The sad or anxious feelings many people experience as the weekend comes to a close are related to the dread they feel on Monday morning when you wake up for another work week. Everyone has likely experienced that emotion at some point. Even those that enjoy their jobs sometimes find themselves dragging their feet into work on Mondays. Particularly after a great weekend, it can be difficult to let go of the time you spent relaxing, spending time with people, or having fun.
The Monday blues involve feelings of sadness, stress, and anxiety over the upcoming week. Some people experience this dread each week, but they are able to quickly move past it within a few hours into the day on Monday. However, sometimes the Monday blues can linger and even make going to work extremely difficult. It might be easy for us to think it is a normal part of working. Maybe to some degree it is. But if the Monday blues are ongoing and intense, they can serve as a clear sign of job dissatisfaction, which can lead to other serious mental health concerns.
What Does It Mean if You Have the Monday Blues?
If your Monday blues correlate with specific events or deadlines at work, and then go away once they are over, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if these feelings are a recurring aspect of your life, it likely means you are unhappy at work. Being dissatisfied at work can come from a lot of things: a toxic work environment, an overly critical boss, low pay, an unreasonably large workload, or a lack of interest.
Whatever the reason may be, it is important to figure out where the dissatisfaction comes from. It might be something you are able to fix by making an attitude change or discussing your concerns with your boss. However, it might be something out of your control, in which case you may have to make some tough decisions about your future at your current place of employment. Regardless, it is important to find a way to address the Monday blues because it will not only affect your mental health but it will also affect your ability to do your job well.
How to Treat the Monday Blues
Mondays can be tough after coming off a weekend. Here are some tips to consider in trying to cope with the Monday blues before make the decision to move on from your job.
Plan Out Your Week’s Workload
Walking into work with a long to-do list can be immediately overwhelming, especially if you try to stay away from email on the weekends. It can be helpful to set aside time first thing Monday morning to respond to emails and look ahead at the week’s schedule. This can involve doing some planning ahead of time the week before. Doing this will give the space and time you need to ease into the work week and not feel instantly behind on everything. By preparing at the end of the week for the beginning of the next week, it can be easier to let go and relax over the weekend.
Try to Disconnect Over the Weekend
It’s a bad idea to have work hanging over your head while you’re supposed to be enjoying time off. By leaving work at work, you can allow yourself to reenergize for the new week. Granted, not everyone has this luxury, but to whatever extent possible, try to relax and clear your head from your work. If you have work-related thoughts running through your mind all weekend, then once it comes to an end, you’ll feel unsatisfied from what was supposed to be your time off, making it harder to get back to work.
Schedule Things You Enjoy Into the Work Week
If you see the weekend as being the only time you get to enjoy yourself, then it’s no wonder you’re miserable when it’s over. Be sure to do schedule in time for hobbies, get-togethers with people whose company you enjoy, or other activities you can look forward to several days in advance.
Change Your Attitude About Work
Perhaps you expectation from your job is unrealistic. Though you should find a place of work that you find challenging and rewarding, there will inevitably be aspects of your job that you won’t like, and that is to be expected. You will also have projects you do not enjoy and periods when everything seems to be going wrong. But that can happen and you need to learn to deal with these types of setbacks.
It’s not easy, but if you work on your perspective, you may find that the Monday blues will become more manageable or even go away altogether. Think of all the things you do like about your job and focus on those. Consider how lucky you are to be employed in the first place. Then realize that if you are going through a rough patch at work, it may come to pass soon.
Consider a New Job
For a number of reasons, your place of work may not be right for you for reasons beyond your control. If you work in a toxic workplace alongside difficult personalities, or you’re working on things you truly do not enjoy for months on end, it may be time to look elsewhere. You are not defined by your job, so if it’s making you miserable, move on.
No one should end their weekend dreading the week to come, thought it’s quite common. So rather that just accept it and wallow in misery, take action with the steps listed above. Starting off each week with negative emotions is bad for your mental and physical health, resulting in a spiral of negative emotions towards other areas of your life that were fine to begin with. So stop ignoring your Monday blues and do something about them.
- Woo, J. M., & Postolache, T. T. (2008). The impact of work environment on mood disorders and suicide: Evidence and implications. International journal on disability and human development : IJDHD, 7(2), 185–200. https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd.2008.7.2.185
- Kunz-Ebrecht, S. R., Kirschbaum, C., Marmot, M., & Steptoe, A. (2004). Differences in cortisol awakening response on work days and weekends in women and men from the Whitehall II cohort. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 29(4), 516–528. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0306-4530(03)00072-6