The Monday Survival Guide

The Monday Survival Guide

Do you hate Mondays? Has “Monday Sucks” become your mantra? 

Most people experience feelings of discomfort and distress as Monday approaches. These feelings typically sneak up on you during Sunday evening and can sometimes linger until you leave work Monday afternoon.

Does it have to be this way? Is “Monday Sucks” a physical law of the universe?

Of course not.

Mondays suck because you allow them to. If you fall into something like a minor depression every Monday, then you need to do something about it. Consider the following quote:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

If you don’t take action and bring on a change, chances are you will continue to suffer every Monday for the rest of your life.

If you live to see your 80th birthday, that means that you will have spent 4160 Mondays suffering. That is a lot of suffering.


Was this you sitting on the bedside Monday morning? Never again!

Here is a guide to surviving this Monday and all the Mondays to come:

Spread out the workload

If you feel that starting the week is a real challenge, remember, you don’t have to do everything on Monday. Some people start the week feeling energized and motivated to get back into a productive routine. But if this is not your case, be kind to yourself and give yourself a smooth start.

It is easy to look at this week’s TO DO-list and be overwhelmed by the tasks ahead. But there are four other days of the working week and you don’t have to do everything on Monday.

This includes the TO DO’s you have outside of work. If you have a plan to eat more healthy and get into a workout routine, then perhaps Monday isn’t the best day to start doing all of these things. Be easy on yourself by making Monday the day when you get to have pizza for lunch or get to skip the workout.

Let your limitations be your liberation. You simply can’t do everything today and you don’t have to. Remember the saying:


Make Monday feel more like Friday

Most of the suffering related to Mondays comes from the automated emotional responses you have when you think about Mondays. You associate Mondays with work, stress, responsibilities, boredom etc.

The way to deal with this is to build positive associations through infusing your Mondays with more fun, freedom and relaxation. Through planning something fun for the evening, something you can look forward to, such as dinner or drinks with friends, going to the cinema or getting a massage, you start replacing the negative associations with positive ones.

Remember: This too, shall pass

When you are at home Sunday evening or waking up Monday morning, feeling overwhelmed by the Monday blues, remember that the feeling passed before and it will pass again. Most of the time, the Monday blues is experienced in anticipation of going to work and actually disappears when you start working.  Remind youself of all the times when you have felt this way before and how it disappeared after 20 minutes in the office.

Get enough sleep and eat breakfast

This sounds like a no brainer. But surprisingly many people go to bed way too late Sunday evening, setting themselves up for failure Monday morning. Without proper sleep everything seems worse than it actually is.

Even if you don’t believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is important enough. Again, Monday doesn’t have to be the day you completely change your diet. But make sure you eat something to kickstart your brain and get it out of Zombie mode.

Learn from your Monday mistakes

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

If you are experiencing feelings of unhappiness every time Monday arrives, why are you not doing anything to change it? Analyse what went wrong last Monday or all the other Mondays. Lack of sleep? Woke up too late? Missed the bus? Out of coffee? No breakfast? No umbrella? 

These kinds of things have terrible implications for your state of mind, but can easily be avoided through preparation. 

See this as a wake-up call (if all else fails)

If you are doing everything described above and have no positive results, then you may need to see it as a wake up call, a sign that you are fundamentally unhappy about your work. If this is the case, then it is time to start analyzing what it is you dislike about your job and what else you would like to do if you can’t make the necessary changes at your current workplace. 

Hopefully you found the Monday Survival Guide useful. Life has too few days to spend 4160 of them suffering!

Keep cool under pressure: 6 tools to calm your mind

Keep cool under pressure: 6 tools to calm your mind

The ability to keep cool under pressure increases your performance and general well-being. Calming your mind and your emotions is key in stress management. Here are 6 tools to calm your mind:

1. Imagine the intimidating person naked

A situation can appear particularly stressful when it involves dealing with a person that you find intimidating. Perhaps it is your boss, a colleague, a customer or even a family member. You feel intimidated because you perceive the person in question as authoritative. You can undermine the influence the person has on your emotional state through picturing him or her in a ridiculing way. You can picture the person sitting on the toilet or talking to you wearing pink, fluffy bunny ears. It doesn’t matter what you imagine, what matters is that the image makes the person seem less intimidating to you.

2. Breathe deeply

One deep breath can bring peace and clarity to an otherwise hectic and confusing situation. Deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful relaxation technique. But there are many breathing techniques out there. If deep breathing is not for you, you can try “Equal Breathing” where you inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of four, or you can try breathing through one nostril at a time while keeping the other covered. Doing this works as a natural resistance, forcing your body to slow down and relax.

3. Make “keeping calm” a decision

If you feel under pressure, make a conscious decision to remain calm. When finding yourself overwhelmed and unable to decide on the appropriate actions to take, let “keeping calm” be the action. You are more likely to come up with the appropriate actions if you keep calm.

My father used to say to me, ‘Whenever you get into a jam, whenever you get into a crisis or an emergency, become the calmest person in the room and you’ll be able to figure your way out of it.’
Rudolph Giuliani 

4. Will this matter tomorrow, a month or a year from now (or a hundred years from now)?

Asking yourself this question puts your problem in the right perspective. Typically, you get stressed out about something because you fail to see that it is just a drop in the ocean that is your life.

 5. Ask for help

There is no shame in asking for help. You might be facing a challenge or problem that you for some reason can’t solve at the moment, perhaps because you are feeling particularly stressed out today, and that is OK. Reach out to your friend, colleague or boss and ask for help, support or advice.

 6. Take a break

Most tasks can wait a couple of minutes. So, if none of the above strategies work for you: take a break, step back from the situation and come back with a calm and refreshed mind.