If you’re like me, then the Monday Blues get you bad. Waking up to the cantankerous sound of “Shake it Off” or whatever other tune you have playing as your alarm is enough to bring the fantasy of your weekend to a screeching halt. Far from a matter of personal opinion, many individuals around the world suffer from the dreaded Monday Blues. Even new employees can struggle from this and get a double layer of guilt for trying to resist expressing any form of fatigue. For some, this is just a blip at the beginning of a fantastic week, yet for others this can define how they view their week, and it can already look grim and dull by the time Friday rolls around. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this burnout, especially during winter when our natural vitamin sources are low, and we should (ideally) be hunkered down.
What actually causes this you may wonder? Well, there’s a few things that typically occur over the weekend that make us have such a dramatic shift in emotions from Sunday to Monday. Firstly, it’s more common for us to change our internal clocks, switching instead to later bedtimes and later wakeups as a treat. We tend to overindulge in the weekend and forgo our regular schedules that our work schedule can help instill in us. Plus, according to studies across the years from 2005, we’re unhealthier when the week begins due to a heightened blood pressure, which contributes to us feeling low and sluggish.
So, what can we do to avoid Monday hitting us in the face when we’re not expecting it?
Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve to prevent the dreaded Monday Blues.
Have something to look forward to on Monday evening.
To help you burn through the morning slog, clearing emails and getting back to your weekly rituals, you can aim to plan something for Monday nights to give you something to look forward to. This doesn’t have to be going out for a rager with the crew or hosting a large event but can even be as simple as planning to cook something unique for dinner, to get stuck into a new book, or even to commit some time to a side project. The Monday Blues can get us trapped in the tunnel-vision which breaks down work-life balance and so by having external factors at play, we can help mitigate this. We tend to be most productive in the mornings, which is usually mitigated by fatigue in the afternoon due to varying factors. With having something organised for your end of day, you’ll have a productive, successful Monday.
Ignore your work emails over your weekend.
This one is so frequently brought up, and even you, right now sitting at your desk or on the bus, reading this blog may be rolling your eyes at this point. Alas, there’s too much truth to it to deny. We may think that the simple glances at the phone are harmless, yet if this is consistent and recurring then it doesn’t allow our brains the opportunity to switch off. If you’re in a tricky spot with this, pull your leader to the side and discuss it with them. Highlight that you need a weekend off or that you need support achieving this, and help get accountability for staying offline during the weekend.
Have a good backtrack for your day.
Music has a huge impact on how we feel, and the change in tempo between something drole and something upbeat is dynamic enough to seriously alter the way we work. Try to either plan ahead and have a good playlist if you’re on your own or wear headphones, or switch to a radio station that doesn’t play the typical melancholiac dribble that so often frequents the airwaves these days. Create an environment that is conducive to you being able to do your best work!
Make Monday your ‘feel-good’ day by treating yourself to a bought coffee or lunch, to help instill a bit of excitement and make your week that much better. To help this tip work, you do need to offset it by ensuring it feels like a treat, and either making your own coffee or bringing your own lunch. Start your work day with a coffee from your favourite cafe, or make sure you have something special for breakfast. Wear an outfit you love, and focus your energy into making Monday into a better experience for yourself.
Be gentle on yourself on Monday.
When we’re fending off the Monday Blues, we’re rarely in the right frame of mind to be our best self. Sometimes it can take a few hours for us to properly wake up and be aware of what’s going on with our Monday’s, and so it’s often best to put any larger projects or work on the backburner for Tuesday-Friday. Spend your Monday setting up your week and looking to get yourself in the best position possible.
Start the week off right with some exercise.
Do you have those people in your office who come in on a Monday, gleaming in sweat from the gym, rattling their protein shake? Well, they have the right idea. Starting your Monday with some exercise and giving yourself some TLC before the day starts can be the difference between sitting at your desk feeling groggy and being peppy and upright during the day. This doesn’t have to be an “ultimate-sweat-9000%-uphill-spin-combat-class” with a “full-body recovery shake” but can also be as simple as taking the dog for a quick walk around the block whilst the sun is rising or perhaps doing some yoga in front of your favourite breakfast show.
Recognise when Monday Blues is actually Work Blues.
Sometimes, we can mistake negative emotion towards our current work, with the Monday Blues. If you find that these sentiments and the ‘dread of work’ is seeping into your every day, then it may be time to find something different. The modern landscape of work is evolving, with businesses putting a greater focus on Mental Wellness, Employee Wellbeing, and the benefits of work beyond salary. If you’re finding yourself in this court, then flick us a message and we’ll be in touch to help you find something better!
Whilst these aren’t surefire ways to beat your Monday Blues in perpetuity, and you’ll undoubtedly have days where you’re still feeling lower than usual, getting apprised of these ideas can help you be well equipped to self-regulate those emotions!