Do you start to get that feeling in the pit of your stomach when the weekend draws to a close, a growing sense of dread at the thought of the office on Monday? Has your weekend been ruined by workplace worries? Don’t despair, you can beat the back-to-work blues
At the end of a relaxing weekend spent with family and friends, thoughts suddenly turn to the looming Monday morning. At around 4pm, the Sunday blues kick in, and a cloud of dread creeps over so many of us.
It is not uncommon to feel daunted, as each new week brings a unique set of challenges. A small amount of sadness is normal, in fact, a poll from monster.com found that 62% of workers regularly experience these types of feelings. After two days of freedom, you’re back behind the desk come the morning, so of course you’ll be a little bit displeased.
However, a problem develops when these feelings become more than niggling thoughts. An increasing number of people are experiencing severe anxiety each week, which can be both overwhelming and difficult to control. Their weekends are ruined because Sunday is spent wrapped in negative feelings, already putting a dampener on the week ahead. This type of intense emotion on a regular basis can have a significant impact, resulting in a range of symptoms such as a lack of sleep or depression.
There are a multitude of reasons why you may feel anxious about returning to work on Monday – it could be a dislike of your position, conflict with a colleague, or general stress stemming from pressure to perform.
Jobs are becoming more and more demanding, with tighter deadlines and greater responsibility, so this problem is not going away. However, as a self-confidence expert and relationship coach, I know there are always steps you can take to alleviate stress and get your relaxed Sundays back. Positive Monday mornings are possible. Here are five tips you can follow to make this happen:
1. Consider a change
If you hate your job, and find it is causing you anxiety, then consider moving on. As clichéd as it may sound, doing something you love is very important for your happiness. It has been found that 64% of people would rather take a poorly paid job they love, than one which pays more, but does not make them happy.
Of course, there are financial implications to consider, and making sure you can still make ends meet in a job you’re more passionate about. But being in a job you like will help keep you motivated and looking forward to going into work on Mondays.
2. Kick the bottle
It is widely believed that alcohol is a good sedative, which leads to many people self-medicating on a Sunday night to calm their nerves. However, this is only a short-term solution. Alcohol will mask the anxiety at the time, but when the effects wear off, negative emotions intensify. Try to limit your alcohol intake on a Sunday night. You’ll thank yourself come Monday morning.
3. Get more sleep
You may have blown your busy weekend staying out late, or spent your nights tossing and turning, thinking about work on Monday. This lack of sleep will make it more difficult for your brain to fight negative feelings and keep anxiety at bay. Make sure you keep your bedtimes as regular as possible, develop a healthy night-time routine, and get plenty of rest over the weekend.
4. Organise your thoughts
The first day of the week can be a bit busy, and it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things. We’re often bombarded with new information, tasks, and developments before we can even start to think about what happened last week. The best way to overcome this is to plan ahead.
Understandably, you might not want to wait around come 5pm on Friday, but it would be beneficial to take five minutes to organise your workload at the end of the week, to prepare yourself for Monday morning. Have a recap on what you have achieved and make a “to-do” list for any outstanding tasks. This will help refresh your memory on Monday, so you don’t feel at a loss.
5. Get excited for Monday
Mondays are always seen as the day we must just get through to reach the fun stuff later in the week. Instead, you should give yourself something to look forward to on a Monday, whether it’s wearing the new outfit you’ve bought, organising a nice lunch out, or planning something fun after work. This will change your mindset, and give you something positive to think about on Sunday night.
If you are struggling with your mental health and need to talk, professional support may help. Use the bar below to enter your location and find a counsellor in your area: