Monday Blues. Is there scientific evidence?

The term “Monday Blues” refers to the feeling of sadness, lethargy, or lack of motivation that some people experience at the beginning of the workweek, particularly on Mondays.

While it is a commonly used expression, it is not a formally recognized medical or psychological condition. Instead, it is more of a colloquial term to describe a mood or emotional state.

So, is it true?

There is some scientific evidence that supports the idea that people may experience negative emotions or stress at the start of the workweek.

What causes it?

The Monday-Blues phenomenon can be due to a combination of factors:

  1. Weekend effect: After a relaxing or enjoyable weekend, the transition back to work on Monday may feel abrupt and cause some resistance. It may be hard for someone to switch from the easy state of the weekend to the office environment. Try to have an easy Sunday evening and make sure you are well rested on a Monday morning!
  2. Sleep disruption: Changes in sleep patterns over the weekend, such as staying up late and sleeping in, can lead to a phenomenon called “social jet lag.” This can make it challenging to readjust to an earlier work schedule on Monday. Where possible, try to have fixed times to go to sleep and wake up again. Exceptions are fine, but try not to overdo it.
  3. Work-related stress: For many people, work-related stress and demands can accumulate over the course of the week, and Mondays are often when these pressures become more apparent. Perhaps changing how you handle stressful situations will help you with Monday Blues.
  4. Routine shift: The shift from a more flexible weekend routine to a structured work routine on Mondays can also play a role in affecting mood and motivation. Try to find ‘rest spots’ within your weektime schedule, that give you something to look forward to. A fun activity on a Monday evening may hlep.
  5. Negative mindset: If someone has a negative perception of Mondays, they may unconsciously experience a self-fulfilling prophecy, where their negative expectations influence their mood. This is entirely dependent on you. You can find things to look forward to on a Monday, or half way through the week.

While “Monday Blues” is not a diagnosable condition, these factors can contribute to why some people might experience feelings of low mood or stress on Mondays. However, it’s important to note that not everyone experiences this phenomenon, and individual differences play a significant role in how people perceive and respond to the start of the workweek. Your own mindset probably plays the largest role.

What can I do ?

If you find yourself consistently experiencing overwhelming negative emotions, stress, or low mood throughout the week, it may be beneficial to seek support from a mental health professional to address and manage these feelings effectively.

Do you find yourself experiencing Monday Blues on a regular basis, or do you have any good ideas to share?

By Geraldine Spiteri

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