Whether you spent the weekend sinking all manner of alcoholic drinks or you kept it pretty chilled, we all need a reset on a Monday–especially during the cooler months when our energy levels are naturally lower. It’s common for many of us to start the week punishing ourselves for a gluttonous, indulgent weekend, but rebooting your body and mind is actually about adding nourishment, rather than taking anything away, and being gentle with ourselves. How? Keep reading for five easy, science-backed ways to reboot your body and mind after a tiring weekend.
Take a cold shower
Okay, it’s not always the most welcome prospect on a Monday morning, but taking a cold shower can help to quickly improve your mood, while also boosting metabolism and immune function, at the same time as reducing inflammation, pain or soreness. When you’re in cold water, your brain is “too busy focusing on making the unpleasant sensation go away,” Mjdoline Jayoushe, MD, previously told Vogue, so unhappiness, anxiety or stress evaporates on the spot. If you find it too difficult to bear, begin by using the contrast shower technique.
Get your light fix
It sounds simple, but scientific research has found that viewing sunlight within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up is the most effective way to ensure you sleep well that evening. Andrew Huberman, MD, a neuroscientist and associate professor of neurobiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, recommends spending between two and 10 minutes outdoors each morning. It “starts a timer for the onset of [the sleep hormone] melatonin,” he says, helping our bodies to better understand when it’s time to relax and drift off later. In the winter, you can use a SAD lamp instead–it has the same effect.
Eat a healthy breakfast
While some people like to start the week by intermittent fasting, having a healthy, balanced breakfast can be an easy way too boost your mood. Steer away from carbohydrate-rich and sugary foods, such as cereals and toast, and instead embrace a protein-rich meal that won’t spike your blood sugar levels first thing. According to nutritionist, Rosemary Ferguson, that might be a vegetable omelette or kefir topped with nuts, seeds and berries: delicious and nutritious!
Try this afternoon tonic
How to ward off the 4 p.m. slump? Rhian Stephenson, nutritionist and the founder of Artah, recommends swapping your second coffee for an afternoon tonic. “Mix 1.5 liters of water with the juice of one lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper,” she says. “Cayenne is a circulatory stimulant, appetite suppressant, anti-inflammatory and digestive carminative, so it’s a great tool to help you stay energised, focused and clear-headed in the afternoon.”
Put your feet up the wall
It might sound niche, but lying on your back with your legs up the wall is excellent for lymphatic drainage. “Elevating your legs at the end of the day is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stimulate your lymphatic system,” says Stephenson. It can also help to reduce blood pressure and alleviate stress before bed.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com