5 Ways to Stop Dreading Mondays

When I was working a corporate job, it was always my personal opinion that Mondays should be removed from the calendar entirely. After spending two whole glorious days in complete “freedom” away from the office, I remember Monday mornings being particularly jarring. And I personally don’t think anyone deserves to be faced with the cold hard reality of life that Monday morning seems to throw at you week after week after week.

mondayTruthfully, Monday morning blues have a tendency to start on Sunday. As the last hours of the weekend come to an end, that feeling of dread surges up in the pit of your stomach in negative anticipation of the next day. Whether you like your job or not (which I clearly didn’t), Mondays are typically the roughest time of the week because you’ve been thrown off your regular routine for a few days and it’s time to dive back in.

Alas, since at present, there’s not a bill in Congress to remove Mondays from the weekly calendar (despite my complaining), the best thing you can do is to stop dreading them. Being unhappy is not going to help you reach your future goals. If it did, I’d say “go for it!”, but it actually tends to be a setback for you achieving the life that you want. That’s why it’s important to keep your mood positive, embrace your current situation and find ways to make the most out of your time at work (until you can quit your job and work for yourself).

Here are 5 ways to stop dreading Mondays and hopefully make them a slightly more pleasant experience…

1. Ease into your day. Mondays can be particularly jarring because you’re getting back into your regular routine after a few days being off-schedule. One way to make the transition into your week go more smoothly is to ease into your day. Instead of getting to the office and immediately fighting fires, answering a zillion emails and running around, you might choose to work on your favorite project for a few hours and put off all the other stuff until later. Also, you could find a secluded conference room to work where you won’t be bothered by anyone for a little while. Or if you don’t have control over your schedule, you could set aside a few minutes by yourself to quietly drink a cup of coffee or go on a walk before the day gets started.

2. Schedule something to look forward to on Mondays. Of course Mondays are not going to be fun if you don’t have anything to look forward to except the long work week ahead. Change this by scheduling something fun on Mondays. You could go to lunch with a friend, make a delicious “weekend” breakfast, commute to the office with someone you enjoy spending time with, or even excuse yourself from a daily task that you don’t like doing. Even if you can’t schedule something fun into your actually 9-to-5 workday, try creating an after-work ritual like movie-night, board-game night or pizza night.

3. Go to bed earlier on Sunday. If you don’t get enough sleep on Sunday night, chances are that Monday is going to be painful no matter what you do. Going to bed earlier will give your body a chance to rest up before the big day ahead. This will help you have more energy AND be in a better mood to be able to tackle every Monday with ease. If you have trouble turning off at night, try creating a relaxing bedtime routine—take a bath, reading, mediation, etc—that prepares you for a good night of sleep.

4. Switch Monday work deadlines to another day. When you set critical deadlines on Monday, this is likely to trigger anxiety throughout the weekend and also isn’t going to allow you to ease into your day. If you can, switch work deadlines to another day so you have more time to get everything done without feeling panicked the moment you arrive at the office. Also, if you’re scheduling important meetings on Monday, see if you can move those to another day as well.

5. Avoid negative people in the office. In order to stay in a positive frame of mind, you need to avoid the naysayers in the office. Truth be told, I use to be a naysayer and because of this, I would attract all the other unhappy employees to me. Every Monday, we would bitch, gripe and carry on about how much we hated our jobs. In retrospect though, this was just making me more miserable. If you’re currently miserable and looking for company, you’ll want to end this pattern right now. Change your tune. Spend your time focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want and start surrounding yourself with more positive co-workers.

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Paul O'Rear - a couple of years ago

Great stuff, Laurel! I love your advice that “naysayers attract unhappy people.” Very thought-provoking. Also, good strategy using Twitter to draw new attention to older posts.

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