Beating Monday Blues

We’ve all experienced it from time to time, some of us more consistently than others. Monday blues are often a mixture of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety about the entire work day or the workweek ahead of you (Smith, 2013). You might feel sluggish or wound up.

According to Alexander Kejrulf, an expert on workplace happiness, there are countless studies showing the link between negative mood and lower quality work, less engagement, less creativity, and slower learning (Smith, 2013).

HOW TO BEAT THE BLUES

First, you have to identify what is the cause of your negative mood on Mondays. Is it based on workload, or a negative relationship with a coworker? Here are some factors that you can consider to improve your Mondays (Smith, 2013):

  • Sleep - Get more sleep on the Sunday night before work to ensure you have enough energy for Monday!
  • Workload - Do more unpleasant tasks on Friday to leave Monday’s workload lighter.
  • Staying active - Take a walk or exercise class at lunch or after work.
  • Eating well – Monday may not be the day to skip breakfast. Make sure to eat a healthy well-balanced breakfast and lunch!
  • Socializing - Schedule to get lunch with a coworker or meet with friends after work on Monday.
  • Relaxation - Do mindfulness on your own or using free apps to calm worries and negative thoughts, or take 5 minutes to drink a cup of tea without any distractions.

However if you are feeling down every Monday on a consistent basis, it may outline a more serious problem or situation (Hartwell-Walker, 2016).

  • Depression – Consistently negative feelings might be an indicator of depression. If you are feeling down, losing interest in previously engaging activities, eating or sleeping too little or too much, or having thoughts of suicide, speaking with a physician or counsellor is recommended. Here is a free online depression screening: http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/screening/online/?screen=depression
  • Anxiety – Anxiety is often associated with tense muscles, shallow breathing, fast heart rate or heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, and an inability to contain worries. It may have some symptoms similar to depression, and speaking with a physician or counsellor is recommended. Here is a free online anxiety screening: http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/screening/online/?screen=anxiety
  • Poor fit at work – If your work is not engaging, your team is not supportive and/or the work day is always stressful, this can lead to dread throughout the week. Find the cause of the bad fit and voice your concern in order to make it a better fit for you (and likely others at your workplace), whether that is a change in tasks, hiring more staff, or changing workplace expectations.
  • Poor work-life balance: You may not be doing much outside of work, which can give work too much importance in your life and the source of negativity or stress. Try taking up a hobby, socializing with friends, or engaging in activities that your workplace offers outside of work hours.
  • Your attitude towards work: Perhaps it is not so much the work itself, but the perspective that work is a chore and something to “get through”. Find ways to think positively, by thinking of something that excites you at work everyday, or create exciting opportunities by seeking out roles that are of more interest to you. 

Do you feel down on Mondays? What do you do to beat the Monday blues? 

 

References

Smith, K. (Feb 25, 2013). "11 Ways to Beat The Monday Blues”. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/02/25/11-ways-to-beat-the-monday-blues/#71e451386861

Hartwell-Walker, M. (May 17, 2016). “6 Signs That ‘Monday Morning Blues’ May Be An Emotional Alarm”. PsychCentral. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/6-signs-that-monday-morning-blues-may-be-an-emotional-alarm/

BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. HereToHelp. http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/screening/online/?screen=depression

BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. HereToHelp. http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/screening/online/?screen=anxiety

Photo Credit from Sacaclavos.com