Dealing with Monday Morning Syndrome

It is called Monday Morning Syndrome and it is the difficulty to go back to school or work after two days' rest. This is a universal feeling which makes people annoyed and unhappy when they have to start the activity again after a holiday weekend: they find it hard to get up in the morning and to concentrate on work, so that their work efficiency is much lower than other days. Millions of people feel the Monday Blues with the symptoms we know well:

* Melancholy: all ends and beginnings typically brings stress and concern. Once the excitement of the weekend disappears, we feel sad and disappointed, so we are likely to be lazy, dispirited, and inattentive. Some people may even have serious anxiety problems as they think about the approaching pressures of work.

* Digestive problems: A further problem with Monday is stomachache due to overeating and drinking too much over the weekend. From Friday to Sunday, we relax from intensive, hard work by enjoying tasty food, disregarding the importance of regular dining habits for our health and wellness.

* Low energy: After Saturday’s and Sunday’s relaxation, we should feel refreshed in body and spirit. However, we often feel even more tired out than on Friday. The main reason is that we have not been resting properly over the weekend. We frequently leave all the housework until Saturday, we go crazy shopping, we stay up till late at night, or travel a long way away from the city. No wonder we feel exhausted on Monday morning.
Other times, we spend all the weekend at home, staying in bed in order to save sleep for the following week. But oversleeping is not good for the health: it actually interrupts normal circadian rhythms, causing headaches and a poor appetite. Thus, either we do too much or we do nothing, on Monday we are going to feel tired anyway.

Here are some ideas to overcome this stressful beginning of the week.

To begin with, let’s remind that it is just our mind that makes Monday a symbol for the start of irritating series of events. We should try to forget that idea. In fact, the more we think about the Monday Syndrome, the worse it becomes. Let’s realize that Monday is just a day like the others and it can have several different connotations we can manipulate as we prefer. What we will face on every Monday is the same tasks we deal with on any other working day. What’s more, everything that starts must end: tell yourself that Monday blues is just a phase and, as with everything else, it will go away in just a few hours time.

Secondly, make a list of the reasons why you are feeling bad about starting a new week. You are likely to be surprised that there will be a number of problems you can easily solve. For example, if you are usually worried because you haven’t finished some work from last week yet, then the better way to tackle such concern in the future is trying to complete as much work as possible on Friday.

It might also be helpful to warm up for the busy Monday by doing a little early work on Sunday. Get ready for the load of work awaiting you by making a list of things you’d like to do the day after. Start with the simplest one. Don't be too ambitious too, and avoid to conduct a meeting on Monday morning if it possible. By planning the beginning of the new week, you will feel more in control.

When you feel anxious, take deep, relaxing breaths and tell yourself nothing bad is going to happen: positive self-talk can cheer you up for work and contribute to face negative thoughts associated with returning to work. Pay attention to automatic thoughts, such as “I can’t”, which can affect your mood. Turn negative beliefs into positive ones. If you’re feeling pessimistic, force your mind to create an optimistic thought. Moreover, listen to your favourite music while going to work: a tune can affect your mood and help you to take your mind away from Monday blues.

In addition, try to fight laziness. Actually, after our leisure weekend, we would like Monday to be the same. So we hit the snooze button and then we have to start the new week rushing again. We skip breakfast, we feel nervous and before we know it, our week starts of the wrong note. We blame it on Monday blues but the truth is bad things happen when we are late, as when we are in a rush, the tension level gets high. It may seem like a punishment to get up earlier on Monday but trust me, when you have enough time to organize yourself, you’ll feel like you can conquer the day easier.

It is usually not the work that makes us lethargic, instead, it is the thought of starting work that makes us procrastinate and go into a cycle of unproductivity. What we should do is stopping thinking about work and just starting to do it! As it often happens, when you don’t wait to face the challenges you are afraid of, fear easily disappears.

A tip to turn Monday into a pleasant day is trying to organize something special which will occur on that day only. Plan something interesting for Monday night: a meeting with your friends, a film at the cinema or some sport at the gym. Monday has to be a day of rewarding to have started the week with energy and passion. Before you know it, you will realize that Monday has become a day you look forward to.

Think about Monday as a day full of newness and excitement: this positive point of view will help you to develop more enthusiasm for your work and your life!

Marzia VaccaroI Like Italy

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