How do feel when it is bedtime on Sunday night? Your stomach curls as you prepare to go to bed knowing that you have 5 working days to follow. You set an extra alarm to help you wake on time on Monday lest you get late to work.
God forbid you wake up in the middle of the night. Falling asleep knowing that you have a few hours to sleep 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.
- 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 through half your Monday. The closest the feeling comes to is – a mixture of hating yourself, the need to kill your boss and 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 feel like staying 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.
You are not alone. Monday blues don’t just impact you. They impact the whole freaking world.
The reason why you hate Monday varies. As per science, the primary reason is due to the change in sleep patterns over the weekend. You might sleep and wake up an hour or two later over the weekend. The changed sleep pattern can throw your internal clock off on Monday.
Also, 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 are happier 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 pain the next time around.
But the feeling of change prompts people to ask “Why are Mondays so depressing?” 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 why they appear sometimes are:
- After a vacation
- When you had a long weekend
- When you had partied by drinking more than normal over the weekend
- When you went out with friends or family on a Sunday night
- When you have to work on something that you dislike on Monday
To cure Monday blues, you have to also identify where they stem from. You and I have different triggers to habits, so you must know your own to feel better 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 accept it knowing neither will you be cured nor will it kill you.
But that ain’t true. You can cure and kick Monday blues. Here are 7 ways that can help you overcome Monday blues.
1. Rethink your job:
Almost everyone who faces Monday Blues repeatedly hates his job from the bottom of the heart. The angst and worry of doing something you hate triggers a fear in you. You do not fear Monday as such. You fear going back to the same old void of life which you hate.
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 almost certainly hate your job.
Do you really want 58% of 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
Sometimes though you hate your job, the reason might lie in something more simpler. You may not hate your job as a whole but only certain elements of it. But because you hate few areas, you start disliking your job itself.
For example, you enjoy the work you do but your boss might be a jackass, a colleague makes your life miserable, the rigidity of the work timings stresses you or the extensive working hours tire you making you believe you hate your job.
The answer sometimes lies beyond what meets the eye. Ask yourself what are the top 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 the problem.
If you have a terrible boss, you can switch to another similar job where the boss treats you better. If you hate the long working hours or the work you do currently, have a word with your boss(assuming he is not terrible), asking for a modified schedule/role which works for both of you.
The solution might turn out simpler than you think.
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 night. 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.
Try setting up a small catch up with friends for coffee on a weekday.
You hate the feeling of not being able to hang out for the next 5 days. Breaking that feeling by doing something fun on a weekday helps you get over the feeling.
For people who like to stay indoors, the same logic applies. Do what you like to do on a relaxed weekend during the late evening hours of a weekday too. Maybe unplug an hour early, order some good food 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 let you take that leap of faith right now, do not give up. You can work towards your dreams a few hours a day. You can work towards your dream even with a full-time job.
But most people won’t. They choose to browse social media and watch TV in the free hours they have. 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 work a little 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 progress will seem minuscule, but over time, you will enjoy watching your dream 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 what you want to achieve in your life. Start by identifying what dreams make you happy by answering these 3 questions.
Once you know your dream goal, create a breakdown of what can you do within the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and beyond. The 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 a archer shooting an arrow in dark, hoping it will hit something good.
6. Cut Down your To-Do List
If you have a lengthy to-do list, it can contribute to the Monday blues you have. 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 task you did not finish yesterday. Having a huge to-do list can cause your mind 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. Add only the tasks which matter on your to-do list. If you look closely enough, you will spot a ton of items that should not exist on your to-do list. Strike them off this time and vow to never add such items on your to-do list again.
Your to-do list must make your life simpler, not your head heavier.
7. Try to make you 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 do today to align it with your interest. Consider:
- What you can drop or delegate without creating an impact?
- If a routine task you do adds no value, how can I voice my opinion about it?
- Decline the meetings which help no one.
- Talk to your boss to express your interests to work in certain areas.
When you transform your day such that you work on things that matter, 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 it with tablets while visiting the bathroom many times. A better solution, however, is to avoid overeating. Similarly, to cure Monday blues, you have to take action before it happens than trying to find ways to lift your mood.
If you hate Mondays, the reason lies more within your mind and the decisions you make than the job itself. Making you feel better is within your control. Sure, it may not always be a comfortable change, but it is better than living with unhappiness every day.
You can change your next Monday and make it better if you choose to.
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 too.
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.