Monday blues is the feeling of laziness and lack of motivation to get back to your normal routine after 2 enjoyable days of the weekend.
How do feel when you head to bed on a Sunday night? You feel sick to the stomach knowing that you will wake up to 5 working days. You set an extra alarm to ensure you wake on time lest you get late to work.
God forbid you wake up in the middle of the night. Trying to fall asleep knowing that you have a few hours before work can be a nightmare in itself.
Do Mondays have to be that hard? Actually, no, not really.
You can make your Monday’s motivated if you want to. In this article, I will cover:
- What are Monday blues and why they occur
- How to overcome them
- What is meant by Monday blues?
- Why do we get Monday blues?
- When do we experience Monday Blues?
- How to beat Monday blues?
What is meant by Monday blues?
Monday blues is a unique feeling which cannot be expressed in words. It starts late Sunday evening and persists until half your Monday. The closest the feeling comes to is – a mixture of hating yourself, the urge to punch your boss, and the thought of screaming at your own life.
No cases of death due to Monday blues have been reported, yet.
In more professional terms, it is the feeling of laziness that pops up on the first day after your week offs. You badly want to remain in bed and no matter what you do, you fail to find the motivation to kickstart your day productively.
As per twitter, the hashtag #blues rises every Monday. Research even claims the average number of smiles reduces on Monday until 11:16 AM. If you’re wondering what changes at that precise minute, know that statistics use averages. But here is the good news:
You are not alone. Monday blues don’t just impact you. They strike the whole freaking world.
The reason why one hates Mondays varies from person to person. As per science, the primary reason is due to the change in sleep patterns over the weekend. Most people sleep and wake up late on Saturdays and Sundays. The modified sleep pattern can throw your internal body clock off balance on Monday because your brain does not have a calendar to identify the day of the week.
But here is the kicker. Scientists have recorded the emotions of people at random intervals. Surprisingly, during these trials, Monday turned no different than Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in terms of stress.
The study shows people hate the 4 working days equally. Fridays have a happier note due to the obvious reason of people looking forward to the weekend.
The pain of Monday is excruciating due to the sudden change from weekend to weekday. By Tuesday, we have accepted the change better making the pain easier to tolerate. Just like the pain of the first injection, we learn to deal with the discomfort the next time around.
When people ask “Why are Mondays so depressing?” know that the main culprit is the change.
When do we experience Monday Blues?
Does that sound like a stupid question? Doesn’t everyone know that Monday blues occur on Mondays?
Yes, they do. But you do not face them every Monday, do you? The most common reasons occasions when they appear are:
- After a vacation
- When you had a long weekend
- When you had partied by drinking more alcohol than normal over the weekend
- When you went out with friends or family on a Sunday night
- When you have to finish tasks you dislike on Monday
To cure Monday blues, you have to also identify where they stem from. You and I have different triggers which invoke our habits, so you must know your own when the week begins.
How to beat Monday blues?
Monday blues are an interesting phenomenon. Even though you experience it, you do not try to find a cure for it. You accept it like diabetes. It is not a feeling you like, but you know neither will you be cured nor will it kill you.
But that ain’t true. You can cure and kick Monday blues if you want to. The problem is, most people don’t even try. Here are 7 ways that can help you overcome Monday blues.
1. Rethink your job:
Almost everyone who faces Monday Blues repeatedly hates their job from the bottom of the heart. The angst and worry of completing tasks you hate triggers a fear in you. You do not hate Mondays as such. You fear going back to the same old void of life.
Ask any person who follows his passion and they tell you they have not experienced Monday Blues in a long time. On some rare occasions, they felt like lazing on a Monday, but never every week. If you hate every single Monday, you’re working at the wrong job/organization.
Do you really want to grind through 3 or more decades your adult life working on something you don’t love? That’s a heck lot of time for our limited life span.
Yet, most people don’t even try to find a different job thinking they are not good enough. If you are certain you hate the job, at least make an attempt to find one which makes you feel better. You never know, you might find one as soon as you try.
2. Identify the problem
Even if you believe you hate your job, the actual reason might lie in one aspect of work. You may not hate your job as a whole but only certain elements of it. But because you hate a few areas, you start disliking your job itself.
For example, you might enjoy the work you do but your boss acts like a jackass, a colleague makes your life miserable, the rigidity of the work timings stresses you, or the extensive working hours tire you. Therefore, you make the mistake of assuming you hate your job.
The answer can lie beyond what meets the eye. Ask yourself what are the top 3 things you hate in your job.
If those 3 problems disappeared on the swish of a wand today, would you be happy working at the same job? If the answer is yes, think how can you solve those challenges.
If you have a terrible boss, you can switch to another similar job where you’re treated better. If you hate the long working hours or your current responsibilities, have a word with your boss(assuming he is not a jerk), asking for a modified schedule/role which works for both of you.
The solution might turn out simpler than you think. But you’ll never know unless you try.
