When your weekend starts to come to a close, are you hit with anxious, sad or stressful feelings? Do you sometimes feel sluggish and unmotivated at the very beginning of your workweek? If so, you may have a case of the Monday Blues.
“The ‘Monday Blues’ describe a set of negative emotions that many people get at the beginning of the workweek if they’re not happy at work,” Alexander Kjerulf, an international author and speaker on happiness at work, tells Forbes. “It contains elements of depression, tiredness, hopelessness and a sense that work is unpleasant but unavoidable.”
Many people often brush these feelings off, knowing they’ll feel better Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. But Kjerulf says this isn’t something to take lightly. It can be a serious warning sign that something isn’t right with your job. You should feel refreshed and ready to work when Monday rolls around, not anxious, stressed or unproductive.
If you’re suffering from the workweek blues, you aren’t alone. According to an international Monster.com poll, 78 percent of respondents reported experiencing the blues as early as Sunday evening. Additionally, 47 percent say they get the Sunday Night Blues really bad, and in the U.S., that number increases to 59 percent.
On the other hand, Prevention writes that researches from Stony Brook University and Gallup Organization interviewed 340,000 Americans regarding their moods throughout the week. Their findings? Our moods significantly improve on Fridays and get even better on Saturdays and Sundays. The report revealed that while we get less happy when Monday arrives, our moods tend to stay consistent throughout the week. Simply put, the study found that for others, Monday feels just the same as Thursday.
However, if you suffer from that anxious feeling come Sunday and Monday, it could be seriously impacting your performance and productivity at work. It isn’t something to blow off or ignore.
“We know from countless studies in psychology and neurology that your current emotional state has a huge effect on the quality of your work and when you’re feeling blue you are less productive, less motivated, more pessimistic, less creative, less engaged and learn more slowly–just to mention a few effects,” Kjerulf tells Forbes.
Your stress or bad mood also has the power to change the overall work environment. When you’re unhappy at work, it makes it very difficult for others around you to be happy, per Forbes.
But you have the power to fight off the Monday Blues! Here are six things you can do to ensure you start your workweek off on the right foot.
1. Start your Monday on Sunday night.
Mondays cause you to drastically shift your mood and lifestyle from weekend mode to workday mode, according to Entrepreneur. The weekend signifies personal, fun mode, which can often cause you to feel overwhelmed on Mondays as you start to anticipate your workload for the week. While your instinct may be to enjoy every last second of your weekend in personal mode, try to take a few minutes to mentally prepare for the week ahead, Entrepreneur writes.
2. Set yourself up for success on Friday.
Take some time on Friday to prepare for work on Monday. Get things organized, and try to tackle as many tasks as possible in order to take some of the stress and workload off of Monday, writes the Huffington Post. This may mean you’re at the office a few minutes after 5 on Friday, but it’s worth it. Knowing you’re already ahead of the game on Monday will cause you to have a more enjoyable weekend.
Technology means we are connected to everything and everyone 24/7. It can also cause you to bring your work home. As you start to anticipate your upcoming workload, it may seem tempting to use Sunday to get some work done, writes Huffington Post. If you can, though, spend at least some time unplugged, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.
By disconnecting on the weekends, it gives you time to recharge your batteries. It may seem counterintuitive to not get a jump-start on your work, but taking some solid time off may actually make you more productive come Monday.
4. Identify what’s causing your blues.
Forbes recommends figuring out what is causing your case of the blues. If you have the Monday Blues most weeks, this is something you shouldn’t just live with; it’s a sign that you may be seriously unhappy at work.
Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, suggests to Forbes making a list of the things that are bringing you down in your job. “Maybe it’s a negative co-worker or a meeting with your boss first thing on Monday morning, or maybe it’s that you don’t feel challenged–or maybe it’s all of the above,” she says. “In either case, clarifying what is bothering you can help you try to be active in finding solutions. It’s a way of empowering you to take charge and try to improve the situation.”
Exercise is a great way to alter your mood. To help combat the blues, work out Sunday afternoon or Monday morning before work (or both). Fitness suggests taking a long run outside, which can help you reach a meditative state, while allowing the fresh air and sunlight to cheer you up. A Zumba class or yoga session can lift your spirits, and enable you to tune into your body, loosening up any of your stress spots or tight muscles.
6. Get a mentor.
If you’re suffering from chronic Monday Blues, it’s a red flag that there may be a larger problem, per Entrepreneur. Find a mentor who you can talk with about your business goals and issues. Having a new perspective on the situation might help you figure out what’s really going on. Once you know what underlying issue is causing your anxiety, you can take action.