How many times have you experienced the dread that comes with knowing tomorrow is Monday and work will resume? What about that lack of motivation and feeling blue on a Monday morning?
Do you have a constant fear of the week and find yourself counting down to the weekend more often than doing your work?
If you said “yes” to any of those questions, then you, my friend, are not alone!
In contrast, Friday always comes with a feeling of excitement that is almost palpable. As a worker, entrepreneur, or student, Fridays are looked forward to with much joy. The popular TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday), has become part of our routine as we run the rat race to endure the week and testify on Friday.
What does Monday blues mean?
As I get older, I’m on the quest for less hustle and more rest. I wonder if the rat race would ever end. If you’re like me, you’ve probably asked these questions:
“Who even invented 5 working days by the way?”
“Why can’t we have 4 days for the weekend?”
Now Monday blues is that down feeling or sensation at the start of the new week and it’s a real phenomenon so don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way!
It does exist and could manifest in different ways. From fatigue to bad moods. It has some other terms called “Monday workday blues” or “case of the Mondays”.
Monday blues can be considered as a set of negative emotions that you experience on the first day of school or work.
Why do we have Monday blues?
According to Wyatt Fisher, we experience this down feeling mostly because of the transition from the weekend. Imagine coming off a relaxing and fun-filled weekend and then preparing for a rather “unpleasant” workday in comparison.
This occurs because the body is still relaxed and hasn’t gotten over, completely, the stress of the previous week.
Last week was exhausting as I resumed online lectures. By Friday evening, we were still having lectures. Saturday went by in a blur for me and before I knew it, it was Sunday evening. How on earth? It felt like I didn’t have a moment to take a breather. Of course, I was not looking forward to the morning class scheduled for Monday.
How do we overcome or work productively despite Monday blues?
Truth be told, we can’t wave a magic wand and tell Monday blues to never exist. I think that’s one reason the #mondaymotivation is never-ending.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have Monday’s motivation. I’m suggesting that we have motivation for every day. It’s no small feat. I wouldn’t pretend that I have it all figured out. Yet, I’ll rather be rested both on the weekend and week than burn out constantly. I want that for you too!
”Iruoma, don’t you know how stressful the week usually is? Certainly.
This past Monday I had a class from 8:44-12:30 riddled by the problems of e-learning in Nigeria. To make matters worse, we had another one by 2 pm and 4:45 p.m. I kept saying in my head, “this is just Monday and I’m tired like this o.”
It’s another ball game for those going to work. I had a conversation with my friend about how he’s been working almost all week due to the nature of his job.
If this is inevitable, how do we go through the week with minds as overcomers and not crushed by society’s ideals and stress?
Perhaps a renewed perspective of our week and work!
Beating the heck out of Monday Blues.
We may not be able to control the number of days in a week, but we can keep showing up with a renewed mindset. Monday blues have a way of disrupting the week’s productivity. Here are some ways I have found helpful in my battle of the “case of the Mondays” too.
Look at work as a steward.
Aim to show up and do your best. This is the hardest for me because emotions are real. Sometimes I don’t want to be bothered about whatever work I’m putting off or what class is about to hold. Yet, this has been helpful. I’m a steward of the work I have.
What do stewards do? They take care of people or things. It doesn’t happen like that to me every day, but it sure does help.
Prepare for Monday the weekend before and assign lighter tasks to that day to increase productivity.
Identify the challenge.
Do you notice these blues whenever you’ve had a long Sunday? Or when you didn’t sleep well during the weekend. You can identify something that contributes to it and see what needs adjusting.
I typed that with the tune from Lion King (I couldn’t help myself, lol). Okay, back to reality.
One way is to set your dress ahead of the day. I’m not an early riser but these days I pick a dress before Monday (or weekday) morning so I have one less thing to worry about.
Do those little things that make you happy as you prepare. If you like to apply some makeup, why not? If it’s music or a good workout session, do that before moving on to the task of the day.
Another thing is to not overschedule for Monday. Before, I would put all the major things I wanted to do for the week on Monday. No wonder I didn’t look forward to the day. The best thing you can do is take it bit by bit.
Rest in between work periods.
The recent work-from-home lifestyle ever since the onset of COVID-19 is arguably one thing I love, but it comes with its problems. One of which is blurring the lines between rest at home and work.
It’s now up to us to make time out to rest as often as we can. Even a 10-min break is important. Rest doesn’t always equal sleep. A little stretch, laughter, a movie or novel break. Anything to ease off before going back to your work.
Choose Productivity over busy-ness.
Phylicia Masonheimer was one of the people who inspired me to be productive, have a rhythm, and be flexible. If you suffer from cramming a lot of things into the weekdays, be rest assured that productivity is not the same as busyness or doing 100 things in a day!
It just means doing the most important things as at when due.
What we ever hope to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligenceSamuel Johnson.
For me, my boundaries are not reading work emails at a certain time. It also is getting off Instagram for a majority of Sunday. I also like work finished at 6 pm and not do anything work-related till the next day. It took a couple of trials and errors too. Different strokes for different folks. The point is to set boundaries and stick with them.
This is the hardest for me to implement because med school encroaches into odd hours sometimes, but here is the comfort- it’s not every day
Ask for help.
Get help from someone concerning a task. Fellow “control buddies” get in here. It’s hard for me to let go of tasks because I fear the other person won’t do it exactly how I want it done. That stresses me out.
Yet, getting help is one way to fight Monday Blues. If you get help with something you handle, you would be well-rested and focused on other things that need attention.
Fighting the blues is not easy but it starts with a deliberate decision to not let the world define our week. Simply put, don’t let the pressure from the outside be a determining factor for your week.
It’s a journey and we keep growing and learning.
How do you deal with workday blues? Do you do any of the things I mentioned? Let me know as well!9