3. Do not make your weekends drastically different from your weekdays
This applies to people who love hanging out. If you are one among them, you go missing on Friday night and return on Sunday bedtime. You spend the 2 days partying, enjoying, relaxing, hanging out, meeting people and whatnot. Come Monday, you have to work as per a predefined schedule.
Your weekdays differ from the weekends like the breakfast of bread & butter differs from sausages & bacon.
The more drastic the difference, the more difficulty you face in accepting the change.
You hate the feeling of not being able to hang out for the next 5 days. To ease the change, try setting up a short catch up with friends for coffee on a weekday. Having a fun activity to look forward to on a weekday helps you get over the negative feeling.
For people who like to stay indoors, the same logic applies. Do what you like to do on a relaxed weekend during one of the evenings of a weekday too. You can unplug an hour early, order some good food, grab a book, and call it a weekend.
4. Do something you love every day
The articles on the internet say “follow your dream.” While it sounds straightforward, not everyone feels confident enough to quit their job and follow their dream.
If your job and commitments do not allow you to take that leap of faith right now, stay put. You can work towards your dreams for a few hours a day even with a full-time job.
But most people won’t. They choose to browse social media and watch TV in their free time. Oh yeah, they also do not forget to claim how busy their life is. Working on what you like is easier if you stop making excuses and complains.
Even if you take one baby step towards your dream every day, you will make significant progress a year later. Also, you will love the excitement of waking up to work on your dream each morning.
Mondays will no longer be dreadful. You will look forward to making a little progress towards making your dream come true. When you begin the difference will seem minuscule, but over time, you will enjoy watching your efforts taking shape.
Working on what makes you happy is the best way to beat the Monday blues syndrome.
5. Create a Vision Board
Make a short roadmap of the goals you want to achieve in life. If you’re not clear about them yet, start by identifying what dreams make you happy by answering these 3 questions.
Once you know your goal, create a breakdown of what can you do within the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and beyond. Your mini-plan is what your vision board is. You can keep it as simple as a paper on a notepad or a spreadsheet in an excel workbook. For best results, hang it up the wall, set it as your default screen on your computer, or place it anywhere else such that you can see it every day.
Your plan does not have to be detailed. Heck, you may not even meet the timelines you set. But a vision board gives you something to chase.
Having a target makes you focused, keeps you busy, and makes your life exciting. Without vision, you end up like an archer shooting an arrow in dark, hoping it will hit the target by chance.
6. Cut Down your To-Do List
If you have a lengthy to-do list, it can contribute to your Monday blues too. As human beings, you and I have an open-loop in our mind when we leave a task incomplete.
David Allen, explains how your mind consumes energy due to the tasks you leave incomplete. Having a huge to-do list can cause your brain to believe that you have a shitload of things to do.
Many of the things you add on the to-do list do not need to be there. Your to-do list must only contain the tasks that matter to you. If you look closely enough, you will spot a ton of items that should not exist on the list at all. Strike them off this time and vow to never add such items again. If you are struggling with a long to-do list use these 5 tips to trim them up.
Your to-do list must make your life simpler, not your head heavier.
7. Try to make your role align with some of your interests
The chances that you hate everything you do at your job are unlikely. Also, many of the things you do at your job are not even necessary.
Take a hard look at what you spend your time on to align it with your interests. Consider:
- What you can drop or delegate without creating an impact?
- If a routine task adds no value, how can you voice your opinion about it?
- Decline the meetings which help no one
- Talk to your boss to express your interests to work in specific areas
When you transform your day such that you work on things you care about, you will face Monday blues no more.
Some people find it useful to read motivational quotes and videos to improve the dreadful feeling they experience on a Monday. Personally, I have not found them to be effective, but you can make that a habit if it works for you.
Here is a set of 65 positive quotes to help build your motivation on a Monday. You can even watch motivational videos if they help you get out of the rut. Videos from Jim Rohn are not only inspirational but also carry a lot of valuable advice.
If you overeat and end up with a bad stomach, you can still fix the problem with tablets. A better solution, however, is to avoid overeating. Similarly, to cure Monday blues, you have to act before they occur instead of trying to find solutions once they arrive.
If you hate Mondays, the reason lies more within your mind and the decisions you make than your job. The good news is, making yourself feel better is within your control. Sure, the change won’t be comfortable, but it is better than living with unhappiness every day.
You can change your next Monday and make it better if you choose to.
Now, you have two choices.
You can choose to be lazy, miss the joy of working on your passion and curse your job a year later.
Or you can start working on your dream now.
Maxim Dsouza has spent over a decade experimenting and finding various time management techniques to improve his productivity. He strongly understands the fact that time is a limited commodity and tries to make every second count. He has extensive experience in leadership in startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
He has helped people of different professions and age groups gain clarity on their goals, improve focus, revise their time management skills and develop an awareness of their psychological cognitive biases.