Mondays don’t have a great reputation, as evidenced by the staggering amount of Monday themed memes. The question is why? Can something be done about it? Or are we forever doomed to open our eyes on Mondays and get hit by a mix of anxiety and despondence? (ok, maybe not that bad but you get the point) 🙂 .
Mondays are arguably the most difficult and important day to co-ordinate successfully. So many things need to be done! From work tasks, calls and meetings, to getting your children to school, to finding time for yourself in between. Just image search “Mondays” and you’ll see two main sentiments:
- Hate of Mondays
- How Mondays are the best because they represent a fresh start (more on that later) 😄
Both of these indicate something interesting, that whether you love it or hate it Monday is a day on which we place an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves.
A Typical Monday….Reality Vs Expectation
How do you imagine your Monday starting usually? Do you imagine mayhem, delays and no control, or do you imagine your optimal self, getting everything done well and on time? Or maybe a combination of both. However we plan our Monday or however we visualise it, we do have expectations of how we think the Monday will go (very well, terribly etc).
How you imagine your Monday will start is not always how it actually goes. Life is what it is so it’s natural for all sorts of deviations from the visualised plan to appear. Some things might get delayed, some thing might not be completed all the way and so on. The more little deviations appear, the more the day looks different to your expectations. It almost becomes like a little negative point system you’re playing against yourself:
- You were supposed to get up earlier and already have exercised, now you’re getting distracted by notifications (-1 point)
- You sent the thing earlier today to Client Y, ok cool, but why are you going through your emails so slowly, now you’re delayed (-5 points)
- You’re not getting work out as fast as you should, and you haven’t had enough water today (-20 points!)
Now it’s 10am and you’re already on -26 points mentally, feeling like you’ve already partially failed and it’s only Monday morning!
But Why Are Mondays Though?
Mondays are the “first day” of productivity, the first day of a work week, the “fresh start” as mentioned earlier in this post. This is the day that you get yourself into gear with all modes; work mode, parent mode, responsible eating and living mode etc. This is the day that the phone starts ringing, and meeting notifications start pinging on your phone.
Not only is Monday the “first day”, it also sets the tone for the rest of the week both literally and figuratively. Delays on Monday literally creep into the rest of the week, and figuratively affect our expectations for the rest of the week. These expectations have the potential to affect your work, diet, exercise and mood if left unchecked.
So How Do We Get Through “The Monday Blues”
If “The Mondays blues” are a state of mind then that means they can be changed, and one way of keeping those negative comparisons at bay is adding positive points to your inner expectations as well. These positive points focus on small wins (because often big wins are accumulations of small wins):
- You were supposed to get up earlier and already have exercised, now you’re getting distracted by notifications (-1 point). There’s not enough time for the exercise session you planned, but a quick 20–30 second plank is still something (+1 point).
- You sent the thing earlier today to Client Y, ok cool, but why are you going through your emails so slowly, now you’re delayed (-5 points). You’ve already sent some deliverables which is awesome! Even though there’s a delay the email review has been started, which is better than nothing (+5 points).
- You’re not getting work out as fast as you should, and you haven’t had enough water today (-20 points!). The point is you’re doing the work which is good, and you’ve remembered that you need to drink more water, there’s still time to improve on that throughout the day (+20 points)
Keep sharpening the mental tools of recognising and catching yourself when you fall into a negative cycle. While all the sharpening in the world won’t eliminate feelings of anxiety or procrastination from Monday overload, hopefully it helps you notice patterns about yourself sooner and/or better, to help you make better decisions.
Whether you struggle or stroll through your Mondays, keep the blues at bay by practicing self awareness, self kindness and recognising small wins.