or whomever you’re thinking of] speaks to  me that way!”

But if you’re interested in living a Tao-filled life, it’s imperative that you reverse this kind of thinking. Resentments don’t come from the conduct of the other party in an altercation—no, they survive and thrive because you’re unwilling to end that altercation with an offering of kindness, love, and authentic forgiveness. As Lao-Tzu says:

Someone must risk returning injury with kindness, or hostility will never turn to goodwill. — Lao-Tzu

So when all of the yelling, screaming, and threatening words have been expressed, the time for calm has arrived. Remember that no storm lasts forever, and that hidden within are always seeds of tranquility. There is a time for hostility and a time for peace.

Step 9: Be Kind Instead of Right

There is a Chinese proverb, If you’re going to pursue revenge, you’d better dig two graves, which is saying to me: your resentments will destroy you.

The world is just the way it is. The people who are behaving “badly” in the world are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. You can process it in any way that you choose. If you’re filled with anger about all of those “problems,” you are one more person who contributes to the pollution of anger.  Instead, remember that you have no need to make others wrong or to retaliate when you’ve been wronged.

Imagine if someone says something to you that you find offensive, and rather than opting for resentment, you learn to depersonalize what you’ve just heard and respond with kindness. You are willing to freely send the higher, faster energies of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, and kindness as your response to whatever comes your way. You do this for yourself. You would rather be kind than right.

Step 10: Practice Giving

In the midst of arguments or disagreements, practice giving rather than taking before you exit. Giving involves leaving the ego behind. While it wants to win and show its superiority by being contrary and disrespectful, your Tao nature wants to be at peace and live in harmony. You can reduce your quarreling time to almost zero if you practice this procedure:

Wherever you are, whenever you feel strong emotions stirring in you and you notice yourself  feeling the need to “be right,” silently recite the following words from the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Where there is injury, [let me bring] pardon.

Be a giver of forgiveness as he teaches: Bring love to hate, light to darkness, and pardon to injury. Read these words daily, for they’ll help you overcome your ego’s demands and know the fullness of life.

Step 11: Stop Looking for Occasions to Be Offended

When you live at or below ordinary levels of awareness, you spend a great deal of time and energy finding opportunities to be offended. A news report,  a rude stranger,  someone cursing, a sneeze, a black cloud —just about anything will do if you’re looking for an occasion to be offended. Become a person who refuses to be offended by any one, any thing, or any set of circumstances.

If you have enough faith in your own beliefs, you’ll find that it’s impossible to be offended by the beliefs and conduct of others.

Not being offended is a way of saying, “I have control over how I’m going to feel, and I choose to feel peaceful regardless of what I observe going on. When you feel offended, you’re practicing judgment. You judge someone else to be stupid, insensitive, rude, arrogant, inconsiderate, or foolish, and then you find yourself upset and offended by their conduct. What you may not realize is that when you judge another person, you do not define them. You define yourself as someone who needs to judge others.

Step 12: Don’t Live In the Past – Be Present

When we find it difficult to forgive, often it is because we are not living in the present, and instead, we assign more importance to the past. We assign a good portion of our energy and attention lamenting the good old days that are gone forever as the reason why we can’t be happy and fulfilled today. “Everything has changed,” “No one respects anyone else like they used to…” This is assigning responsibility to the past for why you can’t be happy today.

It’s doubtful that other creatures waste the present moment in thoughts of past and future. A beaver only does beaver, and he does it right in the moment. He doesn’t spend his days  ruminating over the fact that his beaver siblings received more attention, or his father beaver ran off with a younger beaver when he was growing up. He’s always in the now. We can learn much from God’s creatures about enjoying the present moment rather than using it up consumed with anger over the past or worry about the future. Practice living in the moment by appreciating the beauty around you now.

