From my own experience, most professional people do say Mondays suck. By professional people I am referring to someone who has some sort of a job and has to report to work in one way or the other. I remember when I was in college, Mondays could be the best day of the week because sometimes we would finish lectures very early. Not many people with jobs can say their Mondays are great. Interestingly, a study by Marmite revealed Mondays really suck. The study shows that many people do not smile until 1116hrs in the morning. This shows us that Mondays are not the best days. In a phenomenon dubbed “the weekend effect” (Keim & Stambaugh, 1984) show significant low stock returns on Mondays compared to other days of the week. (McCleary, Chew, Hellsten, & Flynn-Bransford, 1991) show the number of suicides is higher on Monday as well.
Why Mondays suck?
There are many reasons why this could be so. After spending a weekend with friends and family, resting and watching TV, it can be very difficult to get yourself into working gear. There is some truth that Monday needs some transitioning and this might be faced with some resistance within. Antonio Villaraigosa says, ‘Don’t let the Monday morning quarterbacks stop you from being bold. You’ve got to set a high bar.’ In actual fact, Monday ends up being a period of adjustment for most of us. Another reason could be Monday is the furthest away one could be to the weekend. We have celebratory songs and movies themed, “Thank God its Friday”. Studies show we build associations with different days, Mental representations of Weekdays (Ellis, Wiseman, Jenkins, 2015).They asked participants which words they most strongly associated with different days. The study shows Monday and Friday have the highest number of mental representations Monday being characterised by words like ‘boring’, ‘tired’ whereas Friday boasts of words like ‘party’, ‘freedom’.
How to overcome the Monday blues?
Before we look at how to overcome the “Monday blues” it is important to learn something about having a bad day in general. Peter J. Bentley, PhD, computer scientist and author of Why Sh*t Happens confirms there is some science behind having a bad day. He says, “The statistics show that people who believe in bad luck will have more accidents on Friday the 13th. Those who have a negative attitude are more likely to endow normal little mishaps with some mystical significance.” One could imply, we create our own “Monday blues”. To overcome that, it could just take a change in perspective about how we look at Mondays. The Marmite study suggests watching TV to overcome the horrible Monday feeling. Professor Alex Gardener reassures us that, ‘Work could be the best place for you on Monday because we are essentially cavemen in city suits. We want to feel part of the tribe so we go for a cup of tea, catch up and then settle down to work.Having done the tribal bonding, we are geared up for a productive week while some people who have started all guns blazing on a Monday morning may burn themselves out.” In short, embrace “Monday blues”. Acknowledge it, feel it and let go, that's how you embrace it for growth.
Jerry Ndemera is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +263 242 481946