Mondays. People don’t like them and in general dread them. They are the end of the weekend and the start of the work week. It is the day that is usually started off with too little sleep, not enough preparation, and a general lack of excitement. Even those who love their jobs often start the week with dread due to the difficulties of jumping back into the routine. The thought of Mondays can even trigger anxiety or depression at the thought of the stress the week may bring. But why are they really so bad? Is it the day, is it the routine, is it the job, or is it the attitude.
Often times the impact of an attitude is underestimated and even discounted. Perhaps it is not actually the day that is so bad, but our attitude we have about it. It is commonly known that thoughts effect emotions and yet we don’t stop to consider that maybe it is how we think about Mondays that make them so bad rather than the actual day itself. In fact, the negative thoughts and feelings often become such a standard and ingrained part of our Monday routine we don’t even give it a second thought. So how can we fix this? A few small changes in the way we think and in our routine can make all the difference in how we approach a Monday. We may not jump for joy, but as long as we can approach Monday with something less than dread and closer to acceptance, we might just be able to change the stigma.
- Plan Ahead: using Friday to plan your Monday so that you know exactly what you are coming into will help reduce some of the anxiety about starting the work week and jumping right back into the stress. Also, structuring your work schedule so that Monday does not have intensive meetings or tasks can help ease you into the work week and reduce overwhelming feelings, when possible. Try to plan and structure your Monday morning to reduce the amount of thinking you have to do in the moment and decrease stress. If you know you start every morning by checking emails while drinking your coffee, it takes away some of the stress.
- Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to: try to schedule something fun for Monday night that you look forward to and makes going to work on Monday morning less dreadful since you have something fun to look forward to. Whether it’s movie night or Monday sushi night with the family, it just adds a unique and fun twist to Monday and starts to break the stigma of Monday being nothing more than the start of the work week.
- Create a Healthy Work Space: make your work space comfortable and motivating. Have pictures of your family, motivational quotes, a comfy chair, a plant or fish, or anything that helps you to relax and feel at ease. An essential oil diffuser can help set the mood and reduce stress and anxiety as well. If it is the hustle and commotion of the work day that causes stress, block some of it out when you can and use headphones with some calming music. Nourish yourself and pamper yourself with some healthy treats as well, whether it be fruit, tea, or coffee.
- Be Social: maintain social relationships where appropriate and available in the work place. Having a social network to talk and share experiences and feelings with will give you something to look forward to when returning to work as well as reduce the feelings of isolation that Mondays can bring considering the social support that is readily available during the weekends disappears. Plan lunch with friends if possible to give another positive twist to a Monday.
- Reconceptualize: reframe how you look at a Monday. Rather than look at it as the end of a weekend, start looking at it as the start to the new week and one more step closer to the next weekend. Also, looking at it as a day where you can work on accomplishing goals will help reduce the sometimes overwhelming feeling of Mondays being pointless. Minimizing the importance of Monday, meaning the start of the week, and looking at it as just another day may also help reduce some of the anxiety and depression that it can cause.
- Accept The Inevitable: Mondays will always come. It means you have lived another day or week. Accepting that they come and it means you will have to go and just going through the motions will help reduce the dread leading up to it. This is not something you can avoid and therefore you must just deal.
- Relax: 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, yoga, deep breathing, or a nature walk. Do something to keep the emotions from becoming overwhelming because in reality they only serve to make the day feel longer and more miserable. So take some time, and just relax.