10 ways to banish Monday morning blues
What is it about Monday mornings? If we don't like our job, or even if we do but we like our weekends better, Monday morning can feel like the low point in our week. We have to change mental gears, get motivated and focussed for the week ahead - when all we feel like doing is crawling back under the covers for a long lie in!
Here are 10 ways you can make a happy and positive start to your week, no matter what way you feel when you wake up on Monday morning....
1. Think of five things in your life you're grateful for . Do this before you even get out of bed! This will switch your thinking from 'I don't want to get up and go to the office' onto all the good things you have in your life. Everyone has a least five. Everyone.
2. Swap the news for music. It seems to be the goal of the media to keep highlighting everything that is going wrong in the world. I mean, when was the last time you heard a good news story? You don't need that extra stress on Monday morning. Instead of turning on the radio or TV, put on some music you love - something that gets you pumped up for the week ahead.
3. Have a cold shower. Or a least, at the end of your shower give yourself a quick blast of cold water. This boosts your circulation and alertness without the use of caffeine (which gives you a 'false high' that crashes later). Plus, you'll be glad to get out of the shower and get on with your day!
4. Eat a healthy breakfast. That means no sugary cereals that fill you up for about an hour, then leave you irritable as your blood-sugar levels crash back down. Fresh fruit juices are a great source of natural energy. Healthy protein (ie not fried bacon and sausages) such as natural yogurt or eggs will give you a sustained boost of energy throughout the morning, as will complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal or wholemeal bread. You would be amazed how much food can affect your mood, so make Monday mornings easier on yourself and chose a healthy breakfast.
5. Wear something nice. Putting on smart clothes gives us an instant boost - clothes are a big part of how we present ourselves to the world. If we put on smart clothes it tells the world we are feeling positive and focussed - and after a few minutes we start to believe it ourselves. Colour is also very important. The drab colours favoured by the business world can depress our mood. In colour theory, red is considered to be the colour of drive and success, orange the colour of healthy and vitality and yellow the colour of warmth and friendliness. Try adding a little colour to your outfit (a tie or scarf perhaps) to help lift your mood.
6. Smile and say hello to everyone you meet. I don't quite know the pschology of this, but I do know from personal experience that taking the time to be nice and friendly to people leaves me feeling good about myself. If only more people had figured that out, Monday mornings might be a happier experience for everyone!
7. Find an excuse to laugh. Laughter has all kinds of positive effects on our bodies and our minds. If none of your colleagues can help, find a funny joke or video clip on the internet. 2 minutes spent on laughter will have benefits for your productivity and focus throughout the day.
8. Do something kind. Similar to number 6, being kind to others gives our mood a boost. It can lift up out of all our grumpiness. If you don't feel like helping out a colleague, you could send a quick e-mail to someone you care about with a few kind words. Try it and see, it will boost your mood.
9. Bring a little piece of your weekend with you. So you had a great weekend but now its Monday and you feel like you have to forget all about fun and happiness and get SERIOUS. That's a surefire way to give yourself the Monday blues. Of course you can't sit at your desk all day dreaming about the past weekend (well, I don't recommend it anyway!), but you could have a little momento of your weekend to ease the transtion to Monday. Maybe a photo from the weekend's fun on your desk, or send a quick message to the friend you met up with, or pin up a ticket from the concert you went to. Your workspace is your space - you don't have to erase your whole personality from it. Plus, it's a reminder that the next weekend is only five days away!
10. If all that doesn't work .... maybe you need to think about changing your life. We can all feel a bit down on Monday mornings as we leave behind the fun of the weekend but if you find Mondays fill you with dread and you hate every minute you spend at work - well, maybe you need to make some changes. Think about a career change, or just introducing a new element to your life (a challenging new hobby, start a healthy regime, book a trip to somewhere you've never been). Sometimes feeling blue is our way of telling ourselves that something in our life needs to change.A lifecoach would be a good person to help you look at this and put together a plan to get your life back on track.
Monday morning blues: what are the facts?
Well, recent research seems to say it is all in our heads, but that doesn't mean we don't dread Monday mornings anyway ...
A UK research study by the consultant firm Mercer found that Monday is the most popular day of the week for employees to call in sick. The research results showed that more than a third of all sick leave is taken on the first day of the working week.
Researcher Phiroze Bilimoria said: "Monday sickness and frequent short-term absences can be a symptom of low employee engagement and morale within certain teams or departments."
However according to Australian scientists in Sydney who conducted research in 2008, Monday morning blues are a myth and so is 'Thank Goodness Its Friday' euphoria.
at the University of Sydney collected information from hundreds of
locals. They asked participants on which morning and evening of the week they felt best and
worst. A separate study tracked their actual mood day by day, and then they compared results from both studies.
The researchers found that people dreaded Monday mornings and loved Friday evenings – but only with hindsight, or when looking ahead. In actuality, tracking their moods showed that people's happiness levels varied little.
What does all this mean? It means your Monday morning won't be as depressing as you think it will, so don't let negative thoughts get the better of you. Try some of the tips above and embrace the start of your working week with a smile!