You know that sad feeling as the weekend comes to a close, right? It is the feeling of dread you get on Sunday evenings when you set your alarm to get up early for another full work week. Everyone has likely experienced that feeling a time or two. Even if you enjoy your job, sometimes we find ourselves dragging our feet into another work week. Particularly if you had a great weekend, it can be difficult to let go of the time you spent relaxing, spending time with people, or having fun. While everyone experiences the dread of a new work week at times, the Monday Blues can be tougher than just starting a little sluggish. The Monday Blues can involve more intense sadness, stress, and anxiety. When some experience the dread mentioned earlier, it might take them a bit, but they can get into a rhythm as their day rolls along. 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. However, the Monday Blues can lead into other serious concerns like depression, major anxiety, and chronic stress.
What does it mean if you have the Monday Blues?
It likely means you are unsatisfied at work. If you think about the coming into the work week and you feel highly stressed and anxious, it could mean you want to avoid work. It is possible you have a deadline or a project coming up. However, if you consistently have these feelings leading into the week, this could indicate a serious issue at work. Being unsatisfied at work can come from a lot of things: a toxic work environment, an overly critical boss, low pay, an insanely high workload, or lack of interest. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to figure out where the dissatisfaction comes from. It might be something you may be able to fix by making an attitude change or discussing certain concerns with your boss. However, it might be something out of your control in which case you might have to make some tough decisions about work. 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.
What are some immediate ways to help with the Monday Blues?
Including finding the main cause of your blues, there are some other helpful things you can do. Mondays can be tough after coming off a weekend. 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. No one wants to have work hanging over their head while they have time off. By leaving work at work, you can allow yourself to reenergize for the new week. Lastly, Sunday evening can be helpful time to prepare you for another week. Some people dread Monday so much that they forget to enjoy their Sunday. Spend time relaxing and allowing yourself to wind down so you can get some rest and be ready to go the next morning.
While you might not be able to escape Mondays, you can find ways to help prevent the Monday Blues and go to work with a little more ease.
Michelle Overman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working as a counselor for students, faculty, and staff at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She works with athletes, bridging the gap between athletics and mental health at ACU. She is becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant in sports psychology. Michelle ran her own private practice in Austin, Texas where she worked with a diverse population, including couples and families. Michelle earned a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and has been working in the field for 6 years.