I thought about writing today about the benefits to your health and overall wellness of NOT working on the weekends. There is alot of research out there about the health benefits of NOT working on the weekends (and when I say work - I mean at your full-time job) and an equal amount of research on "disconnecting" (meaning the benefits to your health of staying away from your laptop, Blackberry, iPhone, etc. for periods of time). I'll come back to that though. Since today is Monday and I know that I certainly can be prone to the "Monday Blues" - I decided to go in search of and find some research and recommendations on combating the "Monday Blues."
Although we are 1 week past what researchers suggest is the most depressing day of the year (the third Monday in January) - there are multiple research findings that suggest that any Monday can trigger the "Monday Blues." Whether it is the research that suggests that people show biological signs of stress when they start anticipating the workday or the research that found that most workers don't smile until about 11:16 on Mondays or the Japanese research finding the highest suicide levels on Mondays - it is clear that "Monday Blues" do exist. What can you do about it? I read some recommendations from Laura Schwecheri on Greatist.com from about a year ago that bear repeating.
1. Don't live for the weekends - don't only look forward to the weekends; plan something fun during the week to do like a movie night. This way - you spread out the joy.
2. Relax!! - Don't go out both nights on the weekend. Stay in at least one night and chill. Being on the go too much on the weekend and not getting enough sleep will only stress you out more.
3. Don't sleep in - Try sticking to the same sleep schedule all week to feel your best.
4. Plan ahead Sunday night - Pick out your clothes for Monday and make your lunch for Monday on Sunday night.
5. Go to bed early Sunday night - Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep in preparation for Monday.
6. Eat breakfast Monday morning
7. Listen to music - Music boost mood so listen to some music while you get ready for work on Monday morning. Pick your favor artist.
8. Hit the (early-bird) gym - Get an early Monday a.m. workout. Exercise increases your endorphin levels and will boost your mood.
9. Look snazzy - Wear your best outfit on Monday so you look your best - it will help you feel your best.
10. Smile - We've all heard how many muscles it takes to smile and how many MORE muscles it takes to frown or scowl so just go ahead and smile all morning and all day.
11. Treat your self - Give yourself something to look forward to either Monday afternoon or Monday night. Whatever it is that you know will inspire and excite you - plan it for sometime on Monday. You will look forward to it.
12. Take small breaks during the day - Get away from your desk or cubicle during the day. Take a walk outside, avoid eating lunch at your desk or squeeze in a lunch time workout.
13. Figure out why Mondays are blue for you - If none of the above helps, you REALLY might want to switch careers. Life is too short to be THAT miserable.
Have a Marvelous Monday!