11:16 a.m... According to research, this is the time when we crack our first smile in office on a Monday.
Do you often feel anxious, depressed, tired, or even hopeless, when you return to work on Monday? You may be having the Monday Blues. Scholars at the University of Vermont studied over 63 million Twitter users and discovered from people’s tweets that they are at their unhappiest on Mondays and Tuesdays - Monday being the unhappier day of the two.
So, what has Monday ever done to us? All it did was fall right after Sunday! Though we can't change anything about that, what we can accept that the Monday Blues are real and you aren't the only one experiencing it.
Being depressed and unmotivated every Monday will overall affect your productivity in the long run, so let's try tackle those feelings whilst we're aware of it. Here are 5 ways to beat (or avoid) the dreaded Monday Blues.
1. Boost your energy with music
If you're arriving at the office feeling tired and unmotivated on a Monday morning, start your day by plugging in your headphones and playing your favourite, upbeat, and "happy" tunes.
A study on the psychology of music discovered that listening to music not only impacts your abilty to regulate mood, but listening to "happy" music enables you to "repair" your mood. Another studyshowed that listening to your favourite music resulted in a statistically significant decrease in levels of depression and anxiety over time.
However bad you may feel on a Monday, making a dedicated Monday playlist might be worth while to help you feel better!
2. Workspace makeover
Did you know that mess causes stress? Dr. Bourg Carter reveals that a cluttered environment increases stress levels. There are several reasons for this - clutter can overload our minds with excessive stimili, it can constantly signal our brains that work is never finished, and it can just frustate us and make us feel anxious when we look at it.
Take a look at your desk. Is it organised? Is it easy for you to locate things? Do you have a dirty mug lying around from last week? If not, maybe it is time to declutter, clean up, and organise your workspace.
Whilst you're in the process of giving your workspace a makeover, how about adding some greenery in there? According to a study by the Washington State University, plants reduces stress and help workers be more attentive. In this study, participants working in a room with plants work 12% faster than those who were in a room without. Maybe it's time to take up the responsibility of taking care of some small plants on your desk?
You may also be interested in: PSYCHOLOGY SERIES: What the State of Your Desk Says About You
3. Be Monday-ready on Friday
Mondays can be stressful because work piles up over the weekend. You can reduce the workload and pressure on Monday by taking initative and preparing on Friday. You can handle tougher tasks on a Friday, at the end of the work week, to ensure the start of your following week is a bit better.
Even if you don't have time to handle any tasks on the Friday, the very least you can do is make a clear to-do list and map out tasks for the following week. Doing either of these things will ensure the transition into work on Monday will be much easier!
You may also be interested in: Beat Procrastination with These 5 Tips
4. Relax during the weekend
Some people work during the weekends, whether they do it with hopes that it would lighten their workload the following week, or they have to due to a pressing deadline. However, try not to make this a habit.
Having a sufficient break from work is essential to a rejuvenating start of the week. Clinical psychologist and productivity coach Steve Orma pointed out that when you work during the weekends, you would feel as if you had not rested enough, making you grumpier on Monday. This in turn affects your producitivity and decision making skills. This will also affect the rest of your week!
Leave work and work emails at the office when you leave on Friday. A well-rested and relaxing weekend would overall increase your productivity and mood.
You may also be interested in: How to Stop Worrying about Work when You're Not at Work
5. Prioritise sleep
Remember how drained and unmotivated you felt when you had less than 6 hours of sleep? The poor mood you experience on Monday could be a result from lack of sleep - not just one instance, but a long term fatigue from continously not getting enough Z's.
If you're finding you're always tired and that you're frequently getting less than 6 hours of sleep, perhaps it's time to make a few lifestyle changes so you feel better. Even if sleeping more than 6 hours on a weekday is close to impossible, try to recover and get a full rest during the weekend. Going to bed early on Sunday and getting a solid 8 hours will help you feel that bit more alert on Monday!
If you sleep early on the Sunday, you may also wake slightly earlier on a Monday. That's okay - waking 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally would on a workday gives you extra time to get to work. You can then avoid the anxiety that comes from a commute (you may also miss the packed commute period), and you can also take this time to grab a nice cup of coffee or a nice bite to eat.