We’ve all experienced the Monday morning blues. It’s nothing new. When was the last time you heard anyone say ‘TGIM’ (Thank God it’s Monday)?
Even songs about Mondays are usually grim. But why?
What’s wrong with Monday, anyway?
There must be something about Monday that sets it apart.
🎵 Monday I have Friday on my mind – The Easybeats
This song sums up what many of us think every Monday morning.
But why do we look forward to the end of the working week, before we even begin it?
Why do I have the Monday morning blues?
It could be for one of these reasons.
Which one do you most relate to?
‘I hate my job’
🎵 Hangin’ around … Nothin’ to do but frown,
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down – The Carpenters
You might genuinely hate the job you’re in right now. Statistics suggest that about three people in ten dislike (if not downright hate) their jobs.
That would make going back every Monday a real pain: Monday morning blues for them and probably for those they work with.
‘I’ve always hated Mondays’
🎵 I don’t like Mondays – Boomtown Rats
Perhaps Mondays have negative connotations that have built up over the years.
There might be real and unpleasant associations from earlier in your life. If you hated school (or a previous job), or if you were bullied or harassed in either, then going back to work each Monday would have particularly nasty memories.
‘But doesn’t everyone?’
🎵 Monday, Monday… Can’t trust that day – The Mamas and the Papas
It could be a cultural thing. Everyone says they hate Mondays, so everyone hates Mondays. After all, who wants to be the eager ‘bright-eyed and bushy-tailed’ (freaky) exception to the rule – like the kids who admit they like school?
Your body gets the Monday morning blues, too
There are also physiological explanations.
‘Weekends just take too much out of me’
🎵 Three nights of goin’ non-stop
No work and all play
I don’t have to be me ’til Monday – Steve Azar
Some of us have a ‘gotta-get-the-most-out-of-the-weekend’ mentality.
After a busy working week, it could be the only time available to do household jobs, gardening, maintenance and shopping. Busy week becomes busy weekend.
Often, it’s about squeezing ‘fun’ into our two days off. The pressure to do that is sometimes not much fun in the end.
The fear of wasting a weekend can undo the benefits – not to mention the weight of the guilt if we let yet another Saturday and Sunday slide by without ‘getting out and doing something’.
Or the weekend could be the only chance for real relaxation. The pressure to relax can be exhausting, too, in a different way.
Close, and enforced, contact with the family might also contribute to stressful weekends, especially for people who work in an environment that’s vastly different from what they experience at home.
Some people report the noise level in a houseful of kids, or when visiting relatives, to be so disturbing as to cause genuine distress. They almost feel they want to be back at work, which causes more guilt.
This is accentuated when difficulties or conflicts in the family are part of the weekend pattern. When it definitely isn’t ‘Home, Sweet Home’, stress levels rise even higher.
Any of these scenarios would leave us too drained to cope with work on Monday.
‘I get out of sync at the weekend’
🎵 Too many songs about this to mention…
- Do you go to bed later? Get up later?
- Do you have more (or less) screen time?
- Do you eat or drink more (or less) at weekends, and at times that are slightly different from the pattern you follow during the week?
- Do you get more, or less, or different types of exercise?
Whenever you make changes to what you normally do, and when you do it, there’s a risk your body will react differently. It’s perfectly normal.
Like every other organism, we follow patterns of eating, sleeping and waking. Our bodies don’t like changes to those patterns. In a way that’s similar to the effects of jetlag, our Circadian rhythms – the ‘body clock’ – get a little messed up.
Shift workers know all about this; they probably come up with strategies to prevent the ‘Monday morning blues’ from happening at any time in the week.
Those of us who have regular hours, from Monday to Friday, probably don’t even realise that these disturbances can happen on a smaller scale. Just doing a few things a little differently, at weekends, can throw us out of sync.
And that’s why Mondays seem especially gruesome.
There are ways to overcome the Monday morning blues.
One of the projects I’m working on is Managing Mondays … And Beyond.
Let me know if you’d like to be one of the first to have a preview copy.