You were up late the night before, binge-watching your favorite show, and your alarm goes off bright and early. If you are waking up on a Monday, chances are that you are grumpier, and may even feel worse than any other day. But are the “Monday blues” a real thing?
“There is no objective data to prove that Monday is any worse than Tuesday through Sunday,” says Dr. Camille Santos, family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy. “Generally speaking, Monday is perceived to be a dreadful day when we come to work ‘unprepared’ to start a new week.”
Dr. Santos shares five easy ways to make Monday mornings a bit more manageable:
Avoid sleeping in on weekends.
“Sleeping in longer does not necessarily mean we are able to ‘make up’ for the lost sleep during the week,” says Dr. Santos, who notes that going to sleep late on Friday nights and sleeping in longer throughout the weekend disturbs our regular body clocks. “Your circadian rhythm has a 24-hour cycle,” says Dr. Santos. “When you suddenly change your sleep pattern over the weekends and re-shift on Monday, your level of alertness and mood can change, making Monday feel like a drag.”
Plan short creative activities in the middle of the week.
Dr. Santos heeds her own advice by attending an art class every Wednesday for 90 minutes after work. “Sometimes, I stop by a bookstore and read a few pages from a funny book, look at picture books or cookbooks,” she says. “This would work for anything that interests you. Get to know the bookstore near you. It’s like having a ‘me time’ in a quiet, creative environment.”
Keep your house organized throughout the week.
While it may seem impossible to keep the whole house clean during a busy week, having your house clean by Friday night helps you have a more relaxed start to the weekend. “It feels good to wake up on Saturday morning early with a clean house that smells good,” says Dr. Santos. “By preparing for your weekend, you’ll feel relaxed, productive at home and well-rested, and will feel happier coming to work on Monday morning.”
Exercise for 30 minutes to an hour during the week and on the weekends.
Exercising — even for a short period — throughout the week and weekend will improve your mood, and make you feel productive, more complete and ready to start off your week without the blues. Dr. Santos likes to walk on the beach with family or friends. She suggests discovering new spots in your neighborhood by taking to the streets, and not the car.
Go to sleep early on Sunday night and wake up ready for Monday.
“Preparing your clothes for Monday can reduce wasted time in the morning and the opportunity to run late,” says Dr. Santos. “Prepare for your Monday like it’s a special day. You want to be at your best on the first day of the week, and let it last throughout the week. Look good at work and feel good about yourself.”
“Skies are meant to be blue, but Mondays aren’t,” says Dr. Santos.