Monday blues

Winter mood disorders, combined with usually ‘depressing’ Mondays, could deprive you of your mental health; there are ways to tackle it though

Monday blues

The dreaded Mondays, back to work, back to school, back to mundane life. Chances are that you may have heard of Monday morning blues. The term blues represents the feeling of sadness, laziness and even disappointment that comes after the weekend. Multiply that feeling by a few hundreds and you have the 'Blue Monday'. The Blue Monday typically denotes the third Monday of January. This concept was originally coined in 2004 by psychologist Cliff Arnall. According to some researchers, this day is deemed to be the most saddening and blue for many around the globe.

Many factors may contribute to it, like the chilly gloomy weather, post new year's celebration lull, high chances of failing our new year's resolutions, general low motivational levels, being back to work after a weekend, and the lack of desire to work.

Science or pseudoscience?

One in four people can suffer from depression in their lifetime. Monday blues is widely different from depression, as it is short-lasting and of lesser degree. It is impractical for so many people to be depressed on this unique third Monday of January. The connotation of Monday being depressing is generally because of the return to work and routine after a weekend of relaxing and fun, and as a result, the buzz word "Blue Monday" has been created.

Scientifically speaking, there is reason to back it up, except for strong roots in Seasonal affective disorder. SAD can leave people feeling depressed during the winter months. Seasonal affective disorder is a mood disorder, where individuals who otherwise have normal mental health throughout most of the year, exhibit depressive symptoms around the same time each year, especially the winters. Symptoms can range from overeating, oversleeping and a lack of energy.

Turning the Monday morning blues to different hues

As it turns out, the blue Mondays can have a negative impact on your performance and productivity. It can also impact your mental health in general when you experience the blue feeling on every Monday. Here are some practical advices to try to make the Mondays a bit less gloomy:

❊ Balanced weekend indulgence: Weekend of binge eating and drinking can cause the body to go through all sorts of changes. Indulge but in a balanced manner.

❊ Be prepared: Preparing for Monday on Friday can help reduce stress by being prepared mentally.

❊ Don't overschedule: More companies are moving away from keeping all their meetings on Mondays to reduce the stress, and are gradually moving them to the other weekdays.

❊ Sleep and wake up as per schedule: Waking up on time or a bit earlier can avoid you from feeling frantic.

❊ Schedule to have fun: Don't associate Mondays with boredom. Plan a date night or a movie night on Monday to change up the rhythm.

❊ Be kind: Know that it is okay to not be on top of your game all the time.

The good takeaway from Blue Monday and even the Monday morning blues can be that we should all take care of our mental health and realistically work towards protecting it all year along.

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