Step 13:  Embrace Your Dark Times

In a universe that’s an intelligent system with a divine creative force supporting it, there simply can be no accidents. As tough as it is to acknowledge, you had to go through what you went through in order to get to where you are today, and the evidence is that you did. Every spiritual advance that you will make in your life will very likely be preceded by some kind of fall or seeming disaster. Those dark times, accidents, tough episodes, break ups, periods of impoverishment, illnesses, abuses, and broken dreams were all in order. They happened, so you can assume they had to and you can’t unhappen them.

Embrace them from that perspective, and then understand them, accept them, honor them, and finally transform them.

Step 14: Refrain from Judgement

When you stop judging and simply become an observer, you will know  inner peace. With that sense of inner peace, you’ll find yourself happier and free of the negative energy of resentment. A bonus is that you’ll find that others are much more attracted to you. A peaceful person attracts peaceful energy.

If I’m to be a being of love living from my highest self, that means that love is all I have inside of me and all that I have to give away. If someone I love chooses to be something other than what my ego would prefer, I must send them the ingredients of my highest self, which is God, and God is love.

My criticism and condemnation of the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of others—regardless of how right and moral my human self convinces me it is—is a step away from God-realization. And it is God-consciousness that allows for my wishes to be fulfilled, as long as they are aligned with my Source of being. I can come up with a long list of reasons why I should be judgmental and condemnatory toward another of God’s children and why, damn it, I am right. Yet if I want to perfect my own world—and I so want to do so—then I must substitute love for these judgments.

Step 15: Send Love

I spent years studying the teachings of Patanjali, and he reminded us several thousand years ago that when we are steadfast—which means that we never slip in our abstention of thoughts of harm directed toward others—then all living creatures cease to feel enmity in our presence.

Now I know that we are all human: you, me, all of us. We do occasionally slip and retreat from our highest self into judgment, criticism, and condemnation, but this is not a rationale for choosing to practice that kind of interaction. I can only tell you that when I finally got it, and I sent only love to another of God’s children whom I had been judging and criticizing, I got the immediate result of inner contentment.

I urge you to send love in place of those judgments and criticisms to others when you feel they impede your joy and happiness, and hold them in that place of love. Notice that if you stay steadfast, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

A Meditation to End on Love

Picture yourself at the termination of a quarrel or major dispute. Rather than reacting with old patterns of residual anger, revenge, and hurt, visualize offering kindness, love, and forgiveness.

Do this right now by sending out these “true virtue” thoughts to any resentments you’re currently carrying. Make this your standard response to any future altercations: I end on love, no matter what!

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Source: The above story is based on materials found on drwaynedyer.com in the blog section. The original article was written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Image credit unknown (found on website). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Leadership Transparency: 3 Ways to Be More Open with Your People

Blanchard LeaderChat

Arms CrossedLeadership is not something you do to people, it’s something you do with people. Letting people know what they can expect from you underscores the idea that leadership is a partnering process.

That’s one of the messages that Ken Blanchard highlights in his work with senior leaders.

Blanchard underscores the idea that leadership transparency is a key element of success in today’s organizations. That’s because transparency gives employees a chance to see the “person behind the position” in their organization.

This willingness on the part of leaders to share a little bit of themselves helps to build trust and confidence in a powerful way—and it encourages others to share information about themselves as well. The result is greater openness and stronger bonds throughout the organization.

3 Ways to Be More Open

For leaders looking to be more transparent with their people, Blanchard recommends three steps:

  1. Identify your beliefs about leading…

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All the Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness According to Science

Mindfulness and meditation offer a host of benefits that we’re still learning about via scientific studies. Information is Beautiful’s infographic below reveals the effects of meditation and mindfulness practices—from boosting concentration to making us more empathetic.

The company took the results of over 75 studies and meta-studies and created this visualization. The larger the text, the stronger and more promising the evidence. As you can see, there are positive benefits across all aspects of our lives, emotional, physical, cognitive, and social.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials found on lifehacker.com/. The original article was written by Melanie Pinola. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

“Love brings self-confidence”: 7 quotes from His Holiness the Dalai Lama at TED2015

TED Blog

Dalai Lama in conversation with Chris Anderson. Dalai Lama in conversation with Chris Anderson.

