Let’s face it: nobody really likes Mondays. You’ve just spent the last two and a half days seeing friends, visiting restaurants or partying in bars, when suddenly all the fun stops and you have to go and be a responsible adult again.
The transition from carefree weekend spirit to regimented and faithful employee doesn’t have to be so difficult, though. With a few lifestyle tweaks and a change in attitude, Monday mornings can actually become the most productive part of your week.
So, in order to transform the state of your post-weekend sanity, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your way.
Here’s how to beat the Monday blues…
1. Recharge Your Batteries
One of the main reasons you may be feeling frustrated about heading into work is that you didn’t make the most of your time off. If you’ve spent all weekend running errands, visiting family or, even worse, doing work, then it might seem like you haven’t even been away from the office at all.
Therefore, it’s important that you make time come Saturday and Sunday to relax and do something that you enjoy, whether it’s knitting, swimming or playing Fortnite. Even if you lead a busy life at home, taking the time to decompress is vital in deterring long-term burnout. In the short term, recharging your batteries will serve you well when you return to the weekly grind, too.
2. Prepare the Night Before
One way to make Monday mornings more pleasant is to give yourself considerably less to do. Instead of running around fretting about your wardrobe choice, for instance, pick your outfit on Sunday evening before you go to bed. The same applies to all the other small details as well, such as preparing a particularly delicious lunch that you can look forward to eating.
By planning ahead, not only will your week get off to a less stressful and crowded start, but it will also afford you an extra bit of time to relax and have a few moments to yourself before you leave the house.
3. Have a Proper Breakfast
The time you’ll save can also go into creating a nutritious and fulfilling breakfast, something that countless studies have proven is an essential aid to the productivity levels of your day.
Whether that entails pancakes and syrup, fruits and cheese or the more traditional English fry-up is, of course, down to personal choice, although we’d advocate something healthy and low in sugar. As long as it’s well-balanced, though, you’ll feel the benefits all through the rest of the morning, helping you get back into the working groove.
4. Save Your Coffee
You might be tempted to compliment that breakfast with a much-needed cup of coffee, yet according to science, it’s far better to hold off until later on in the morning. This is because you are already at your most natural state of alertness between 8am and 9am, thus negating your requirement for caffeine at this time. Instead, the most suitable period for drinking coffee is actually between 9:30am and 11:30am when your cortisol levels start to dip and your body needs it more.
Amazingly, research has also shown that caffeine – when consumed in moderation – contains mild anti-depressant qualities, which, aside from being an interesting titbit of trivia, also makes coffee the most suitable beverage for dreary Monday mornings in the entire history of drinkable fluids (with the possible exception of gin, of course).
5. Go to Bed Early
While we’re on the subject of science, the benefit of an early night can’t be overstated, regardless of what day it is. After all, there’s nothing worse than getting caught up in a Game of Thrones marathon (‘Just one more episode!’) that spills over into the early hours, leaving you groggy, frustrated and zombie-like when you have to get up for work several hours later.
Instead, focus on getting eight to nine hours of sleep every Sunday night. You’ll find it far easier to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, and you may even feel actively refreshed. You won’t be so tired at work, either, meaning your performance won’t slip and it’ll be easier to get stuck into the coming week’s tasks.
6. Work Out
The last thing anybody wants to do first thing on a Monday is go for a run or hit the gym, but you’ll undoubtedly reap the physiological benefits for the rest of the day if you can find the motivation to do something active. This is because your body releases endorphins when you exercise, creating a sense of positivity and mild euphoria.
Taking part in a high-energy activity will also transition your mind and body from the laziness of a slow weekend to the dynamism of the working week, minimising the ‘jolt’ factor of returning to the office. You’ll also start the day with a sense of achievement, which will have an immediate and positive impact on your approach, attitude and performance.
7. Engage with Your Office
When you’re crammed tightly into a train or stuck helplessly in traffic with all the other happy commuters, it can be hard to muster some positivity about your job. Therefore, when you do eventually arrive at work, make a point to catch up with your colleagues and be part of an environment that is actually bearable. Some offices even have short five-minute meetings to start the day where everyone talks about their weekend, allowing everyone to ease slowly back into the workplace mindset.
Make your workspace a little more colourful, too. Although it might sound superficial, personalising the area where you spend all your working day can actually improve your mood Office pets, for instance, are a particularly recommended morale booster…
8. Laugh More
Allegedly, laughter is the best medicine for any affliction, and the Monday blues are no different. Feel free, therefore, to indulge yourself in quotes, jokes, memes, cat videos and/or any other sources of comedy that will make your return to work that much more easier.
Don’t feel guilty about it, either. While it’s probably not a good idea to be caught watching Funny or Die on the company’s time, the subsequent mental boost you’ll receive will certainly help you to pay attention and be more productive as the day progresses.
9. Consider Your Options
If you’ve tried all of the above but the thought of going to work still triggers you into a spiral of depression every Sunday evening, then maybe it’s time to consider that, actually, Monday isn’t the issue at all.
For instance, if, come Wednesday, you’re still miserable at work, you might want to re-evaluate whether or not you’re in the right job. This is an important distinction to make, as nearly everybody feels blue making the transition from the weekend; not everybody hates their boss, their work and their company’s culture, however. If you find that you are getting little to no satisfaction from your work, then it might be time to potentially try something else.
As you can see, with a little preparation and a few subtle lifestyle changes, there’s nothing to fear about Monday mornings (unless, of course, you hate your job or you happen to be Garfield the cat). Remember, a happy, productive employee is a successful one, so start your week right and your career will reap the benefits.
Do you have any other tips to get through Monday mornings? Let us know in the comments below!