20 tips to beat the Monday Morning blues
Eugh, Monday morning again? This is the thought I found myself waking up to this morning after being on holiday for a week. This is a feeling that many of us wake up with on Monday morning and it is called anticipatory anxiety. For many it starts as the feeling on dread on Sunday night.
Trouble is for me, I have both the best and worst boss in the world. Me!
So, I have to get myself in good shape on Monday mornings to get into my week. To be fair, now that I do work that I love, Monday morning blues (“MM blues”) are a rare occurrence, but the re-entry from holiday can make it especially harsh.
“So. Monday. We meet again. We will never be friends—but maybe we can move past our mutual enmity toward a more-positive partnership.” ― Julio Alexi Genao
The good news is that you don’t have to be a victim to Sunday night dread or Monday morning blues. Here are some things that have worked for me or friends that I asked about this (and this is a far bigger and widespread problem than most realise…)
- Start light - some of us need to start slow and ease into the week. I tend to keep Monday mornings for planning, answering emails, reading and thinking time. I don’t tend to get into heavy lifting, intensive tasks or anything super-creative until after 12.30 on a Monday if I can help it. Even if you don’t have that luxury, keeping Monday relatively clear gives you plenty of room to plan and get moving at your own pace (and if you can, work away from your regular desk so that you can’t be disturbed!)
- Get enough sleep - hitting the hay at a decent hour on Sunday night and getting a good 7–9 hours can make sure that you are in good shape to get moving (and sleep is one of the most important factors in determining success). If Sunday night dread is hitting your sleep, try meditation or other techniques to get your shuteye.
- …And wake early - while it can be tempting to hit snooze and turn over, getting up 15–30 minutes early can really help your Monday morning…not to give yourself more time to work but to give yourself more breathing space to not have to rush and ease into the day.
- Look forward to something on Monday evening - having something fun to look forward to can really help you get through the day. I sing with Resound on Monday evenings which I love, it helps me work through any Monday frustrations and sets me up brilliantly for the week.
- Do something nice for someone else - smiling at a stranger or getting a coffee for a colleague or paying a compliment boosts our self esteem and helps us to feel better about ourselves…perfect for overcoming some of the self-doubt that MM blues can cause.
- Plan on Friday or Sunday - getting your work week organised ahead of time so that you can hit Monday morning running can save a lot of anxiety. Some people work best getting their todo list for the next week sorted on Friday so that they don’t have to think about it over the weekend. Personally, I prefer a more holistic Sunday review, where I look at my projects, my priorities and also how I want to feel in the week. A big mistake this week was that I didn’t do my Sunday review.
- Schedule tough tasks or meetings for later in the week - similar to 1, giving yourself time to get into your groove on Monday makes tackling tough meetings or intense tasks on Tuesday or Wednesday MUCH easier.
- Connect with people - bring in the human factor with a Monday morning check in with colleagues or simply giving a stranger a smile. If you own your own business, this is especially important and I make sure that I connect with at least two friendly faces on Monday morning.
- Use some tunes - making a Monday Morning playlist can get you going and alter your mood significantly. This morning I played my "Good Stuff" playlist at high volume and it kicked away the cobwebs. Think workout music to really get shifting.
- The food factor - too many of us skip breakfast but getting a good breakfast really kicks up the metabolism. Lean protein in particular helps dopamine production (the hormone of inspiration) which helps clear thinking and creativity.
- Exercise (early) - there is no doubt that a bit of exercise in the morning get the endorphins going which help combat anxiety. With the advent of the 7 minute workout, even I don’t have an excuse :)
- Treat yourself to something on Monday morning - sometimes we just need something nice to smooth the path…some chocolate, lunch with a friend on Monday lunch time. Even that crazy coffee (e.g. white chocolate mocha!) in moderation can do the trick.
- What are you excited about in the week? - make a list of 3 things this week that you are excited about or looking forward to and let yourself slip past the blues to the anticipation of all the good stuff to come.
- Walk to work if you can - or even just get outside. The movement, the air and the exposure to daylight will do wonders for your mood.
- Vary your routine on a Monday - sometimes it is the feeling of being stuck in a rut that can cause us stress. If you can do so without too much stress, vary your routine by taking a slightly different route to work, sitting on a different part of the train/bus to get a different view. Just a little change can make a lot of difference.
- Look great to feel great - get dressed for work in an outfit that makes you feel like great/amazing/wonderful/powerful can really help. We have all heard of power dressing, but in a way this actually works. The key is feeling good rather than dressing inauthentically. The colours you wear can impact on how you feel as well. Red can make you feel alive, orange boosts energy and vitality and yellow is just sunshiny goodness.
- What is the actual issue? - if you are consistently feeling MM blues, you need to identify what is causing the blues. Do you need to change job or is it a negative colleague who is getting you down. Take some time to think about what the root cause is and make a plan to change it (working with a coach can help this as well).
- Meditation - yes I know this appears on a lot of my posts but for good reason. Meditation helps to lower my stress and gives me a feeling of spaciousness. On a Monday morning, this is invaluable in helping me feel like I am in control.
- Gratitude - another golden oldie with great reason. If you are feeling Sunday night dread, make a list of 50 things you are truly grateful for (definitely including small things) and see if you still feel the same way after. I start each day listing 3 things I am grateful for and, while it can sound trite, it shifts my mood instantly (this one has a compound effect…the more you do it, the greater the effect).
- The power of timeless wisdom - if Monday is going out of control, the Serenity Prayer can help keep your head in the right space…”Grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can't and the wisdom to know the difference”.
- This too shall pass - Monday mornings only last a few hours, and usually the anticipation is worse than the reality. If nothing else helps, know that this too shall pass…and it will pass by quickly.
Leave a comment below and tell us what do you do to beat the Monday Morning blues!