The word ‘Monday’ has become a swear word in the English language. When muttered, if even dared at the weekend, you will witness a sea of faces screw up in sorrow and the sound of sighs will echo across the land.
Mondays are renowned for being the saddest day of the week, hence the term ‘Monday Blues’. It’s that feeling when you wish you could stay in bed or have just one more day of the weekend. It’s that feeling of regret for staying up until 3am binge-watching your favourite series on Netflix or reading a book you just can’t put down. It’s that feeling when you wish you had some nasty 24-hour bug as an excuse to not go into work.
Monday Blues usually come from the dread of facing a necessary but distasteful task, or the drudge of routine. This routine could be because of the mundane tasks at work, but sadly, when all is said and done, it’s these mundane tasks that pay the bills.
Upon arriving into the office, it comes with routine morning niceties such as an over-enthusiastic ‘GOOOOOoooood morning!’ and the ever-predictable ‘so, how was your weekend?’ Routine responses generally sit on a spectrum ranging from ‘it was alright’ to ‘I got soooo hammered’. Just typing the word ‘routine’ alone bores me endlessly, leaving me with the lingering urge to turn around and head straight home, back to the comfort of my unfinished book and an energy drink.
I speak from experience here. By the end of one of my old jobs, I used to dread (understatement) going into work on a Monday. I had to physically peel my body from the duvet covers as the alarm screeched at me, and the most productive thing I could do at work was watch the ticking hands of the clock until I was released of my contractual duties for the day. The week would fly by as my workload mounted, and suddenly Friday hit me in the face with a large glass of something alcoholic and a dinner date. Alas, as quickly as the weekend came, it faded away into the hazy blue of Monday. Having said that, it all changed for me when I made one little change: my mindset.
With my shift in mindset, my productivity vastly improved, and I began to enjoy my job again. I made an effort to have deep conversations with colleagues, I offered to make the teas and coffees and pop out to the shop to get biscuits. I said hello to people in the hallway as we passed - even if I hadn't met them before - much to their bewilderment as a smile spread across their face.
The idea was to make Monday what I wanted it to be, not what people told me it should be in working life. It started with small actions, like making to do lists and setting my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier to allow time to wake up properly and stretch. I made sure that I had regular meetings with my manager to prioritise my workload, improving our rapport. I invited colleagues to hang out outside of the four walls of our office. Wait, you can have a social life with work friends?!
Before my mindset made a U-turn, I thought that changing my job or looking for something new would help with the Monday Blues. Whether we like it or not, Monday Blues follows you like a dark shadow if you aren’t willing to change your outlook on your work life. Every job has its ups and downs. Even people who live and breathe their dream job have blue Mondays sometimes, but that doesn’t affect their ability to make the rest of their Monday shine.
Mondays can be a beautiful opportunity. It’s exciting to find out what challenges the new week brings; the new people who could be revealed; the exciting news to be discovered; the new plans to look forward to. In a place where you spend eight hours a day (or more), five days a week (or more), for roughly 45 years of your life (or more!), do you really want to be blue? Every blue has a silver lining. The Monday Hustle is just one of them.