I used to experience this sickly, low, unshakeable mood around 4 or 5 p.m. every Sunday. I couldn’t get rid of it. A movie could soothe it a little, so could a big order of pad Thai or a pepperoni pizza. But it became the predictable low point of my week—and I dreaded it.
It’s OK if you feel this way too—even people who are obsessed with their career don’t always bounce out of bed on a Monday morning. These days, I work for myself, so Mondays feel like any other day… and I’ve come to realize that they are. No matter who you are or what you do.
We so unfairly associate Mondays with misery that we’ve come to resent and fear them—just because everybody else does. But there’s another way! Because life is wayyy too important to waste hours on a Sunday (and devote at least half of your Monday to being in pain).
So, if Monday ain’t your friend… here are some tips on how to at least not make it your foe.
Savor that Sunday sleep.
I used to fear Mondays so much I would still be at brunch at 6 p.m. Five mimosas later, I was ready for dinner (and hey, fries and a vodka soda with that? Heck yes!) This led to a series of bad choices—not only was I throwing away my hard-earned dough, but I was making myself feel physically heavy and unable to sleep properly.
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The only thing worse than waking up on a Monday morning is waking up on a Monday tiiiiired. And with a headache-y, guilt-fueled start to the week. Sundays, if you let them, are a great day to maybe do a bit of meal prep, catch up on some reading, plan what you’ll wear tomorrow, and get your work gear ready to go. If you wanna go the extra mile, you can even select the uplifting podcast episode that’ll see you through your morning commute.
And once in a while, why not have a bath or long shower and get into those cozy PJs for an early night? Come 8 a.m., you’ll be so smug that you did.
Have a hit list.
Having a list of five or so action items to complete during the week will help you feel in control and focused on Monday morning.
What do you need to complete? Who do you want to see or reach out to? What’s lingering on that Notes section of your phone full of recent reminders? Creating a short list of what will make your week satisfying helps you stay on track. Being proactive feels powerful; being reactive feels rotten.
Infuse Monday with a little fun!
Someone asked me the other day, “How do you like to spend your weekend?” I answered, “My life’s a weekend!”
Why? I treat all days pretty equally. Some writing. Some correspondence. Definitely some fun! Why not make Monday the new Thursday? Go to a movie. Have sushi with a friend. Have your co-worker over for a glass of wine and a little cheese—what’s the real difference? Mondays feel waaay different when your week is punctuated with pleasure. Because “living for the weekend” is depressing—and frankly, a little dated.
Make a change.
If your Monday misery feels impossible to contain over time, it’s probably a good sign you need to make a change. Maybe you need a vacation or to look for a new job. Or (my favorite!) start a side hustle and concoct your exit plan like I did.
Think: What type of life do I really want? Is this it? If not, don’t askwhat’s wrong. Ask what’s missing. The answers will come to you.
In many cases—rest, coffee, and music will have you back on track. If not, your emotions are great data, highlighting a shift you need to make. One way or another, Mondays can become bearable, even joyful, if you allow them. Because your happiness is not dictated by a calendar—it’s dictated by you.
Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!