On the final day of TED2015, Curator Chris Anderson reveals an exclusive video conversation between him and his Holiness the Dalai Lama, filmed in Vancouver in October 2014. In their talk, the Dalai Lama speaks about two kinds of happiness, how all humans can coexist, and the cooperation between science and Buddhism. And most important, that he is extremely hopeful about peace in the next century. Here are seven quotes we loved from him:

1. “Our very existence is very much based on hope.”

2. “Love brings self-confidence. Anger brings fear.”

3. “Real gun control must take place here [in the heart].”

4. “We are social animals. My future depends on [others]. Their suffering is ultimately your suffering.”

5. “In all major world religious traditions, their real message is same: the message of love.”

6. “The scientific way is the best way.”

7. “We…

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Why Have Hobbies?

Aunt Beulah

In a recent Peanuts cartoon, when Lucy told Charlie Brown she was thinking of starting some new hobbies, Charlie said, “That’s a good idea, Lucy. The people who get most out of life are those who really try to accomplish something.”

Looking appalled, Lucy replied: “ACCOMPLISH something? I thought we were just supposed to keep busy.”

In the past, I thought like Lucy. Viewing hobbies as busy work to fill my idle moments, I pursued decoupage, macramé, origami, tatting, and yodeling. Each endeavor enjoyed the same success as my wish to be 5’6”.Wreath

My search for a busy-work hobby peaked when I scoured fields and ponds for nuts, pinecones, grasses, and twigs, which I used to make Christmas wreaths. I gave these creations to loved ones, who exclaimed happily and hung them in their snug homes.

I had used liberal amounts of a smelly liquid adhesive to attach my found…

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This Is Why You Feel So Sad on Sunday (and How to Fix It)

Every Sunday around 4 p.m., much of the developed world gives a collective groan. The weekend is fast receding, Monday is fast approaching, and the blues (a legit thing—ask the experts) set in. But you can outsmart them—and keep your mood in weekend mode till the clock strikes midnight—with a few easy strategies. Monday can wait.

Even after the best of weekends (or especially after the best of weekends), there’s a cloud that descends. Chances are, you’ve felt it. In a 2013 poll from the career site Monster.com, 81 percent of American respondents said they get Sunday-night blues—and 59 percent said they experience them “really bad.” As laid-back “weekend you” begins to morph into uptight “weekday you,” anxiety over anticipating an over­flowing in-box, the drudgery of packing school lunches, and the tyranny of a mile-long to-do list sets in.

“Sunday nights aren’t considered the end of a great weekend but the beginning of something neither the child nor the adult is looking forward to,” says Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and the founder of the National Institute for Play, in Carmel Valley, California. But what is the cause of this dread? And what can we do to change it? If you’re prone to Sunday-night blues, try one (or, uh, all) of the following tips. And welcome to a future with no more sad Sundays.

Do Sunday on Saturday

Typically we schedule fun stuff on Saturday, obligations on Sunday. This only reinforces the blues. Instead, take care of buzz-killing chores, errands, and commitments on Saturday, when you’re naturally in a better mood. This could also change your experience of tougher tasks. For example, visiting your great-aunt in the retirement home when you’re already feeling down may remind you of the shortness of life; seeing her with a fresh Saturday-morning mind-set might move you to reminisce about summers at the cabin (happier for her, too). This weekend switcheroo leaves you open for “moments of unencumbered joy” on Sunday, when your psyche is in need of them most, says Cassie Mogilner, Ph.D., a happiness researcher and an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Homework is yet another Sunday downer. Nagging kids to hit the books creates an angst-filled evening. “Children may feel more positive on Monday morning if Sunday night is free of last-minute preparations for tomorrow’s school day,” says Erika A. Patall, Ph.D., an assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Slot time for homework on Saturday, with a little extra on Sunday morning. (Hash it out with your children beforehand so you can work around soccer games and birthday parties.) This can be a hard sell for teenagers, but if you have little ones, instilling this habit now can really pay off in a multitude of ways. “In general, students learn more if they distribute their studying over time, rather than trying to cram the learning into one long session,” says Patall.

