5 Strategies for Curing Mondayitis
How to cope with the Monday blues.
Posted Jun 15, 2015
Source: Unsplash, Creative Commons Zero
"Mondayitis is a feeling of weariness, sadness, apathy and general distress that many individuals feel when starting the Monday morning work week." -- Urban Dictionary
1. Start your Monday with a task that's on YOUR agenda.
Where possible I like to start my Monday morning's with a work task that I see as having lasting value, rather than one of those pesky tasks that has to be done but seems pointless, or a task I've agreed to do to be helpful to someone else.
2. Prepare for Monday on Friday.
Mondays often feel worse if you have to make a "cold start" on an overwhelming task. For example, if I need to read through a bunch of academic papers on a Monday then I might download all the pdfs on Friday, label the files, and shuffle them into a folder on my computer desktop. That way I don't have to deal with thinking about how I'm going to get started when Monday morning rolls around.
Preparing for Monday on the prior Friday will give you the feeling that your week is off to a calm and organized start, before you even step foot into your work place.
3. Plan work week activities you'll look forward to.
Mondays will feel worse if all the joy in your life is crammed into your weekend days. Maybe Monday is the night you get a foot massage on the way home from work, Tuesday is the night you go to a yoga call, Wednesday is when you watch your favorite TV show, Thursday is date night, and Friday is when you have after work drinks with friends. Having a routine means you don't have to plan anew every week. Who has the energy for that? If you tend to feel particularly blue on a Monday, then make your Monday night activity something that you know will feel like a treat.
You can use the same strategy as above for planning enjoyable activities for your lunch times, your commute, or, if you're a morning person, for before you go to work. Pleasures can be really simple. For example, a podcast you love that drops once a week or a favorite lunch truck.
4. Experiment with starting work on Sunday evening.
This strategy won't fit with everyone's work situation but I love the feeling of knocking out some work tasks on a Sunday night. Having some tasks crossed off my to do list before I go to bed on a Sunday makes me feel like I'm starting the week ahead. I can then not feel guilty about taking some personal time during the week when I feel like slacking off. Your Sunday night tasks could be as simple as getting some emails set up and ready to go.
If you don't have any flexibility in your work schedule, your Sunday night routine might involve getting your work clothes laid out for the week or batch cooking things to take for lunches. Anything that makes you feel like you've got a head start on the week will do the trick.
If you find yourself feeling grumpy on a Sunday night because you're anticipating your Monday, then you may as well get something practical done that will relieve pressure on you for the upcoming week.
5. Keep your weekday and weekend sleep routines more consistent.
If you have late nights and big sleep ins on the weekend, you might find it less disruptive to your body clock if you get up closer to your usual wake up time and then take an afternoon nap. Try paying attention to whether a big disruption in your sleep routine over the weekend makes your Mondayitis worse, and to what the role of weekend alcohol is in your Mondayitis, if this is a factor for you.
Dr Alice Boyes is author of The Anxiety Toolkit (Perigee/Penguin Random House, 2015).
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