“I don’t want to go to nursery!”
This is the phrase my son greets me with almost every Monday morning. It appears the ‘Monday blues’ are also experienced by the under 3s. Rice Krispies appears to cure his. If only it could be so easy for the rest of us.
So, what are they exactly?
To help make sense of them, I have categorised them into 3 types:
1. “The conversation starter”.
My friend Tony fits into this category. Rather like the weather, Brexit or Executive Orders, Monday blues is often his opening gambit (on a Monday). Generally this is harmless but on bad days his Monday moans can be a great way to really sap others’ energy and will to live.
2. “The Inhibitor”.
The negative feelings associated with Monday mornings can mask deeper misgivings about a job and dent our confidence in our ability to change course. Are you genuinely unhappy in your role or work environment? Are your skills and experience not being used effectively? Do you dream about a career change? Sometimes this feeling of dread can be so debilitating just battling through the day can be hard enough let alone having the time and energy to work on a plan B.
3. “The Catalyst”.
In some circumstances, the thought of experiencing this anxiety every Monday morning (often starting on Sunday evening) forces us to take action. It drives us to believe change is not only possible but it is the only option.
What can be done?
These feelings are telling us something. We can try to suppress them, make light of them or we can take time to work out what they might mean. What we do next is very personal.
For some, leaving a job is the right answer. I did this once without a job to go to and it was the right decision at that time. Discussing your feelings with the people closest to you and then with people at work who might be able to reshape your role could be another option. I’ve heard of some people who’ve approached their Mondays with a totally different mindset. They’ve given more of themselves, gone the extra mile for colleagues and clients. This doesn’t guarantee solving genuine issues concerning your work but it can change your perspective and open your thinking to new ideas. It can also make you better company.
The important thing is to do something.
Or trust in the wisdom of toddlers and reach for the cereal…