Why You Hate Mondays So Much

happiness, workplace health, stress
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The Mamas and the Papas sang “Monday, Monday – can’t trust that day” back in 1966, but even today, many people wake up Monday morning with a bit of a sense of dread to get started on the work week ahead. Why do we hate Mondays so much? Believe it or not, there really is a scientific reason.

In a survey conducted in the UK, one in three people say they hated Monday more than any other day of the week, making it “officially” the most miserable day. More than have of us will spend a full 34 minutes today complaining, versus 22 minutes on other days of the week. In fact, Monday mornings are so depressing, many of us don’t even smile until 11:16 am!

Another UK study found that half of employees will be late to work on a Monday, and that they will only log about three and a half hours of productive work time.

Included in the top ten “Monday Moans” are feeling stressed about all that needs to be accomplished in the week ahead, feeling fatigued after a weekend, and perhaps a feeling of sadness that the weekend is over.

One reason we feel so poorly on a Monday is that we change our schedules to far from normal on the weekends. We stay up later than usual, which creates a sleep deficit of at least an hour in most cases. We may also eat too much or drink too much, which not only contributes to Monday morning fatigue, but also could exacerbate health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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But do we really hate Mondays so much, or is it stress that contributes to the feeling of depression? A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people not only hate Mondays, but also Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays – making Friday the “happiest day of the week.”

One survey spokesperson said, “While there appears to be a range of reasons that can affect our mood, especially on a Monday, it would seem that health-related problems are one of the biggest triggers. This suggests that, as a nation, taking better care of our health may help improve our general well-being and happiness.”

How can you improve your Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday…)? First, try to keep a similar waking and bedtime schedule on the weekends as you do during the week. Sleep deprivation interferes with the ability to perform at your peak and can contribute to irritability, anxiety and depression.

Maintain your diet and exercise schedule as well. Eat a healthful breakfast and lunch instead of skipping meals and then later overindulging out of hunger. If you plan to attend a party or gathering in the evening, eat a healthful snack ahead of time to help reduce feelings of temptation for fried appetizers and rich desserts. Alternate drinking water between each beer or glass of wine to reduce intake of alcohol.

Lastly, take time for some relaxation over a weekend. You may try to pack in a lot of housework, yard work or even extra exercise since you have a little more time than during a weekday, but overdoing it can contribute to Monday morning fatigue. Have fun, spend time with family and friends, and do activities that recharge your batteries, instead of draining out your energy.

References:
Daily Mail (UK): Monday is the Worst Day of the Week, published Sept 12 2011
Huffington Post: Mondays are more depressing, published July 25 2011
BBC News (UK): Scientists dispel “Miserable Monday” myth, published Aug 20 2012.
Arthur A. Stone, Stefan Schneider & James K. Harter. Day-of-week mood patterns in the United States, The Journal of Positive Psychology, Volume 7, Issue 4, 2012. DOI:
10.1080/17439760.2012.691980

Photo Credit: Morguefile.com

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