Just the word can strike feelings of dread and anxiety. Monday means the beginning of the work or school week. It also the end of the weekend, the time we designate to relax, spend time with family or friends, get things done like cook or clean, go on trips, or just do nothing. Managing Mondays can be stressful. It’s no wonder so many of us dread its arrival.
Our attitude about Mondays is ultimately unhelpful. Going into a day thinking “Today will be awful”, is not a recipe for an anxiety-free day. In fact, this attitude can create anxiety where there normally would not be any. We try to commiserate with coworkers by talking about how we all don’t want it to be Monday. Sometimes we even start talking about it on Sunday, hence the Sunday Scaries. Worrying about the day does not make any part of the day easier.
How Do We Make Mondays Easier?
We do not endorse pretending things are ok when they aren’t, or Toxic Positivity. Sometimes, Mondays are genuinely hard, even without talking about how annoyed we are about the day of the week. If you’re in a job you dislike, or having a conflict with a coworker, classmate, or teacher, Mondays can truly be a challenge. However, barring extreme circumstances, here are some ways to help Monday be a little bit easier.
- Prepare on Sunday– Feeling frazzled in the morning is a sure-fire way to start the day off with anxiety. Try laying your clothes out the night before and preparing your lunch in advance.
- Maintain your sleep schedule over the weekend– As tempting as it can be to sleep until 10 am on Saturday and Sunday, this can make going to bed at a reasonable hour much more difficult on Sunday night. When you can’t sleep Sunday night, you wake up tired on Monday. The more you can keep your sleep schedule consistent, the more you set yourself up for feeling rested.
- If possible, schedule time to settle in- If you have control over your workday, schedule an hour of administrative time to settle into your week. This can give you time to respond to emails and know what is coming for the week ahead. If you don’t have as much control, see if you can advocate for this with your supervisor.
- Plan a relaxing evening- Try not to overdo it on Mondays after work or school. If you can, prepare dinner over the weekend, or make something in the crockpot so that you can just get home and relax.
- Validate your feelings- Sometimes the start of the week is tough! Give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel about it
Sometimes significant dread on a Monday is a sign that we need to make some life changes.
Maybe it’s time to look for a new job or have a serious conversation with a coworker or supervisor. You may be struggling in school and it’s time to talk to your teachers about getting extra help. Maybe you’re struggling with insomnia and need to talk to your doctor about your sleep hygiene, which will, in turn, make Monday mornings a little bit easier.
Whatever the case may be, ask yourself- is this a run of the mill “Case of the Mondays”, or is this something more serious? What can be changed to make your week go more smoothly?
While we collectively tend to treat Mondays as a burden, Mondays also have the potential to be a fresh start. Last week is in the past. Let’s see what this week brings!
If you are struggling to manage work or school related anxiety, email us or give us a call at 217-203-2008 to schedule an appointment and start promoting peace from within.
March 3, 2023
For more blogs by Emily Beck, visit her page at https://champaigncounseling.com/emily-beck-lcsw/