Mondays, amirite? The word alone is enough to send a wave of dread throughout your entire being, isn't it? There's certainly nothing unique about disliking Mondays; in fact, it's probably what bonds you to even your most disliked co-worker in the office. But here's the thing: Mondays are a necessary evil in life, which means, sooner or later, you have to find a way to tolerate — if not actually enjoy — that first day of the week. I know that might seem impossible, but I'm willing to bet that Jonathan Van Ness' advice for stress on Monday mornings will change your entire perspective.
Van Ness is known for so much more than his killer mustache and bomb hair makeovers. If you've ever seen an episode of the hit Netflix show Queer Eye, or listened to the podcast Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness, then you know the 31-year-old star has an effortlessly positive spirit — and let me tell you, that spirit is downright contagious. On Monday, Oct. 29, Van Ness teamed up with Lipton to host an event called Lipton Stress Less Monday, where people were invited to escape the Monday blues and connect with one another over a few steaming, relaxing cups of tea.
"I think a lot of the reason why Mondays get a bad rap is because we as humans get attached to stuff, and attachment can be at the root of a lot of suffering," Van Ness tells me at the event in an exclusive interview with Elite Daily.
In other words, the weekend may only be two days long, but if you're anything like me, then you cling to that stress-free freedom you feel on Saturdays and Sundays, and by the time Monday morning rolls back around, it's hard to get back into the swing of things and, you know, "real life."
As Van Ness tells me, it's all about creating a Monday morning routine that can "ease the transition" from weekend to weekday and "get the wheels turning" again. For the Queer Eye star, he tells Elite Daily, sometimes that routine includes "a gorgeous tea moment" with Lipton's Stress Less Caffeine-Free Herbal tea, which combines cinnamon, chamomile, and lavender for a comforting, cozy, Monday morning sip.
In addition to the occasional gorgeous tea moment, Van Ness says he always begins his mornings, Monday or otherwise, with three minutes of mindfulness. "Sometimes it’s a mantra, sometimes it’s sitting nice and tall on the ground and listening to the sound of my breath, sometimes I actually have something specific I’m meditating on or working on that week," he explains. "Lately it’s just me breathing in, breathing out, and that alone can help me get through some really stressful schedules."
Van Ness is definitely on to something, BTW: According to research published in the medical journal International Journal of Yoga, a "slow, deep breathing" practice is linked to a "very significant reduction" in stress. And while there are plenty of specific breathing techniques out there that can help relieve stress, Van Ness says it's all about tuning into your own body and what you as an individual need in a given moment. After all, he tells me, "we are our own best teachers," meaning only you can know what your mind, body, and soul are truly craving.
At the very least, try to give yourself those three minutes in the morning after you turn off your alarm, just like Van Ness. Whether you choose to sit quietly and breathe during that time, or write down some of your morning thoughts, or even make yourself a soothing mug of tea, the goal is to check in with yourself and prioritize your wellbeing from the very moment you wake up.
"Mondays can be cute," Van Ness tells me. "It's all about shifting our perception."