Become a Forward Thinker

Another reason you feel off on Sunday, of course, is that your head is swirling with tasks for the upcoming week. Spare yourself this stress by ending your workweek with a plan. “Before you leave the office on Friday, prep your desk so you can jump in Monday without missing a beat,” says Peggy Duncan, an Atlanta-based professional organizer. Create a Monday-specific to-do list, line up necessary files, and tag e-mails that require attention. If you have to check your work calendar over the weekend, do it Sunday morning to avoid having the prospect weigh on you all day, then dive into a distraction (exercise, playtime with the kids) to keep yourself from becoming consumed with work thoughts. If it is within your control, don’t schedule Monday-morning meetings. “They just add to the sense of dread,” Duncan explains.

Getting your act together at the end of the week can be a boon to all aspects of your life, from planning meals and organizing carpools to managing long-term school projects. Anticipating challenges preweekend will prevent late-night dashes to the market and Staples, and the headaches that go with them.

Be a Social Animal

Slipping into hermit mode is all too easy come Sunday, especially in the short days before daylight saving time kicks in. But there is plenty of research that shows that people who are less social tend to be less happy. And a Sunday already potentially mired in the blahs is when you’ll need contact with others the most. Can you stay in your pj’s and communicate on Facebook? “Perhaps,” says Mogilner. “But connecting over a computer isn’t as effective as connecting with living, breathing humans.”

Any regular Sunday social ritual—church for some, yoga or softball for others—can lift spirits. In fact, a 2010 study published in American Sociological Review found that people who routinely attend religious services were more satisfied with their lives than were those who didn’t. The reason, researchers determined, isn’t just related to faith; it’s also about having friends in the congregation who give people a sense of belonging and, in turn, higher levels of well-being.

You may get similar benefits without joining a formal group. Institute a standing date with pals to skip the exhausting back-and-forth of making plans, suggests Gretchen Rubin, the author of Better Than Before ($19, amazon.com), a book about mastering good habits. “Being accountable makes it much more likely that you won’t back out at the last minute,” she adds. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. (Who wants to wash a fondue pot on Sunday night?) And it doesn’t have to involve many people. Something low-maintenance—like a scheduled phone call with your sister, margaritas with the neighbors, or even Yahtzee night with the kids—can make all the difference.

Volunteering is one more way to connect, but it has an unexpected perk, too. Giving away your time makes you feel as if you have more time, reports a 2012 study published in Psychological Science. Hence, it extends your weekend. “You get a sense that you’re doing a lot with your time,” says Mogilner, who worked on the study. “That inspires you to do more later on that day,” which leads to more satisfaction. It’s a tactic to fend off that “Where did the weekend go?” spiral.

Make Over Sunday Night

Why is it that 7 p.m. on a Sunday feels like 11 p.m., but on every other day of the week 7 p.m. is just the start of the evening? Maybe because our idea of “doing nothing”—say, binge-watching Game of Thrones—is not necessarily the best medicine for relieving the Sunday blues.

Active leisure—a book club, practicing yoga, or even going to the movies—will make you happier than choosing something that is passive. “If you’re engaged in an activity that keeps you moving, you’re absorbed in the moment and your mind has much less room to allow workweek worries to sneak in and take hold,” says Mogilner. So while we’re forever grateful to HBO for transforming Sunday nights, you may want to DVR your favorite episodes and watch them on a night less fraught with anxiety—say, hump day.

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The above story is based on materials found on realsimple.com. The original article was written by Yolanda Wikiel. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.