Monday, October 6, 2014

Four Reasons Why Mondays Feel Terrible

Photo by Podling 1
There seems to be almost universal consensus: Mondays feel terrible. 

But have you ever stopped to think why? I have, and I will now share the results of my critical (pseudo)scientific analysis.

Four Reasons Why Mondays Feel Terrible:
  1. You're tired. If you spent the past few days pinballing through life as if sleep were a mere suggestion rather than a physiological imperative, then this comes as little surprise. Interestingly, even if you did rest this weekend, you will probably still start off Monday feeling groggy. Getting extra sleep over the weekend caused you not to feel tired at the right time on Sunday night, meaning you went to bed late and didn't get enough sleep to feel chipper on Monday morning. So all things considered, maybe you might as well not sleep. You're going to feel terrible either way.
  2. You're cranky. You know how little kids melt down when they're off their schedule? That's you after a weekend. See, during the work week, you think that you're going to enjoy getting away from your routine for a few days, but the truth is that it just messes you up. Being off schedule can often become the source of our struggle - and the struggle is real. Getting back into a routine on Monday may feel like the worst thing that's ever happened in your life, but it's probably just what you need, so hitch up those cranky pants and get on with your day.   
  3. You did nothing productive. You had plans for the weekend. Big plans. Productive plans. Plans involving working outside, cleaning out your closets, waxing the car, prepping all of your meals for the week, and so forth. Then Saturday morning actually arrived, and you found all of your resolve drain away, leaving in its wake a pleasant lethargy which you indulged for the rest of the weekend. Then comes Monday, and with it, an onset of guilt regarding how little you actually accomplished. There's always next weekend, you tell yourself as you stare bleakly into the dark recesses of your coffee. Only five more days before the cycle repeats again. 
  4. You're probably dehydrated. I don't know if this is true for you, but because I'm off my routine over the weekends, I forget to drink as much water as I should. I used to assume that my Sunday-night headaches were a result of the stress of Mondays creeping up to get me, but now I see that those headaches were probably part dehydration. If you're anything like me, you'll enter the new week dried-out and fuzzy-headed, and will probably try to cure your Monday-morning blues with extra coffee. This in turn will only make you more dehydrated, and Monday morning will feel even worse than it already did.
One thing is clear: Mondays aren't going anywhere. They're just going to keep coming around. Since Mondays are pretty much inescapable, the least we can do is try to make them seem less terrible.

How to Make Mondays Less Terrible:
  1. Don't oversleep on the weekends. It just screws with your internal clock. Even if you don't plan to get going early in the morning, you should still attempt to wake up close to your regular get-up time as possible. If you're not a fan of mornings (which I'm certainly not), don't despair. I'm not advocating that you suddenly start greeting the sun with a cheery song, like some demented, modern-day Disney princess; but you could at least get out of bed, get the coffee going, and enjoy a quiet morning read-a-thon on the couch in your jammies. If you truly need to catch up on sleep, take a mid-afternoon nap or go to bed a little earlier. 
  2. Follow a weekend routine. I'm not suggesting that this be as rigid as your weekday one, but since people thrive on routine, do your best to give your body what it wants. Even things as simple as eating and sleeping around the same times that you normally would on a weekday can make a huge difference in overcoming the Monday hurdle (rather than crashing into it in a glorious, slow-motion face-plant).   
  3. Don't overload Saturdays and Sundays with activity. This is all about managing expectations. Remember that God designed our bodies to require periodic times of rest. Don't just rest from your career work on the weekends. Be sure to schedule actual rest. Not just sleep, either. Rest.
  4. Drink all the water. You probably don't drink enough water anyway, and weekends often compound the problem. Start each morning by downing a glass of water before your morning coffee, and keep water on hand throughout the day. Schedule your phone to send you reminders to drink water if necessary.  Whatever you need to do, do it. 
In this world, nothing is certain except for death and taxes... and Mondays.  

Since they're certain to come around for each of us, it's good to be prepared. 

Remember that no matter how Mondays may feel, each one is still a gift, and with a little life adjustment, perhaps they'll stop feeling so terrible.  

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2 comments:

  1. At last! someone who understands me! Cranky and dehydrated is me at my best. If they replaced Monday with another Friday, life might just be a little more, well, you know.
    ;-)

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    1. I do what I can to make Mondays better! Coffee helps.

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