Monday, May 16, 2016

Mondays Got You Down?

Ahhh... the weekend!  Many spend their week in anticipation of their upcoming weekend, their time
away from the grind of their workweek, only to find themselves spending half their weekend - Sunday - counting down the minutes until Monday once again arrives.  Research has indicated that people legitimately suffer from the Sunday Blues, anxiety that is brought on by thoughts of having to head to work the following day.  

The largest reason cited is that Mondays are typically the most stressful day of the week. Anticipating and worrying about how 'bad' heading back in to the office will likely be creates negative emotions that often lead us to be less productive on Monday, adding to our negative view of the day itself.

Psychology shows us that our current emotional state not only has a huge impact on our performance and productivity but that it also influences and impacts those around us.  So, our negative emotions don't just bring us down, but they drag down those around us!

Alexander Kjerulf, an international author and speaker on Happiness at Work (yes, it's possible!) says that the Monday Blues are so prevalent that they have become a cultural phenomenon that describe feelings of depression, tiredness and a sense that work is unpleasant and unavoidable. However, there are definitely ways that we can help to start our work week on a more positive note.  The following are 6 top suggestions from Happiness experts.

1.  Prepare Ahead.  Prepare for a positive Monday on Friday.  Leave yourself as few dreaded tasks, carried over from Friday, as possible. This not only helps your transition into the new workweek go much smoother but it also allows you to relax more fully over the weekend, which also de-stresses you.  Use Sunday night to prep ahead to, getting yourself organized to avoid the last minute rush that tends to spike those feelings of stress and anxiety.

2.  Focus on Positives.  Often we are focused solely on all of the difficult and tough tasks in store for us that week, failing to balance them with all of the activities we are excited about.  Start off the week by listing all of the things you are looking forward to that week to keep your energy up.

3.  Dress for Success.  Give yourself the boost or lift you need on Mondays by reserving your favourite or new outfits for those days.  Use the boost they give you to kick-start the week and snag a few compliments along the way.

4.  Schedule Light.  Knowing that Mondays can be hectic and stressful, don't add to them by over-booking your day.  Deliberately leave it a little lighter to give you room to manoeuvre.

5.  Plan Your Weekend.  Give yourself something to look forward to by having something positive lined up for the weekend.  If your weekend tends to serve only as a holding pattern in between work weeks then you are not allowing yourself time to decompress, to recharge, to experience some fun. If you can't build some fun into your workweek (which is also highly recommended) then make sure you give yourself something fun to look forward to over the course of the week.

6.  No TV on Sunday Night.  Although Neilson research shows that people watch the most television on Sunday nights, typically watching a lot of drama, it is not likely to be the best way to de-stress. Enjoy a relaxing dinner, go for a walk, read a book...  engage in activities that don't get your brain focusing on the tension and drama that may be in store for you in the workplace.  The better you are able to forestall worrying, the lower your anxiety likely will be.

Think of each work week as a new beginning, with Monday signalling your fresh start.  This opens up new positive avenues for you to let go of anything you've been beating yourself up over and to engage in more positive action.  Reframing Monday so that it represents beginnings and opportunities may be just what you need to stop hitting the snooze button and to jump into your week smiling.

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