Why does it seem like Friday is so far away from Monday, but Monday is so close to Friday? While you’re pondering that riddle, you should know that you’re not alone when it comes to feeling a little tired, unmotivated and stressed on Mondays. It’s a cultural phenomenon called the Monday Blues, and it negatively affects your work and social life at the beginning of each workweek. To help you avoid these gloomy emotions, here’s IKO Community Management’s guide to beating the Monday Blues:
- Prepare for Monday on Friday. Chances are you go into work energized and ready to go on Friday because you know you have an extended break when you’re done for the day. Use this energy to prepare for the upcoming Monday’s to-do list. If you can check off some tasks in advance, going to work on Monday will be a little less stressful because you’re keeping it light.
- Avoid checking work emails and calls over the weekend. The point of the weekend is to get a break from your work life, so unplug from your work duties from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Drawing a clear boundary between work and personal life can leave you with a healthier state of mind.
- Get enough sleep. Yes, Sunday is technically still part of the weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should stay up late like Friday and Saturday. In fact, getting to bed early on Sunday can help you feel less lethargic on Monday morning. You should also use a few weekends to catch up on sleep instead of going out late.
- Make Monday evening worth the work grind. Monday isn’t just about trudging through your 9 to 5. It should be about enjoying the entire day, so schedule something fun for yourself after work. Sign up for a yoga class, go to Happy Hour, see a new movie, catch up on your Netflix shows or treat yourself to takeout. Mondays don’t have to be bad.
- Smile when you wake up. Literally. There’s a good reason (and science) behind why Buddy the Elf said, “Smiling’s my favorite.” Here are some of the benefits to smiling:
- Smiling triggers your brain’s reward mechanism, which psychologically makes us happy. Neuronal signals are involuntarily sent to our facial muscles when something makes us feel happy, so we have no choice but to smile sometimes.
- Smiling produces endorphins, also known as “happy hormones,” just like exercise.
- Smiling is contagious, and studies show that making someone else happy makes us happy. It’s an endless loop of happiness.
- Cracking a smile reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure and slows down your heart rate. It reduces as much stress as a good night’s sleep does.
- Wear an empowering outfit. Look good, feel good is not just a saying. It’s a fact of life. If you pick out a fierce get-up for the first day of the workweek, you’ll feel more productive.
- Listen to music. Whether it’s when your alarm clock goes off or during your commute to work, music scientifically boosts your mood. Just make sure it’s a power pop jam and not a sad country tune.
- Get up and away from your desk. If you work in a cubicle or sit in an office chair all day, it can make you sleepy because you’re sedentary. To boost your energy and mood on Monday morning (and every day of the workweek), try walking around the office for coffee, picking up lunch for some fresh air, or hitting the gym if you have the flexibility. Looking at a screen for 8 hours a day is not recommended.
On Friday, get some of your Monday to-do list done, then enjoy a work-free weekend by not answering any career-related calls or emails. Go to bed early on Sunday, set your alarm to a pump-up jam and wear a empowering outfit to work on Monday – and don’t forget to get up and smile.
From all of us at IKO Community Management, good luck!