Monday, or in other words, the most dreaded day of the week. It signifies the end of the weekend and the start of the work week and usually starts off with too little sleep, not enough preparation, and a general lack of excitement. Its hard because even when you like your job, its hard to jump straight back into the grind of the work week. For some people, Mondays can even trigger anxiety or depression. The question is, why are they really so bad? Is it the day, is it the routine, is it the job, or is it the attitude.
It is easy to blame any and every reason for Mondays being so tough, but most of the time the impact of an attitude is underestimated and even discounted. In all reality, it is not actually the day that is so bad, but our attitude we have about it. While it is commonly known that thoughts effect emotions, we still don’t stop to consider that maybe it is how we think about Mondays that make them so bad or difficult. In truth, the negative thoughts and feelings often become such a standard part of our Monday routine that we don’t even give it a second thought.
So how do we fix this? Just making a few small changes in the way we think and in our routine can make all the difference on our Mondays, possibly even reducing or taking away the Monday blues.
Fridays are a great tool in preparing for our Mondays. If you take a little bit of your time out of your Friday to plan what your Monday will be like, you can reduce some of the anxiety Monday mornings and coming into work creates. It takes away the ambiguity of a work day with too much to get done and not enough time or energy to complete it. When possible, structuring your whole work week so that Monday does not have an extensive amount of responsibility or a heavy load of tasks may help ease you back into the work week rather than have you jump in running at full speed. Maybe you could make it the routine to start every morning by checking emails while drinking your coffee, slow and relaxing.
Plan Something Fun
Having something fun on Mondays can help outweigh the negatives and might give you the little boost to get you through those Monday morning blues. Try scheduling a movie night, a lunch break with friends, a traditional family night dinner, or any other activity that adds a nice little moment in your routine. Just because it is a Monday and the start of a work week, doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Maintain a Healthy Workspace
This is straight forward enough. Make your work space comfortable and motivating. Try having a comfy chair, cheerful decorations, pictures of family and friends, motivating quotes, and maybe even some music. Some people enjoy using an essential oil diffuser with calming oils or a fish tank. Keep some healthy treats and coffee or tea available. Whatever works for you to make your work space a place that you want to be.
Don’t isolate yourself! Isolation leads to depression. We tend to be social creatures over the weekend and then isolate at work on Monday. Having a social network at work can help you reduce stress. These are people that understand the unique aspects of your job and can relate and support you on a level that others cannot. Also, planning fun work social events on Mondays help perk up the dreary day.
“Having something fun on Mondays can help outweigh the negatives and might give you the little boost to get you through those Monday morning blues.”
Reframe Your Thinking
Reframe how you think about Mondays. Stop looking at it as the end of a weekend and start looking at it as the start to the new week and a necessary day to get you closer to next weekend. Treat Monday as just another day, rather than a day that signifies something so important as the end of a weekend. After all, Monday, Tuesday, any day that you work is the same, a work day.
No matter what you do, Monday will come. You can’t avoid it, so you might as well accept it and make the best of it. Reducing the dread by increasing the acceptance can help improve the overall feel of the day and reduce any anxiety and depression it may cause.
Try to relax. Stressing and worrying about the day will not make it end sooner or keep it from coming. Engage in a relaxing activity such as: yoga, deep breathing, or a nature walk. Try engaging in mindfulness exercises or simply just try to have some fun. You have to have a Monday, so you might as well take full advantage of it.
**This article was written by Lindsey Traudt, LCPC as part of The LodeStone Center, one of the partner companies that makes up The LodeStone Center. This article first appeared on LodeStone Center’s website on September 21st, 2016.