Growing up, I naively thought that my fear of Mondays would only persist and last within my student life. I thought that after I’d graduate college, I’d be one of the lucky few who’d be able to break the cruel bondage of a cyclic five-day school week (now turned work week). But alas, I am here and I belong to the working class – a demographic perpetually excited for Fridays and eternally resigned to the idea that weekends do indeed have an end, literally and conceptually.
I was a little surprised to learn when I did quick search for ‘fear of the Mondays’ when the first search engine entry returned lunaediesophobia – what the Urban Dictionary refers to as an abnormal fear or extreme dislike of Mondays. Such a word actually existed, that encapsulated the commoner’s endless losing battle with the labor system that capitalism decided to establish.
But it didn’t used to be this way for me – I used to love the idea of Mondays. And I do indeed appreciate the idea that we can all have a clean slate or empty canvas right in front of us whenever the new week comes rolling in. It doesn’t have to feel like lunaediesophobia for everyone or anyone. It doesn’t have to feel like a struggle. But I’m not here to sell you the idea that you have to find your true passion in order for you to get through the first day of the week without any scratch. Maybe all you need are a few creative ways to overcome manic Mondays, which I’ll share with you below.
1. Ditch Digital Distraction
I’m afraid I’m guilty of consuming way too much digital content before a Monday workday begins. This bad habit often rolls in late on a Sunday night, when dread comes knocking and I see on my smartphone clock that it’s only a few hours until the work week begins. I think it will help if we try minimizing the amount of digital content (regardless of quality) we consume right before the new work week begins, especially during the first few hours of a Monday. We humans only have such limited mental energy, and needlessly taking from our finite supply of attention and focus will make it more difficult for us to spend later in the day, when attention and focus turn into a necessity.
In short, ditch digital distraction on Mondays to save mental space.
2. Use Fridays to Prepare for Mondays
I hate giving advice that’s repeated way too often on other articles, guides, and other publications. But here is advice that seems time-tested, and which I also personally vouch for. Fridays are supposed to be carefree and usually run at a slower pace than the other four workdays, however, experienced workers have figured out that a workaround to the inevitable misery of Mondays is to get most things out of your way during Fridays. It might be as simple as cleaning out your work inbox, taking those calls you’ve tried hard to postpone throughout the week, or setting clear timelines on a project. There are a lot of heavy things we can let go during a Friday workday that won’t have to ruin our weekends by appearing on our mental rearview mirror.
In short, Mondays will smell good if you take out the trash on Fridays.
3. Read and Write – On Paper
The reason I intentionally put ‘on paper’ when it comes to reading and writing is because of the first tip I gave of ditching digital distraction. Not that I’m your work-life guru or anything, but I believe that putting things down on paper helps deal with anxiety while providing much needed focus time. Whether you are the introspective type or not, reading a physical book (or any type of publication for that matter) and physically writing using pen and paper, removes you from the week’s prison of staying in front of an electronic machine. It doesn’t matter what you write – maybe it’s a to-do list, maybe you’re just jotting down your thoughts and feelings, maybe it’s the opening paragraph to your first novel – as long as you do it on paper.
In short, read a little and write some – but don’t use your laptop.
4. Prepare a 'Get Psyched' Playlist
Whoever invented the ‘Get Psyched Mix’ concept – whether or not it was Barney Stinson of the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother – we all have that playlist that gets us revved up and motivated to get things done. For some, it’s a playlist with rock anthems with distortion-heavy guitar riffs; and for others, it’s a random mix of classical instrumental music composed by Mozart, Chopin, or Bach. I do acknowledge that there are workers out there who are at their best performing selves when their environment is filled with complete silence – so I’m sorry if you feel offended by this advice. My advice is just this – prepare a Mondays-only playlist that will motivate you to start working and continue working, even if you’re feeling like scrolling through job boards while internally debating the meaning of life.
In short, turn your Mondays into a montage.
5. Allocate Time for Reflection and Introspection
I hope extroverts don’t get offended by this tip, because it was unfairly and unjustly written by an introvert author. Whichever place you are in the personality spectrum, it doesn’t hurt to allocate a chunk of time in your workday for reflection and introspection. Some workers do this routine on a daily basis – heck, I bet every self-improvement book recommends a daily habit of meditation. But I’m not here to pretend that I’m one of those self-help coaches out there who don’t seem to trust the human mind’s ability to naturally wander and find a time within the day to think inwardly, often about nothing. So I am suggesting to you that you try using Mondays as a special day to reflect on your work, maybe your life, maybe on the things you plan to do – it doesn’t matter what.
In short, make Mindful Mondays a thing.
There you have it – five tips on how to overcome manic Mondays. I hope these five ideas don’t feel too recycled. I did what I could to make all of this sound novel, and all-the-while less imposing than the advice regurgitated all over the Internet. Who cares about planning out the rest of the week during a Monday? Or trying to be as productive as you can on the weekend so that you feel like you made the most of your time? If you feel like taking something out of what I enumerated here, please do take this – just chill. Mondays don’t have to be so manic. A lot people are going through what you are going through, so know that you are not alone. And know that Mondays don’t have to suck and don’t need to be so depressing. After all, it’s just another day of the week and an invention of capitalist culture.
ISHIKA MEHERE from NAGPUR on October 16, 2021:
Probably ,I guess the word monday itself has gathered a lot of repulsive energy lol
Greg de la Cruz (author) on October 16, 2021:
Right... I wonder if Tuesdays were the first day of the week, would things fee the same?
ISHIKA MEHERE from NAGPUR on October 16, 2021:
A very thoughtful and helpful article Gregory VIC. Mondays are indeed hectic for many and no wonder everyone hates to work on Mondays.