Everyone knows that melancholy feeling that arises Monday morning — that feeling of dread about returning to everyday life after a work-free weekend.
Whether you’re stressed out over the week ahead, still recovering from the weekend, or just lamenting the loss of your free time, Mondays can be rough, and it doesn’t help that they occur every single week.
“People experience a loss of freedom Monday morning,” says psychologist Kim Chronister, PsyD. “They may even become anxious Sunday night. They have a taste of freedom on the weekend, and when Monday comes, the majority of people have a sense of mourning that usually lasts all day Monday.”
But just because you wake up feeling down Monday morning doesn’t mean you have to stay depressed all day. If you’re looking to boost your mood at the start of the week, try these seven tips to beat the dreaded Monday blues.
1. Workout Before Work
“Exercise spikes feel-good chemicals in the brain such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin,” says Chronister. “Research has shown that workouts can boost mood for up to 12 hours, making it difficult to feel blue.” Even if you don’t have time to do a full routine in the morning, take a 20 minute walk to help get your adrenaline going.
2. Do Something Nice
“Research shows that helping someone else activates the pleasure centers of the brain,” says Chronister. “Pick up a coffee for someone on your way to work, or get your co-worker’s favorite snack for them. This can go along way toward reconnecting with coworkers and boosting your mood.”
3. Plan A Reward For Yourself
“Reward is one of the biggest motivators in our arsenals,” says Chronister. “Plan something you have been wanting to do for Monday evening, whether that is a manicure/pedicure, massage, dinner out, dinner in, or a movie you have been wanting to see.” This way, Monday afternoon or evening, you’ll have something to look forward to.
4. Dress Up
“Wear you favorite outfit to boost confidence,” says Chronister. “Research shows that what you wear has a powerful impact on performance and can lead you to feeling more energized and more positive about the work day.”
5. Make A Gratitude List
Studies show that practicing gratitude can help alleviate depression by increasing feel-good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. “This means that Monday blues can easily be beat by making a habit of listing out everything you are grateful for,” says Chronister.
6. Take It Easy
Instead of trying to load all your tasks onto the beginning of the week, considering easing into your priorities slowly and taking Monday easy. “Mondays are a transitional period between the weekend and the workweek, so it is important that you treat it as a transitional period,” says Chronister. “Stay on schedule and don’t volunteer to do more than necessary — leave that for Tuesday or Wednesday when you are in actual work mode.”
7. Talk It Out
“If your Mondays are chronically depressing you, you may want to re-evaluate your passions, identity, and career or lifestyle desires,” says Chronister. “It may help to seek out a life coach, therapist, or a mentor to discuss life and professional goals. It could be that you haven’t made steps to starting your own business, or you want more from your company, or you haven’t yet found a career of your dreams. If this is the case, talk about it, get to the bottom of it, and find your solution with support.”