Case of the Mondays

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It’s Sunday night as I’m writing this, and I feel a case of the Mondays coming on.

Monday (mən-dā) adverb

the second day of the week

I’m sure you are pretty well acquainted with this syndrome, but if you’re not, symptoms include

  • Wishing it was still the weekend
  • Counting off how many days are until the next weekend (I’ll save you some time–I’ve found that it’s always four to five, depending on the time of day)
  • Feeling extra sleepy and unmotivated
  • Feeling anxious or depressed at the amount of work to be done

Here’s the thing: If you are currently experiencing the Mondays, it means you are either gainfully employed or, I take it, a student. Both of these things are great, and many people really, really, wish they were in your shoes right now.

But even though we all know we shouldn’t be complaining, we do anyway. So if the count your blessings trick isn’t doing it at the moment, here are a few simple actions to help get you through the day:

  • Have hot coffee and breakfast, preferably when you’re not in a huge rush. Obvious? Yes. Easy to not have time for? Very!
  • Spend ten minutes or more of the day not looking at some kind of electronic screen. Try it. Sometimes when I’m stressed I simply need to unplug for a minute and breathe.
  • Distract yourself when you have to board public transportation and/or drive through traffic. Listen to a book on tape or music, or read if you can. If you’re not thinking about the sweaty bodies next to you and focusing instead on the pleasant story in your hands, you are more likely to have a stress-free commute.
  • Listen to a song that makes you happy. For me it’s something soothing and uplifting. “Be Still My Soul” is nice, but I’m sure you have your own. “The Weary Kind” is also a good one I was just reminded of.
  • Get some air. It’s cold right now, so it should be a nice pick-me-up. Bryant Park is right near my building, so sometimes during lunch I’ll take a stroll and watch people play table tennis. Witnessing the joy and/or fierceness in people’s faces always cheers me up.
  • Give that homeless guy some change. You won’t feel guilty or sad as you walk away, and you’ll know that you did something very small to brighten another person’s day. The best remedy to getting your mind off your own needs is to tend to somebody else’s.

How do you get through Mondays? I try to avoid splurging in overly self-indulgent treats to make myself happier, but there are always little things we can do to get ourselves in the right frame of mind for the week.

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