TLDR: Struggling to beat Monday Blues? Here are a few things I have learned and practiced during the last two years that might help.
The last two years were interesting to me.
I lost more than10 kilograms.
Fixed my sleep.
Went from a serial snoozer to someone who can wake up at 5: 30 AM every day.
Have vastly changed my relationship with food.
Stopped buying junk that I don’t need.
Overall, I feel more centered.
All these changes are achieved by introducing some small modifications to my lifestyle.
To me, everything starts with “stop hating your Mondays”. Or in other words by changing your perception about work and leisure you can beat Monday Blues.
How do I do it you ask?
Well, here’s how it goes.
Rethink your Mondays
Why do we have Monday Blues in the first place?
Is it the things we are doing or not doing during the weekend that makes our Mondays the worst?
Stop and think about it.
We build so many expectations for the weekend during the week.
We’ll read, catch up with all the pending work, meet friends, party, exercise, and what-not.
But as the weekend arrives we are paralyzed but the weight of our own exceptions.
So, all we do is to sleep /drink/watch Netflix or all of them.
And as the weekend fades away we try to hold on till the last possible moment.
We stay up till late dreading Monday.
And when Monday comes we feel miserable. And the cycle repeats… on and on and on…
But do we really need to save our lives for the weekend?
A better approach will be to distribute our expectations throughout the week.
Don’t overburden your weekend so much that it weighs you down.
I recently read Hooked by Nir Eyal where he talks about how our brains perceive pleasure.
It turns out that there is this part in our brain called the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc), responsible for seeking pleasure.
We will go to any extent to simulate this part of the brain.
In fact, Nir cites a study where people were enabled to simulate their NAccs using electric signals.
The addiction was so strong that after some time the researchers had to remove the participants forcibly to prevent using them the machine.
However, the funny thing is that your NAcc is activated by the anticipation of pleasure but not the pleasure itself.
This explains why we feel that craving to eat junk food but feel horrible after we actually had some.
Or buy clothes that we don’t actually wear.
The good thing is that you can use this psychology in your favor.
Here’s where a morning routine comes in.
Create a morning routine so pleasurable that it overrides other negative desires and helps you in beating your Monday Blues.
My morning routine goes like this:
- Wake up at 5:30 every day
- Make my bed
- Have a coffee (I just take a caffeine pill because I am lazy .)
- Deep breathing exercise. (It’s a good way to clear up your head.)
- Meditate for 10 minutes (Feels serene after deep the breathing exercise)
- Jump rope 1000x (200×5). (Best way to get your cardio done in a short time)
- Exercise (I do Yoga and resistance band training on alternate days)
- Have breakfast
- Clean my house while listening to Audible
- Start with the day
This is a routine now I look forward to every day.
You’ll notice that my routine consists of smalls tasks that prompt me to do the next. As I go on doing these tasks I start feeling increasingly accomplished.
As a result, I’m generally upbeat by the time I start with my workday.
Have a plan
I used to avoid anything related to work as a plague on Sundays.
And of course, conventional wisdom says that the weekend is for fun and the week is for work.
But such a strict separation doesn’t work. I used to grow anxious towards the end of a Sunday and used to indulge in mindless activities to suppress that uncomfortable feeling.
Instead, spending some time planning for the week works much better.
Maybe there are some boring compliance-related chores you have avoided during the week.
Maybe there are some mandatory surveys that you needed to take.
The weekend is a good time to get rid of those chores so that you can start your week with a fresh mind and beat the Monday Blues.
Fix your sleep
You need to fix your sleep. Period.
I am convinced that the one of the main reasons behind Monday Blues is sleep deprivation.
With all the technology, blue lights, and distractions, sleep deprivation has become an epidemic.
So, look at your sleep pattern.
Use a wearable to track your sleep to see if you are getting enough sleep.
A ‘sleep routine’ helps.
Instead of watching TV, read. Listen to music. Meditate.
Take 200 mg of Ashwagandha at the beginning of the phase. It’s a highly researched herb that helps in relaxation, immunity, and supports overall mental wellbeing.
It takes about 30 days to reset your sleep cycle.
The moment you fix your sleep you’ll immediately see improvements in everything else you do.
People generally have a negative connotation for the world supplement.
But, please understand that supplements are not medicines. These are nutritional elements that you find in food, but not in enough quantity.
I use the following supplements for alertness, sleep, and recovery.
Caffeine: Guess, this needs no introduction. However, I take it in the morning in the form of Caffeine Tablets. Saves me time and I can’t make the excuse of being too lazy to get up and brew.
L- Theanine: Is an amino acid you find in green tea. It’s non-addictive and has numerous benefits from treating anxiety, regulating blood pressure, preventing Alzheimer’s to even cancer drugs. L-Theanine relaxes you but it won’t make you sleepy. It works in a synergistic way with Caffeine by preventing the Caffeine crash. This combo works best at a 2:1 ratio.
I take 200mg of Caffeine combined with 400mg of L-Theanine in the morning.
For the morning, currently, I am using Unived Nootro-Peak, which has 2:1 Caffeine- L-Theanine and added Vitamin B6/B12 as a bonus.
Whey Protein: Again, this is something that needs no introduction. But try to stick to something with no flavors etc. It’s cheaper and generally better for you. Have it as the first thing in the morning after your caffeine.
We are all different and might have different nutritional deficiencies. So, it’s a good idea to get tested and take supplements accordingly.
Lack of nutrients can make you lethargic, result in mode swings, and therefore result in Monday Blues.
Mondays are not some villainous evil creations. They are just like any other day. It’s us who load our weekends with so many expectations that it results in Monday Blues.
In this post, we looked at some strategies to beat the Monday Blues
ESSENTIALLY IF YOU FIX YOUR SLEEP AND MORNINGS YOU’LL SEE A LOT OF IMPROVEMENTS IN THE OTHER AREAS OF LIFE.
That’s it folks for today.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
3 thoughts on “How to beat Your Monday Blues”
Wonderful read Sam. It all makes so much sense. And yes, you are right – the burden in Monday Blues are actually from the residue dissatisfactions from the weekend. I experienced the opposite of it many times i.e., whenever I felt that I had a very productive and satisfying weekend, I did not experience any Monday Blues. I like the way you articulated things in this post.
Thank you Aakarsh. What I realized that we end up hating Mondays because we are told to do so. You can of course have bad days. But making Mondays as the default doesn’t make sense.