5 Ways to Banish “The Mondays”
Because this is Memorial Day and many people have this Monday off I thought I’d put together my list of five ways to banish those Monday blues and maybe, just maybe, give yourself permission to look forward to next Monday.
One of the many quotables from the cult classic “Office Space” has to do with the main character Peter having “a case of the Mondays.” Even if you work weekends and your “Monday” actually falls on a Wednesday, you can probably identify with this feeling.
As irritating as it was for Peter to be told that he has a case of the Mondays, most of us know exactly what that feels like. The sad thing is, this mental ailment usually doesn’t even wait until Monday to begin…it starts Sunday evening, or even Sunday afternoon. That slow, small dread that starts in the pit of your stomach when you think about having to get back to the grind in mere hours after two glorious carefree days (if you are lucky and don’t have work bugging you even on your days off). Here are some tips for trying to make those Mondays a little easier to bear.
1. Start the day with exercise. I know, I know. The last thing your grumpy behind wants to do on Monday is get up even earlier to work out. But there are some good reasons why you should do it. Exercise is a natural mood lifter. This will help put you in the right frame of mind to face what is for most people the toughest day of the week. Think about it: have you ever gone to work out and then been sorry you did it? (Barring any injuries, that is!) Don’t you always finish feeling better than when you started? Even if your Monday morning exercise is following along with a fifteen minute yoga video on YouTube, it will be worth it.
2. Reward Mondays. Give yourself something special on Mondays only. If you only eat dessert one day a week, make that day Monday. If a jelly donut is your guilty pleasure, let yourself have one on Monday only. Schedule your massage or pedicure for a Monday. Whatever you do that makes you feel indulgent or pampered, do it on a Monday.
3. Take Monday off. If you have enough vacation time that you can take random days here or there and still get in your vacations, why not use those days to take off some Mondays? A four day work week is easier to manage mentally. Alternatively, if your work is in any way open to telecommuting, try to get a work from home arrangement once a week (more is better, but one is better than none!) on…you guessed it. Monday!
4. Start with success. Plan to do something first thing on Monday that you know you can finish. This creates a mindset of achievement for the rest of the day, making the groggiest day of the week more productive. Instead of finishing up one last thing on Friday, save that quick to complete project for Monday morning. Schedule meetings or sales calls with your easiest and best clients for as early on Monday you both can manage. If you’re a manager and have good news for an employee, share it on Monday and both your weeks will be better for it.
5. Get a job you love instead of a job you hate. Are you laughing at that? Or crying? Think it’s impossible? It is as long as that’s what you believe. Cases of the Mondays have their very root in doing work that makes you miserable. As long as you are slogging away at a job that makes you dread going back to it, no amount of exercise, dessert, holidays or task achievement will ever make that feeling completely go away. You can mitigate it. You can manage it. But you can’t eliminate it. There’s an old saying that goes “find a job you love and never work another day in your life.” Think it over. Is it worth it for the money? The toll on your health? The feeling of being trapped? We live in a prison of our own making, but the good news is that we built that cell door…that means we also have the key to unlock it.
If you make your primary goal finding the key you will find it. I moved to a new job last month (see You’re Asking For It) and I can honestly say that I no longer dread Mondays. I’m working fewer hours (which helps) but also making less money and lost my paid benefits. My stress level has plummeted and I have more time to spend with my son. It’s worth every dime of lower income.
In Office Space, Peter ends up in a completely different job a the end of the movie, certainly making significantly less money, but he is viewing all the positives about his new role and doesn’t look like he’ll be having a case of the Mondays any time soon.