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The Sunday or Monday blues, the way people feel at the beginning of the working week (depending on where you are geographically), has become a cultural phenomenon. This negative set of emotions can contain symptoms of depression, tiredness and hopelessness, according to Alex Kjerulf, one of the world's leading experts on happiness at work. A study by consulting firm Mercer found that one-third of all sick days are taken on the first day of the week.
How can we overcome these negative feelings we often get on the first day back after an enjoyable weekend? Here are some tips to help you:
• Identify the problem – It is helpful to identify what is bringing you down. If it is an overwhelming amount of work, think of a solution such as planning more effectively or delegating. It might be that you do not feel challenged. In which case, discuss it with your boss. If you cannot pinpoint an issue, there are several things you can do to pick yourself up.
• Arrange something fun for Sunday – Plan something to look forward to in the evening after your first working day. This could be a family outing, dinner with friends, your favorite hobby or sports class.
• Think of things you are excited about in the coming week – Kjerulf mentions that we often look at the week ahead in a negative way, thinking about the things that need to be done. Writing a list of all the things you look forward to that week could help you feel better.
• Plan/prepare Sunday's work on a Thursday – Thursday is often the day we wind down and start the countdown to the weekend. This means that by the beginning of the working week, we are often overwhelmed with the amount of work there is to do. Some find it useful to prepare for Sunday on Thursday, keeping the workload lighter on the first day back.
• Get an early night – Make sure you are well rested. Go to bed early, wake up slightly earlier than usual and enjoy a hearty breakfast to get you going. A motivational playlist when getting ready can work wonders.
• List all the things you look forward to in the coming week
• Plan and prepare some of your Sunday's tasks on Thursdays
• Wake up earlier than usual and eat breakfast to get you going
Source: Nicola Turner, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Organizational Psychologist, HRI&C