Wellbeing at Work – How to Start Loving Monday Mornings
Have you ever tweeted or commented on facebook about it being something alcohol related o’clock on a Friday afternoon? As if the working week is something that needs to be forgotten as quickly as possible? You’re not alone.
It’s not just people working for employers who ‘hate Mondays’ (that’s a whole seventh of your working life!). Some retired souls’ hearts sink when their partners head out to work on Monday mornings. And some stay at home parents experience mini empty nest syndrome each new school week.
But many people love Monday mornings: From self employed souls who love what we do to people who’ve created their dream jobs in others’ companies, retirees who adore restructuring their lives to suit themselves and parents who, while devoted to their little ones, relish the time they get to themselves as their offspring learn different things at school.
What’s your current attitude when you think about the beginning of the (for most) working week? Is this an attitude which helps you have a good Monday or are you habitually reinforcing the idea that a whole seventh of your life deserves loathing? (Don’t worry if it’s full on loathing – you can use that as a starting point).
At what point do you start dreading it? When the alarm goes off? Or do you let it cloud your Sundays, too? Have you always felt like this? Think about other jobs you’ve had. What was your approach to Mondays at school? There’s a clue in this.
If it’s been for as long as you can remember, chances are, you’ve had a variety of Monday routines between different schools, other educational establishments, jobs, parental leave and so on. You’re the common denominator. Change your attitude and approach and everything will change. Not to say that it will all be kittens and rainbows everyday (which could feel quite nauseating after an hour or so, anyway), but you’ll at least be better able to navigate life’s ups and downs.
If it’s a recent thing, think about what changed your perception. Did someone leave or start? Did your day change in any way? Was it gradual and barely noticed or quite dramatic (you know exactly what happened and regularly rue that day)?
Now think about the people in your home, life, real and virtual worlds. Who do you know who loves their Mondays? What’s different about theirs? What might you learn from them? If you can’t think off the top of your head, why not ask them? People are usually more than happy to talk about what works for them. You’ll probably notice that while they deal with their share of challenges, they’ve set (it can be reset) their default attitude, either unconsciously or with concerted effort, to notice and build on the positives.
Now think about your own Mondays again. What do you feel would have to be different for them to become lovable (or even less detestable)? You might want to note down the first few thoughts that spring to mind…
While some of these ideas may require big changes, recognising the direction you want to move in and taking small steps to get there will help uplift you even if your existing Monday morning routine stays mostly the same.
If you recognise that your current situation will never feel fulfilling, taking action like applying for other jobs or setting the groundwork to start your own business will enthuse you and leak into the rest of your life.
Alternatively, you might realise that you don’t hate everything about your current Mondays, just, for example, the chaos. Some simple tweaks (getting clothes and lunches sorted the evening before, encouraging even your smallest school children to begin taking responsibility for age appropriate steps, having a quick look through your planner and visualising even the toughest meetings or tasks going smoothly and so on) can transform them. Whether you live alone or in a full house, get everyone involved. Notice your thoughts and conversations and choose to focus on the things you’re looking forward to during the day and week. Moods and attitudes are contagious and by experimenting with what works for you and your family, in a few short weeks, you could be loving Monday mornings.
And if it takes longer, be kind to yourself. Most attitudes are formed over years (even decades). It will take some concerted effort to get out of that default grumbling and into an attitude of actively choosing the thoughts you want to take into the week ahead.
This effort can create new neural pathways in your brain. Each time that you choose the new, different, more life-enhancing thought or action, this new neural pathway gets a bit stronger. Imagine treading a path through long grass. It becomes a little easier each time eventually turning into a footpath, the more often it’s used. So as well as creating conditions to help you get much more out of life, you’ll be benefitting your brain.
Enjoy experimenting with your Monday mornings, making them better week by week.
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