“It’s just been a long week, that’s all.”
“It’s Monday night, Jess.”
“My point exactly.”
– Scott Westerfeld
I think it’s safe to say that Mondays are the most difficult day of the week for most of the people. Just the challenge of getting out of the bed, trying to hit the mute sound of the alarm while still grabbing the pillow for dear life after two days (together known as the weekend) of probably sleeping till late, will contribute for categorizing Monday as the toughest day in the whole week.
The truth is, any day can be a Monday because let’s face it, most people have to wake up early everyday and some even do it as a choice to have extra time in the morning to workout or have a calm breakfast, but people still tend to think of Monday as a seven head monster. I used to think this of Mondays. It was very difficult for me to start the week with energy, but nowadays I have a routine that helps me have productive and painless starts, although sometimes the Monday mood gets to me. Last week while I was waiting for a bus I had two ladies sitting next to me on the bus stop. Some family talk and rants about how lately the bus services aren’t working efficiently, these two seemed to be in a “good” mood, but then, when a third woman approached them this happened:
Lady 1: Oh <insert name>, I didn’t see you there.
Lady 2: I didn’t see you on the train today. Did brought you with your sister in law?
Lady 3: Ah don’t worry. Yes we had to bring the little one to the dentist today. How is everything going on with you two?
Lady 1: Well, it’s Monday so…
And I nodded. I nodded to myself and thought, “damn it’s Monday… I wish I was in bed and not waiting for the bus out here in the cold”. Then I thought how much I had already done in that morning and it was not even 9 a.m. so I felt a little better while waiting there. Which brings me to the title of this post. Did you know there’s a specific Monday associated with “the most depressing day of the year”?
“The original date of “Blue Monday” was mathematically calculated in 2005 by Dr. Cliff Arnall a researcher at Cardiff University. (…) Mr. Arnall created his formula for the most depressing day of the year by working six distinct factors into the equation: weather conditions (Gloomy old January and its typical lack of sunshine), debt level and our ability to pay that debt, time elapsed since Christmas, time elapsed since failing our New Years resolutions, our general seasonal motivational levels, and our need to take action and to have something to look forward to.” (source)
Guess what? Today is supposed to be a Blue Monday (some places says say it’s on the 26th).
To be honest, nothing changed after knowing about this fact. Do you remember feeling especially gloomy on the Monday of the last full week of January last year? Because I don’t. It’s not because it’s Monday that it’s going to be twice as hard to focus, or that you’re going to procrastinate more or that the day won’t feel right at all. We have the tools to change that and for me, it’s the little things that make the difference:
A Sunday well spent brings a week of content
Breath this quote, live it and spend your Sunday nurturing yourself and doing whatever makes you feel happy and content. It’s not Monday yet so breathe!
I go to bed earlier on Sundays and give myself some extra hours of sleep. If you’re a heavy sleeper, don’t forget to put some kind of alarm. Try picking music instead of a beep alarm sound, but have in mind that songs that don’t make at least your foot fingers dance aren’t recommended. Slow, calming songs will only help extend the relationship with your pillow.
If you’re a list maker like me, this one will be easy. Make a list of goals and tasks that you want to achieve and work on during the week. It works really well for me and stops me from wasting a whole Monday morning thinking about what I’m going to start with first. If you work from home, having a working schedule that works for you is also good because it keeps you on track and will make you feel more confident and focused. A personal planner works magically because once you have it written down you’ll feel more committed to stick to the schedule and be productive with your day.
Business on top, party on the bottom
I have a rule that, on Mondays, I dress especially nice whenever I need to go out to work or do some errands. If you feel comfortable and confident that’s one less thing that will bug you through the day. One of the advantages I was most looking forward when I started working from home is that you can work on your pajamas *insert bells ringing in the background with holy lights* BUT I soon realized that my productivity was drifting away along with how cozy my sleep wear was so now I make sure to change into something else. I found a comfortable outfit that works for me and it does the job whenever I have to answer the door (yeah, because receiving the mailman with your panda slippers and robe with cat ears on the hood is not weird at all) but sometimes I allow myself to have some cheat days and wear some pajama pants while working. Remeber, business on top, party on the bottom!
Allow yourself enough time to have a good healthy breakfast, don’t rush out the door or to your desk to work without fueling your body. Don’t have time to prepare it in the morning? Prepare the night before! An empty belly by the morning is half way to get you sending texts and emails saying: “sorry for the things I said. I was hangry”. I usually allow myself 30 minutes to enjoy and eat breakfast because I use the opportunity to do my morning stroll around social media and that way I kill two birds at once.
Now if by the end of the day it still feels like a “one of those Monday’s”, just be positive. Think about the things that worked out well, things like the fact that the bus wasn’t jammed or you managed to do a proper healthy lunch. I can assure you by the end of the day they’ll have a big impact on your overall mood. Now go get yourself some blueberries (or a blue drink) and make the most out of this blue Monday.
(photo – ZARA)
I’m curious, what are your thoughts on Mondays? Do you have a Monday ritual? Did you know about blue Monday? Let me know in the comments below.