It’s Monday morning and you just can’t seem to find your rhythm. You’re convinced that the universe is working against you and all that’s going through your head is Carly Simon’s song lyrics, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”
If you’ve ever had this experience, then you’re familiar with the Monday Blues. Some people may chalk it up to urban legend, but the Monday Blues are, in fact, real.
What Science Says About Mondays
Researchers have explored the psychology and physiology of Monday’s impact on people. Here’s what they found:
- More heart attacks happen on Mondays than any other day of the week according to the European Journal of Epidemiology.
- You weigh your heaviest on Monday according to studies. Many people choose to eat and drink more over the weekend.
- Sleep patterns are off on Monday. Many people wake up and go to bed at regular times Monday through Thursday and disrupt this pattern over the weekend. This makes Monday morning feel more difficult than other weekday mornings because you are restarting a sleep pattern.
- You feel least happy on Monday. People report being happiest on the weekends. Since Monday follows the happiest days, it feels unhappy by comparison according to a study by the University of Rochester.
How to Counteract the Monday Blues
All the things that cause the Monday Blues are entirely under your control. You are in charge of your eating, your sleep schedule, your thoughts, and your beliefs. This means that by adjusting habits and attitude you can start the week with a roar instead of a sigh. Here’s how:
- Get enough sleep. Go to bed a little earlier than normal on Sunday night. Wake up a few minutes early and allow your body to ease into the morning rather than feeling rushed.
- Meditate. Take time to follow a guided meditation or sit in silence. The body is more ready to meet a busy day when it has spent some time in meditation.
- Allow for more time. Build in buffer time for traffic, for clearing the breakfast dishes or for a conversation with your loved ones. You’ll start your day in a less chaotic way.
- Eat a balanced breakfast. Choose breakfast foods that nourish and provide energy to sustain you until lunch. Avoid high sugar content and processed foods.
- Rethink your commute. Use that time to listen to a podcast or song that is uplifting or invigorating. Avoid the news, which can start the week with powerful negative images and stories.
- Plan your day. Organize and prioritize to create a clear plan to get more done. If you have time, plan lunch with a friend or coworker. Feeling connected helps boost your mood.
- Clear the clutter. Clear out your inbox and organize your desk to boost productivity. Outer clutter contributes directly to inner chaos.
- Be positive. Stop thinking of the Monday Blues. Mondays are a blank page and a chance to start fresh. Treat everyone with respect and encouragement and remember to smile.
- Schedule exercise. Exercise counteracts stress and helps maintain physical and emotional health. Schedule it and it will get done. If you leave it up to chance, it probably won’t.
- Count your blessings. Use gratitude to lift yourself up. There is never a bad time to stop and be thankful for the good things in your life.
Since one seventh of your life will be Mondays, figure out a way to make the best of them. Following these tips will help dramatically increase your well-being.
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