As your computer is booting up and you’re getting ready to work on Monday, it’s time to run through the mental checklist for a good day:
I feel well rested.
I’m in a pleasant mood.
I’m looking forward to the week ahead.
I’m happy to be here.
I feel prepared.
I’m on the right path to my career goals.
Nobody is expected to walk into work whistling a merry tune every single day. But if your list is missing a few checkmarks (or all of them), it might be time to reevaluate your habits, expectations, and career goals to give every day, even Monday, the potential to be a great day.
Why is work on Monday such a struggle? The science behind the Monday blues.
Garfield isn’t the only one who needs a few extra cups of coffee on Monday.
It’s no secret that Monday-haters are in good company. YouGov surveyed more than 4,000 U.S. adults earlier this year and found that Monday took home the award for worst day of the week at 58%.
Modern-day culture has conditioned us to celebrate TGIF and dread Mondays in an endless stream of memes, cartoons, songs, and references in movies and TV shows.
But is there more to Monday animosity than that?
As it turns out, there is. Experts have weighed in on the Monday conundrum from a psychological standpoint. While these cases don’t apply to everyone, here are the primary pain points they’ve diagnosed among individuals who loathe Mondays:
You feel as if you’ve lost your sense of freedom
When you’re not at work, you have complete control over how you spend your time. It can be difficult to sacrifice that level of freedom and return to work where you have schedules, deadlines, and obligations. (And the constant watch of a supervisor doesn’t help.)
You’re overwhelmed because you didn’t prepare
Determined to squeeze every second out of the weekend? Procrastination can lead to unnecessary stress in the Monday-morning scramble to get prepared.
Your work-life balance needs improvement
If you spend all of your time working—even on the weekends—then the Monday blues and the prospect of another busy week ahead could be a warning sign of burnout.
Your body’s natural rhythm is off
Perhaps you drastically change your habits on the weekend by staying up and sleeping in much later than during the workweek. While catching up on your zzz’s is good, changing your routine every five days is disruptive to the natural rhythm of your body.
You have social anxiety
Social interaction at work fosters collaboration and competition among employees, but can be an unbearable source of stress for people who struggle with relationship anxiety. When the entire workweek becomes a chore to collect a paycheck, the prospect of returning on Monday is the hardest.
You struggle with the unknown
By the middle of the week, you have more clarity around work expectations and you’re only a few days away from weekend plans. But on Monday, the looming workweek and its potential unknowns can be daunting for some.
Your life revolves around the weekend
If your paycheck is holding you hostage and you trudge through every workweek with the weekend days as your only bright spot, then it’s hard to switch back into work mode. Your life is not in balance.
You don’t love your job
The Monday blues can be a wakeup call that you’re not happy with your current workplace, or even your career as a whole.
5 tips to make Mondays bearable and improve your attitude at work
Monday may never be your favorite day of the week, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. With a few lifestyle changes and inward searching, you can greet Monday with a smile and start your workweek out on a positive note.
1. Don’t deviate too much from your normal routine
Don’t worry, sleeping in a little longer and taking a break on your days off is still allowed. But drastically changing your sleep schedule, drinking more, and eating richer foods puts a strain on your body when you go back to the usual Monday through Friday routine. Only to disrupt that pattern once again when Friday rolls around. Treat yourself on the weekends, but be conscious of doing so in moderation.
2. Maintain your work-life balance
Monday blues can be a strong indicator of impending burnout. The easiest way to combat this is to set clearly-defined boundaries for when you are on and off the clock. On the weekend, when you’re having personal time, turn off work notifications and stop constantly checking emails.
3. Consider your career goals
Are you happy where you currently are? Think long and hard about where you want to be and whether your job aligns with your long-term goals. If not, then it’s time to do some soul searching. Look for a new job or take a step back even further to find a new, meaningful career.
4. Plan a fun Monday activity
Giving yourself an enjoyable activity to look forward to every Monday will help you start the week with a positive attitude. Even a small thing like making your favorite dinner can help you start to appreciate Mondays.
5. Manage your time more carefully
Sometimes Monday seems particularly overwhelming because we haven’t done the necessary preparation. If you know you have a big deadline or full week, take an hour or two on Sunday to make sure you are fully prepared, and don’t over-schedule yourself with big meetings or tasks on Monday. Give yourself a break on the weekend but don’t set yourself up for a stressful week by putting off all of your tasks until Monday.
Take the necessary steps to lead a happy, healthy life
Those who spend every Monday complaining without taking action are doomed to repeat the same process every week. A series of small adjustments can go a long way toward improving your life as you form good habits and adopt a consistently satisfied mindset.
If your Monday analysis is telling you to make a career change, we offer flexible work-from-home opportunities. Learn more.