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When the weekend rolls around, it’s full steam ahead to fun town. But come Sunday night the train is far past its stop and almost at its final destination: Monday. We all know the struggle of dragging ourselves out of bed on a misty Monday morning, being late for work after the coffee shop line was too long and then promptly falling asleep at our desks.

But it doesn’t have to be like this! Personal development coach Nova Browning Rutherford shares some insight into how to not hate Mondays.

Where does “I hate Mondays” come from?

So, why do we hate Mondays in the first place? If you’re unhappy with your job or schoolwork, this feeling only increases on Mondays when you realize it’s back to the monotony of your everyday. Let’s throw it back to 80’s corporate culture when songs like “Manic Monday”, “Working for the Weekend” and Garfield’s tagline “I Hate Mondays” gained huge traction. These feelings towards Mondays have stuck with us for more than 40 years!

What’s the science behind this phenomenon?

Our sleep cycle usually changes over the weekend. In other words, the extra sleep you’re “making up for” over the weekend is making you more tired at the start of the week. There are typically two competing opinions about productivity on Mondays — you’re either starting fresh or getting ready to meet an intimidating timeline.

Some think of the start of the week as shedding bad habits from the weekend like drinking, overeating or lazing on the couch. You put pressure on yourself to “be good again”, which is healthier but not very fun. When you consider hangovers or bloating from your weekend partying, it explains why 37 per cent of American women said they felt ‘”least attractive” on a Monday.

The latter? When you leave work for the weekend or walk out of class on Friday night, the deadlines for the work due on Mondays can weigh you down. A Gallup poll showed 70 per cent of people hate or are “completely disengaged” from their job. This creates feelings of depression, anxiety and dread begin on Sunday night — and make you late and less productive on Monday mornings.

Does hating Mondays just mean I hate my job?

You can love your job and still loathe having to leave your cozy weekend “rest nest”. But many of us have families we need to provide for or aren’t in the position to quit the job we hate. But it’s the little things that count too! Find a friend at work that you trust and can confide in about any office politics getting you down. Women who have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged with their work than those without.

Social connection is the number one driver of happiness and positive emotions. Another way to make small changes is to join office social events and take any learning opportunities that your work provides.

What is S.A.D.?

There is also a MAJOR difference between not wanting to get out of bed and actually hating what you do. If your mood changes with the season, you’re probably experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder which can affect your mood. It’s important to exercise, maintain a healthy diet and stay on top of your physical and mental checkups. You need to rest every once in a while instead of always go, go, going. Evaluate the experiences that are triggering any feelings of depression and try to change what you can to minimize this at work.

How do you ease kids back into Monday mornings?

The Monday blues can affect kids too! They might drag their feet on Mondays and whine a little more than usual, which slows everyone in the family down.
Factor in some extra time by fudging exactly what time it is when you wake them up. If you tell them it’s 7 a.m. when it’s actually 7:30 a.m., then they’ll get out of bed faster and have more time to get ready. You should also limit fun time on Sunday night. After 5 p.m. on Sunday, you and the kids should be winding down and preparing for what tomorrow brings.

Make Mondays fun by giving them incentives to look forward to, like picking their own outfits or making their favourite breakfasts before school.

What can we do to combat the Monday blues?

Have fun on the weekend, but try to keep your regular sleep cycle because it will help you in the long run. Take short naps throughout the day to keep the timing right instead of sleeping in.

And stop saying that you “hate” everything! It is perfectly okay to say that you hate injustice or abuses of power, but do you really hate everyday things like your hair, body or the weather? What you put into the world becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Give yourself some more time on Monday mornings to relax and enjoy the morning rather than scrambling and starting off the week on a low.