How To Stop Dreading Monday Morning
It’s Sunday night.
That familiar dread starts to creep into your chest. Monday morning is coming.
You start thinking about waking up early, commuting, all that work you need to get done, and the sea of meetings you need to navigate this week. You feel anxious, overwhelmed, apprehensive, uneasy, maybe even sad and depressed.
It sucks, right?
But, the good news is, there is a way to make it better! And you won’t have to make a single physical change in your life.
The trick is, it all comes down to mindset and thought management.
Thought management is the process of being aware of your thoughts, and being aware of how they affect your feelings and emotions.
[Related: See my post HERE on awareness – why it’s important and how to practice it]
Once you become aware, you can actually change these thoughts and therefore change how you feel. It’s pretty much that simple, but takes work to get good at.
How It Works:
It is common to believe that your circumstances, aka the things and situations in your life, are in charge of your feelings. This is actually not true.
Your thoughts about your circumstances cause your feelings.
For example, you’re sitting on your couch on Sunday night and begin to feel anxious and depressed about the upcoming work week.
Realize this: you’re not even AT work in that moment, and yet you feel these negative emotions. You’re feeling that way because of the thoughts you are thinking.
You’re thinking: “Damn it’s already 8? Where did my Sunday go? I have to go back to work already? Noooo!”
Your current circumstance at that moment is relaxing on the couch, maybe watching TV or a movie, and you’d think that SHOULD cause pleasurable feelings, but it doesn’t because circumstances can’t actually affect your feelings. Since your thoughts are elsewhere, even though your body may be in a positive circumstance, your mind is in a negative place.
Say it’s Thursday night at 8pm and you’re chilling at home on the couch. You’re in the exact same circumstance as a Sunday night, but I bet you feel pretty happy.
You feel positive, maybe even giddy, carefree, and at ease. This is because your thoughts are on the future, on the upcoming weekend. These thoughts are causing your happy feelings independent of your circumstance.
So, in order to avoid the dread of Monday morning, it’s all about shifting your mindset via your thoughts.
Here are some common beginning-of-the-week thoughts:
“I hate Mondays”
“This week is going to suck”
“I have so much work to get done”
“Ugh, another week of work”
Now, it’s impossible to go from “I hate Monday morning” to “I LOVE Monday mornings!” and be genuine about it. You could think that for hours and still feel the same because you won’t truly believe it. The trick is to change the thought slightly to something slightly more positive or even neutral that you CAN believe.
Find anything positive about the upcoming Monday. Do you have good lunch plans? Will it be nice weather? Do you have anything fun planned for after work?
If none of those things, then maybe decide ahead of time to treat yourself to something tasty for lunch, or decide to splurge and get your favorite coffee drink on your commute in. Something you can focus your thoughts on instead of thinking over and over that Mondays suck. Your thought can change to “Tomorrow’s Monday, but I’m going to get my favorite lunch and it’s going to be delicious.” Whenever you catch yourself thinking how much Monday morning will suck, replace it with that thought.
It’s not necessarily about having something to look forward to, but having something does help you to change your thoughts at first. Eventually once you practice this enough, you’ll be able to adjust your thoughts automatically without necessarily having an event to help.
For instance, I’ve been practicing this for awhile now. I do still get the Sunday-crankies when I think about going to work the next day. But I can catch myself thinking all of these negative thoughts, and once I do, just acknowledging the fact that I know it’s just these thoughts that are making me feel cranky is enough to making my feelings shift and become more positive. It sounds pretty crazy but it really, really works with some practice.
How to practice this to get results:
This coming Sunday night, when you start to feel that dread build up, try to just be more aware of your thoughts.
You don’t even have to change them, just notice them. Then, on Thursday and Friday, be aware of your thoughts again. Notice what they are and how you feel. Once you make the connection yourself you’ll be amazed at how you can feel better without even changing any of your circumstances.
Give it a try and let me know your results in the comments below!
PS – if you like this thought-work, check out my other posts where I discuss it more in depth: