I guess it was Garfield who most famously hated Mondays (and loved lasagna), but the sentiment is pretty familiar. Much as a Friday afternoon brings feelings of elation, a Monday morning can bring on a sense of unhappy resignation: a whole five days of work, early mornings or late nights, and most of it spent indoors. Laura Schwecherl (via Greatist) has taken on the topic of the “Monday blues”, most notably how they affect the body. She references one study that’s shown people experience physical stress when they’re forced to think about the impending workweek. Another showed that the Monday blues could be linked to cardiovascular troubles. And yet another found that suicide rates in Japan are highest on Mondays.
But Schwecherl’s findings aren’t all bad news. She makes some wise suggestions for making Monday mornings more tolerable:
1. Don’t live for the weekends. Find something you love to do and do it on a weeknight. If you can feel joy on the weekend you can feel it during the week. It may just take a little more planning.
2. Relax. Don’t overload your weekends, or you might find yourself even more groggy and miserable during the week.
3. Don’t sleep in. The same sleep schedule all week will help you feel rested come Monday morning. Studies have shown people who sleep in late on weekends could be suffering from social jet lag.
4. Plan ahead Sunday night. Figure out lunch and your outfit the night before and you won’t be scrambling Monday morning. If you’ve got children get them organized as well to start the week off on a good foot.
5. Hit the hay early on Sunday. Being tired will only add to the stress of a hectic Monday.
6. Don’t skip breakfast. This is true everyday but especially on Mondays when you’ve been out of your routine for a few days. It’s a great way to set the pace for the rest of the day for both your mind and body. These slow-cooker breakfast recipes can be prepared Sunday night and ready for you to enjoy Monday morning.
7. Get pumped with some tunes. I’m not a morning noise kind of person, but listening to a favourite song can help boost your Monday morning mood.
8. Get some exercise. In the morning. Before work. This is a great strategy that Schwecherl says will boost your endorphins, making you happier throughout the day. Here’s a mini morning yoga routine you can do in your bedroom.
9. Look snazzy. If you need a pick-me-up, wear something you absolutely love. If you already feel groggy, dressing sloppy will only make you feel worse.
10. Smile. Even if it’s forced, it can make you feel better.
11. Treat yourself. Create a little ritualized treat to look forward to on Monday mornings. Maybe you splurge on a fancy latte or buy a new magazine for your morning commute. Having something to look forward to on Monday’s will make it feel less daunting.
12. Take small breaks throughout the day. Getting some fresh air and eating a proper lunch can do wonders for both your attitude and productivity.
13. Figure out why Mondays are blue. Is it time to switch careers?
The last point is a good one. There’s something to be said for having a job that doesn’t fill you with dread at the end of every weekend, and sometimes even taking a pay cut to be happy is worth it. It is possible to like, or even love, your work.
Schwecherl’s tips are a great place to start if you’re looking to quell the anxiety often associated with Mondays.
Do you feel stressed when you think about returning to work on Mondays?
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