For those of you that don’t know (seriously, who are you?), The Monday Blues are kitty-corner to the Sunday Scaries. The week has arrived, Friday isn’t even on the horizon, and you’re bogged down by the work that you’ve been dreading through the weekend. Oh, and you’re probably still hungover from Saturday because hangovers hit the hardest after you turn 25. No, you don’t have an alcohol problem. You just have a case of the Monday Blues, and that’s okay.
Just don’t take Forbes’ advice on how to avoid them because, well, it won’t work. Let’s break them down while also offering some alternatives, shall we?
1. Plan Your Monday Ahead Of Time
The key to this is to plan your Monday before Monday. John Maxwell says, “Without a plan, you’re going nowhere.” This goes for Mondays and for the rest of your life. Use Friday as a planning day to prepare for Monday so that you can start your week effectively.
Everyone knows that Fridays are spent trying to do as little work as possible while trying your best not to show you’re a tad bit hungover from the beers you had the night before. And once Friday afternoon hits, it’s an all-out blitz on your cell phone trying to collaborate with your friends on what to do that night. Preparing for Mondays on Friday is like making your bed before you have sex in it. It’s a fruitless effort when there are a million other awesome things you could be doing. You’re not supposed to be pounding spreadsheets, you’re supposed to be feet up on your desk throwing a football to yourself.
2. Schedule According To Your Strengths
Mica May, the CEO and Founder of notebook company May Designs, recently decided to dedicate one day of her week to each of her StrengthsFinder strengths. She focuses Monday around her strength Command, a day to “lead and set the tone and expectations for the week.”
I don’t want to speak for the group as a whole here, but I’m pretty sure that if everyone planned around their strengths, Mondays in the office would be full of draining beers and shamelessly butchering karaoke songs before taking down an extra-large pizza. They say that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. But most people can’t get paid to drink themselves under the table and scroll Instagram, so playing to your strengths isn’t exactly Plan A when it comes to succeeding in life.
3. Sleep Well
It’s especially necessary when you’re trying to position yourself to have effective Mondays. Going to bed too late on Sundays will make you tired and less engaged, but sleeping in too much over the weekend can throw off your body’s schedule and be harmful as well. It’s all about finding the right balance and having the discipline to stick to it.
If your Sunday nights aren’t spent reassessing your life before falling into a perpetual state of night terrors, you probably didn’t have a fun enough weekend and your friend group is a bunch of squares. I pretty much need a thunder jacket, an IV, and a bottle of Xanax next to my bed on Sunday nights if I’m going to be rested enough to attack a Monday. I know others feel the same way but they’re just too afraid to admit it.
4. Get Ready Physically
When mapping out your Monday morning, make sure you set up time to do something that will refresh and invigorate you for the day ahead. Do you enjoy getting a good workout in at the gym? Does eating a nice breakfast with your wife and kids like Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, does set your day off on the right foot? Or practicing yoga? Find something that will get you physically energized for the day ahead.
Yeah, man, totally. Even though all the coffee in the world won’t get me through a Monday, I’ll totally wake up two hours early to crush an acai bowl before a hot yoga session and some light cardio. That’s a completely feasible request for someone who barely has the zest for life to shave twice a week. If physical activity was that big a pillar in my life, I wouldn’t have Postmate’d Shake Shack or asked for extra hollandaise at brunch.
5. Get Ready Mentally
Start off the day by reading inspirational pieces from faith leaders or artists. Take a few minutes of quiet to just sit and recenter yourself. Meditate. Or read a book that gets your creative juices flowing. Listen to an album you enjoy on your drive to the office. Your Monday morning should be a healthy inhale before the exhale that is the rest of your workweek.
Getting Mondays right isn’t just about avoiding the slight depression that kicks in on Sunday evenings. It’s about setting the tone for the rest of the week. If you can get Mondays right, the effectiveness of your week will be all the better for it.
Slight depression on Sunday evenings? Understatement of the century. Between the screaming thoughts and lack of sleep, preparing mentally on Monday mainly consists of me telling myself not to let my boss see my hand shaking while holding a cup of coffee before telling myself, “Stay awake, you fuck” in the middle of our weekly meetings. I’m all for listening to a podcast on the way to work, but chances are I’m going to be too focused on not driving off the road. I can’t even dream of meditating because my legs aren’t flexible enough to sit criss-cross-apple-sauce anymore.
If you really want to fix Monday blues, companies need to start the day an hour later, change half-day Fridays to half-day Mondays, and cater lunch before everyone heads out for a nice Monday afternoon nap. Yeah, I just raised the economy’s morale by a thousand percent with that one sentence. Thank me later. .
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