Your Planner for a Happy Week

Let's put an end to the Sunday scaries and hump day blues (not to mention counting down the minutes until Friday). That's no way to live, people!

Successful Week

Here's a cheat sheet of research-backed secrets that'll help you sail through all seven days with less stress, fewer snags, and more little victories. TGI… every day.

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Monday is a great day to work out with a friend or see your doctor.

Web searches for things like "healthy diet" spike today, a sign that we're more motivated, so book your gym buddy; exercising together could push your workout to the next level, says research. Need to see your MD? Ask if she can fit you in. Lots of people miss appointments today.


Also, you'll be happy to hear "Monday blues" aren't real! Research shows people recall feeling low today, but when moods are tracked hourly, we're as happy as on any other day.


BUT MONDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Your heart. Studies show that there's a jump in ticker trouble on Mondays. Stress seems to be the driver, so take it easy on yourself, y'hear?

Tuesday is a great day to get a ton done.

Set an ambitious to-do list! Research shows that people find themselves hyper-productive today — sending more emails and staying late to finish projects, for instance. Go ahead and crush tasks like a boss, but don't schedule tough meetings around noon (the stress-iest hour of the week).


BUT TUESDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Remembering stuff. "Day confusion" peaks Tuesdays through Thursdays, say scientists, making you more apt to forget an appointment or dinner with a friend. Set those calendar reminders!

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Wednesday is a great day to weigh yourself and catch some zzzs.

The midpoint of the week is the most accurate time to weigh in, a Finnish study found, probably because it's halfway between weekends, when we eat more. Tonight may also be your best night of rest, according to data from more than 900,000 sleep tracker app users.


BUT WEDNESDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Feeling "meh." Monday blahs may be all in our heads, but research backs up the hump day blues. Plan a fun reward for making it halfway through the week.

Thursday is a great day to connect with others — including your partner.

People are likeliest to pick up the phone today, say sales industry figures, so if you're looking to network or reconnect with someone fun from Saturday's party, reach out. Also reach for your spouse. A study found that today's mix of hormones sets the stage for excellent sex.


BUT THURSDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Getting home on time. In most metropolitan areas, Thursday evening is nearly as bad a commuting night as Friday. Download your favorite podcast and you'll stay calmer in gridlock.

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Friday is a great day to meet up after work.

Research found that people who spend Friday evenings solo are more prone to feel lonely than those who hang out with others. Sometimes solitude recharges us, but tonight, make plans with friends, family, or whoever's at home (even if you just watch House of Cards).


BUT FRIDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Making tough decisions. Your brain- and willpower may be sapped after the week, so try to put off giving answers till Monday. Also, since Friday may be your least productive day, get key tasks done earlier in the week!

Saturday is a great day to start a diet.

A British poll of over 2,000 women who'd set out to lose weight found that those who began their diet on a weekend were likeliest to succeed (possibly because they had those two days to grocery shop and prep).


Also, Saturday might be your most joyful day, partly because you expect it to be!


BUT SATURDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Errands and remembering to take your meds. Stores are liable to be packed, which can squelch happy Saturday vibes. Save those tasks for another time if you can. And schedule a reminder to take your prescription, since there's a 20 percent chance you'll forget to down yours today.

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Sunday is a great day to spend quality time with your family.

It's been true for decades: Sunday is the day we often set aside to be with the fam and others we love. Treat that time as a necessity — scientists say missing out on warm interaction is one reason weekend workers tend to have lower happiness scores than Monday-to-Fridayers.


Feeling beat at the end of a long day or week? That exhaustion could spur creativity: Research shows that fatigued brains might be more inventive, perhaps because they're too tired for shoulds and coulds.


Also, Sunday is a great day to hit the gym — you can have the place to yourself because the fewest people work out then.


BUT SUNDAY IS A BAD DAY FOR… Dreading next week. Scientists have coined the term "Sunday neurosis" to describe the creeping worry we feel about whatever's coming at us. Make sure to set clear boundaries, including in your own head: Sundays are time off, which you absolutely deserve. Don't let anxiety chip away at relaxation.


This story originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.


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