If people were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters.
Monday didn’t come easily today. Last night, I went to bed earlier than usual, and I got up two hours before my alarm to go potty. My dilemma was this:
- Do I get up early and take my time getting ready? I could leave the house early and pick up a Starbucks on the way.
- Or, do I go back to bed and get comfy once again? I could fall back asleep and wait for the alarm to gently awaken me.
The blankets and alarm won the contest and I contentedly crawled back into bed. Two hours sailed by and I hit the snooze on the alarm twice before finally getting out of bed. I moaned, I groaned, I complained to myself, and I knew there was no excuse I could make to go back to bed.
To me, Monday at work is like any other weekday. Deadlines, documents, clients. Some in the office do seem like they also dragged themselves in. “Happy Monday <groan>” is a common refrain at the coffee station.
It turns out there are scientific reasons why we don’t like Mondays:
- Sleep patterns: Our minds are slaves to our body clocks. Remember how even an extra hour when the clocks “spring forward” can mess you up? We might not sleep enough during the week so we try to make up for it on weekends. But sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday can confuse your body clock. Scientists say that extra sleep just makes you more tired at the start of the week, which makes it harder to get up on a Monday morning, even though you would think you’d be well rested since you “caught up” on sleep over the weekend.
- Socializing: We know that humans are social animals, and to feel happy we need to feel we belong. After just two days away, scientists say we need to make sure our place in our work environment is secure. Gossiping with your co-workers is an important part of gearing up for the work week, and if you don’t do this, you might feel out of sorts. So feel free to start talking about your coworkers!
- Sudden change: Scientists have found that Mondays are no more stressful or depressing than Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Fridays do indeed come out ahead because we’re anticipating the weekend. Other than that, they say, all work days are equally terrible.
- You feel worse about yourself: Your average weekend might involve eating, drinking, or smoking more than normal, which takes a toll on you physically. This may be why one study found that American women of all ages and locations feel least attractive on Mondays. People also see Mondays as the best day to change something about themselves. You are more likely to start a diet on the first day of the week, as well as quit smoking. While these are positive changes, they aren’t fun to actually do, and they come from a place of feeling bad about yourself and your health, which contributes to that blah Monday feeling.
- You are less healthy: You don’t just feel less healthy on a Monday; you actually are less healthy. Scientists have found that even people who generally maintain their weight weigh the most at the beginning of the week. Mondays are also the most common day for people to suffer heart attacks and strokes. Even if you don’t end up in the hospital, your blood pressure is higher on Monday, as is your chance of getting sick in general.
- You don’t like your job: According to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of people hate or, at best, are “completely disengaged” from their job. This contributes to what psychiatrists and career coaches call the “Monday Blues.” Feelings of depression and anxiety can start on Sunday night, leading to an unproductive Monday.
“Do what you love and you’ll never have a problem with Monday”? Does this apply to you? Yes, sometimes it does.