Why do so many people despise Monday? For most, it’s the end of time off with the ones they love and back to the work for five days. There is an innate dread for the start of a long work week filled with challenges. I remember feeling this way about several jobs throughout my teenage and college years. I would have rather been out having fun, even though I needed the money to support my fun. Years ago I would wake up early before the Sun, feeling like garbage and wishing I could just stay in bed. I’d grab a coffee and breakfast then head outside to brush the snow off my train in the dark so I could travel an hour to a crappy place before chaining myself to a desk with fake lights for twelve hours. Aside from the coffee and breakfast it sounds pretty horrible. Are there ways to battle the Monday blahs?
Making your Monday Better
1. Sleep More
Thinking about the busy week ahead causes stress, which releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is good in moderation as it helps us manage our stress. But it has the effect of keeping us stimulated, so yes worrying about Monday does keep you awake at night. Sleep deprivation makes everything so much worse about working. If you can do something relaxing the night before and go to bed early you can feel well rested in the morning, which has the added effect of giving our body the extra energy and repair it needs for the week ahead. Every time I’ve fought the Monday dread on Sunday night and gone to be early I’ve woken up feeling pretty good about Monday.
2. Make a list, check it twice
When we have problems that we can’t solve right away, they tend to dominate our thoughts. We analyse them and they race through our head over and over again. This comes to a head on
Sunday night because you have to face the problems on Monday. To get things out of your head, the best thing to do is write it down, all of it. It lets you tell your brain that you don’t have to think about it constantly; you won’t forget it because you wrote it down. You can make a list on Sunday night or Monday morning, whenever your stress levels are high. Once I get everything on paper I can get to it in time and forget about it for the time being, which allows me to relax and enjoy the rest of my fleeting weekend.
3. Find the good, or make some good!
Find a way to make Monday a day to look forward to. Take up a hobby, join a club, play a sport, whatever you feel like. For one it will make you a more well-rounded person and give you some extra social activity. But it will also give you something to look forward to on Mondays. You can focus on the enjoyment of this activity instead of the long grind of work. I play ultimate frisbee on Monday nights, a sport I really enjoy. It gives me some exercise and some social activity, two things that naturally alleviate stress (at least for an extrovert like myself).
In general, usually by Tuesday, something happens…. we suddenly don’t feel so bad. Work just becomes the routine and we go with it. It still isn’t ideal, but having experienced Monday, we feel the worst is over and we can keep at it a bit easier, so we don’t feel as much stress. If you can simplify and work through Monday, the rest of the week can seem pretty good.
If you are truly unhappy about not just Mondays, but work days in general, it may be time to look for something that does make you happy. I know some people feel stuck in the life they have, for varying reasons, but for most people, successfully moving to a more enjoyable career isn’t impossible. You only have one life, so you should do whatever you can to enjoy it.
These days I look at Mondays with excitement, maybe because I truly love the work I do. Yes there are challenges and it’s not always super-happy-fun-time, but I always revel in the hard times because it gives me the opportunity to truly enjoy the good stuff! I can absolutely say I love my work and it makes every day an adventure. Monday is a chance to reset and refocus on my goals and it sets the tone for the week ahead.