You have a good job that you enjoy, a career that puts food on the table and lets you enjoy some of the fine things in life, a supportive family, good friends to hang out with and a fully furnished apartment. Everything is going well for you, everything is planned and in order and you are working your way up to more success. But, you cannot deny that you are affected by the Monday blues once in a while. For some, Monday makes them depressed. Monday blues, Monday sickness – everyone is going through that even though some may not admit it. You want to throat-punch Monday, but you can’t.  Even the President or the Prime Minister will not admit it, but they feel it and curse the day in their mind. Like most of us, they have to get up and do their job anyway.

This is you, every Monday. Image courtesy of farahzulkifly.wordpress.com

This is you, every Monday. Image courtesy of farahzulkifly.wordpress.com

It’s Ok To Be Blue…..If You’re A Smurf

Monday is not a day most people look forward to unless it is a holiday. It’s a fact that most people wake up early every Monday morning feeling depressed because they know they have to work for 5 or 6 days before getting some time off. That ‘blue’ feeling that is connected to Monday has nothing to do with the color blue, but an idea that is more connected to blues music. Blues music usually deals and talks about hardships, struggles and sad themes, thus listeners will usually feel sadness when listening to the blues. Because of the these themes, people coined the term blue to express sadness, depression or hardship. The expressions, “feeling blue” or “why so blue?” means sadness or feeling sad or depressed.

The Numbers Have It

According to a study made by the consultancy firm Mercer, more than a third of all sick leaves are taken on Mondays. They also found that the highest rates of absences happen in January. Some of the common reasons for these absences are viral infections, musculoskeletal problems and stress-related issues and illnesses. These findings are also based on the sickness management analysis of 11,000 employees from different private sector business and organizations. The study showed that in January 2008, sick leaves ran at half a day for a person. The study found that 35% of sick leaves happen on Mondays and the attendance on the remaining workdays of the week becoming higher  before weekends. Fridays was recorded to have the lowest sick leaves or absences with just 3%. Monday blues and most short-term absences can be a direct result of low employee morale and engagement within the different departments in a business organization. 24% of these lost days are due to muscle strains and back aches. 17% are due to stress-related illnesses and viral infections which are commonly the given reason for absences but comprised the smallest percentage for the absences. According to the University of Lancaster occupational health psychologist, Prof. Gary Cooper, present-day workers are working under more demanding conditions and stress, thus they need more time to rest and recuperate. Some may feel weekends are not enough to take a rest or do something not work related thus they tend to take an extra day off. He also added that many researchers have shown that if employers trust their workers with flexible working hours, sick leaves and stress-related absences will go down while productivity and performance will go up.

How To Beat Monday Sickness?

Although there are only a handful of jobs offering flexible working hours or shifts, there are many ways to keep yourself motivated to tackle the first day of the work week and beat Monday blues to the mat. Here are some tips to not let Monday get you down:

1. Go out and get some sun

Get out. Do something outside. It helps to get some sunlight and make your day brighter that sulking in bed and dreading Mondays. Scientifically speaking, sunlight stimulates the body’s feel good hormones, which can also help in defeating the blues or any other issues that you may have. Go out enjoy the sun and get some fresh air.

2. Know the cause of the problem

You have to ask yourself what is wrong. For some it is normal to have a rain check on Mondays, although not very often. If you have Monday blues every week, then you should consider your position. Weekly Monday blues is a sign that you’re not happy with your job or you’ve burned yourself out or have been stressing too much. You need to fix it or find different work and move on. Knowing your situation can help find solutions.

The bed is calling me. Image courtesy of splittingmythoughtsinto2.tumblr.com

The bed is calling me. Image courtesy of splittingmythoughtsinto2.tumblr.com

3. Monday sickness is just a concept

The more you think about Monday, the worse the thought of it becomes. Stop thinking of Monday mornings, don’t constantly remind yourself about it and you will feel much better.

4. Wear your best clothes

Wear the best or cheeriest clothes you can find in your wardrobe. What you wear can affect your mood and the way you feel about yourself  the whole day. This will help not to think about the whole day and the work hours will just slip away.

5. Have an early start

Mistakes and poor quality work can happen when you’re late and when you’re rushing. The tension level is very high, you might not have time to eat breakfast, and once you arrive at your desk paperwork is piled up high and more work is being shoved into your face. If you can start early, you will have time to organize everything and not feel rushed. Once everything is organized, everything will fall into place.

Doing everything early on a Monday morning will not feel like the end of the world. Image courtesy of medicmagic.net

Doing everything early on a Monday morning will not feel like the end of the world. Image courtesy of medicmagic.net

6. Try to make a list of the things you’re excited about

If you’re bored during your first day at work, try to list things that you want to do or are excited about in the coming weekend. If you can, try to try to make the list on Sunday before you go to sleep. This will put you in a positive mood because of the excitement build up before the weekend.

7. Listen to music during your commute

Music is a great stress-reliever and for most people, listening to music is great kickstarter especially on Mondays. Listen to the radio while you make your breakfast, keep the music on while you are in the shower and while dressing up. If you’re driving a car, turn the radio on and switch to your favorite station.

Music like this:

and this:

and this:

8. Eat Breakfast

Don’t skip breakfast ever. Having a full stomach will prevent you from being hungry all throughout your commute and the hours before lunch. Hunger is distracting and will keep you from doing your best work because all you’re thinking of is taking your lunch break. Not eating breakfast can also lower your sugar levels, which can lower your energy and will make you dizzy and disoriented.

The breakfast of champions. A full english breakfast. Image courtesy of  www.huffingtonpost.com

The breakfast of champions. A full English breakfast. Image courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com

9. Take a break if needed

Take your breaks on time. This will help you take that much needed rest. If your office has sleeping lounges or sleeping quarters, take a nap. Having power naps can help your mind and body to re-energize. Taking power naps are also an effective way to de-stress.

10. Don’t get distracted

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and personal emails are distractions. Browsing Facebook and checking your personal email every ten minutes will not help finish your job on time. Don’t procrastinate! Try to think of finishing everything by Friday so that you will not worry about any unfinished business on Friday night or your precious weekend. Once everything is finished, you can truly enjoy your weekend and not get the Monday blues.

11. Sleep

Try to sleep early on Sundays. Avoid going out for a drink. Monday hangovers really suck.

Power nap and....BAM! Image courtesy of dilbert.com

Power nap and….BAM! Image courtesy of dilbert.com

No one is telling you to ditch your social life to get some much needed rest on weekends. You just have to set your priorities so that anything work-related should not take the fun out of your days off and weekends. Remember: Monday is just another day of the week.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.